Well, I’d like to say we made it 100% in nine days, but alas, we had a really bad day with a sick mommy, and an E who fell down a step and hurt her foot. Add the fact that she refused a nap (for the first time in… I can’t even remember), we decided it might be nice to curl up on the couch and watch The Lorax. It was nice. She was exhausted, and mommy felt awful. We snuggled, danced, laughed, and sang (why does this word always sound awkward? Singed..?). When it was over? She walked over to the TV and asked me to turn it off. Unheard of!
Other than that? Nothing. Not once has the TV been turned on, and after day four, she completely stopped asking for it. This is actually huge. We used to have the TV on all day and night. More for background noise than anything, but always at the request of E, who chose what we were allowed to watch. Although we did sneak in Modern Family and Big Bang in the evening before bedtime. That’s a mommy and daddy type of need, especially when mommy had been watching Muppets and cartoons all day.
So, here are the results.
- E is more attentive to whatever she is playing with. Blocks, letters, books, puzzles. She takes time to look at what she’s doing, and although she still gets easily frustrated, I’m starting to believe that’s just part of her personality, or part of being two…. hopefully the two part.
- E enjoys everything more. She now randomly breaks into dances, she drums on tables and her tunnel. She pretends more.
- She no longer breaks down into hysterics when she needs something. I mean, good god guys, it was the most traumatic experience in the world for her to run out of milk and need more. Before asking “mommy, more milk, please” she would just immediately start whining and throwing her cup at me. “E NEED MILK!!” I cannot tell you how much I’m enjoying this. Not to say all the hysterics are completely gone (I’m not sure that is a possibility with a two year old?), but we are down to maybe 2 episodes a day instead of 20. Awesome sauce.
- Now I can tell if she’s been watching TV. Her grandparents are, well, grandparents. They think that what mom and dad says is poo-poo and they can do whatever they want (they won’t even anchor dressers to the wall, which is a completely separate fight). I get it, my grandma was notorious for not doing what my mom wanted, and my mom hated it. I guess you forget that when you become a grandparent though. My in-laws have the TV on all the time. The tantrums she has thrown at their house the three times we’ve been there in the past nine days…. wow. That’s all I’ve got. They are either 10 times worse than before, or she’s just become so calm in the past nine days I had forgotten how bad it truly was. I feel like this is a battle I can’t win though. So I put up with it, and put up with the 24 hour grandparents house detox it takes for her to calm down and get back to normal. It’s a long 24 hours….
So, this is the evidence I have that “breaking” your TV is the best decision for your toddler. It might not be the easiest at first, because it will require a lot more of your time to keep them amused, but I am now finding that she will go into her playroom, or out onto the porch all by herself and play, and pretend, and come back in to tell me what she’s been doing. Then, when she understands that I’m done doing whatever I was doing (cleaning, peeing, eating), she will ask that I come play with her, and I do, as I am no longer distracted by the TV either. I’ve even been able to crochet in the same room as her while she plays. It’s really been life altering, and I’m so glad I tried it.
…although I do occasionally miss The Lorax and The Muppets, I’m so glad I traded them for my little E.