Our TV is in our household goods on a ship somewhere in the Pacific. When I realized we would be TV-free for a month or so, I was actually quite pleased. I felt like this would be a nice little experiment in how to entertain ourselves rather than just vegging out on the sofa.
I knew if there were no television, we would spend more time reading, and this has turned out to be true. When there is absolutely nothing else to do, the kids will actually pick up books for entertainment. Emily was already a ravenous reader but she is hitting the library with a little extra vengeance these days, trying to keep enough reading material on hand. Katie - who has never shown a love of reading - has become a voracious consumer of "Magic Tree House" books. We checked out eight new ones for her and she has read one or two a day. Ben does not care to read as a leisure activity. I convinced him to try to find one book at the library in the "teen" section. He came back complaining that most of the books were about dealing with current social issues: what to do if you are gay, what to do if you are on drugs, what to do if you are pregnant. He finally found a book of stories about sea monsters, brought it home, browsed through it for a few minutes, and then set it on the counter where it has remained all week.
We have also been playing lots of board games. I'd like to think this is a wholesome family activity that we all enjoy but......it really isn't. We wind up saying, "Whose turn is it? Would you just GO?!" We say this A LOT.
Tonight we played "Clue", the game where you try to figure out who committed the crime, with what weapon, in which room. Very early on in the game, Kerry happened to pick the three items that he thought might be the culprits, and as no one had those cards in their hands, he made the accusation, "Professor Plum, with the rope, in the Conservatory!" Then he opened the secret cards to discover that it was............Professor Plum, with the wrench, in the Billiard Room!"
After making everyone show the cards they held in their grimy little paws, it was discovered that Katie actually had the Conservatory card and Ben had the rope card.
We were griping at the kids for messing up the game by not paying attention to which cards they held.
Ben sniped, "I knew Katie would mess it up! She can't read the word Conservatory!"
There was an immediate outcry from everyone at the table because Ben conveniently forgot that he had also messed up the round by not reading the word "ROPE" on his card.
I don't think I can take much more family togetherness. I want my MTV!