In Defense Of Television: Part #9,448,502

She gets this from her mother

I used to have a KILL YOUR TELEVISION bumper sticker on the back of my car. And I meant it. I used to openly proclaim my lack of cable and my disinterest in anything on television. I used to give my son “TV TOKENS” (Poker Chips) that would allow him the opportunity to watch certain video tapes we had, but in limited doses. I was, essentially, anti-television in all forms.

Needless to say…that is not me anymore.

A little over a month ago NikkiZ and I saw our first commercial for the movie, Princess Protection Program movie on the Disney Channel. Since Disney over-hypes their movies, this gave us plenty of time to get hyped up about it. Since then I’ve been answering the question, “When is that coming on again?” on a daily basis. To say she was excited alone would be a lie. Her excitement had me excited. We’d pause previews for the movie when we’d normally fast-forward through commercials. We’d watch the D-Com EXTRA behind-the-scenes spots and the music videos. Everything we could until it was to air on June 26th.

I woke NikkiZ up this past Friday saying, “Do you know what comes on tonight?” To which she screamed, “Princess Program Protection!” (That’s what she called it.) When she got to school she excitedly talked about how we were going to watch it that night. When I picked her up that afternoon she enthusiastically asked if it was on yet! We made pizzas, we ate ice cream, we put on our pajamas.

And then the whole family (sans AndyZ who was already asleep) congregated in the living room to watch the movie. She curled up on the couch with me and excitedly discussed each scene as it passed. Did I see that pretty dress? What about the worms? Why is she scared of lizards? We’re not scared of lizards! Are the bad guys going to get her? Carter is brave! LOOK AT THOSE PRINCESSES!

It was so much fun. We proceeded to watch it three more times throughout the weekend, as the enthusiasm finally began fading.

But we did it all together. It gave us one more thing to enjoy together. To talk about. To giggle about. TOGETHER.

Yes, I’m a lazy parent and often I use television to quiet the masses while I wash dishes or fold laundry. And sometimes while I do something really selfish…like bathe. But it also often pulls us together. Whether around Cat Deely on Wednesday nights or the Jonas Brothers on Sundays, we’re gathering as a family. (MrZ would like me to point out he is NOT watching the Jonas Brothers with us. He does have his limits.) It’s hard for a family of five with this range of ages to find unifying interests…television helps us do that. And that justifies my cable bill right there.

Being able to also drool over John Barrowman during the summers is just an added bonus.

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18 Responses

  1. Elaine says:

    It’s been three years since I had cable, and I miss it. A LOT. It started when I moved and never quite got around to starting it up at the new place, then it became an expense I couldn’t really afford. I do watch a lot of tv shows on DVD, on their home network website, and at Hulu. Yay for technology! I did spring for internet, if not cable. A girl can’t give up ALL the good stuff!

  2. Maria says:

    I love that photo. I would be lost without my television.

    You can’t call yourself a lazy parent. You do so many outdooor activities, craft projects, etc. with the kids.

  3. SupaCoo says:

    I AM lost without my television. It’s one of the worst things about living in a country where you don’t know the language. I am excited to get back to the U.S. in ten months for the t.v. I’m nutty.

  4. cagey says:

    Yes, I argue too that television is just one more thing that we do together. Lately, we have been watching Shaun the Sheep together (Shaun appeared in Wallace and Gromit’s A Close Shave.) I have been collecting animation for YEARS and while I have quite a bit of animation that the kids aren’t ready for yet, I am having fun finding new things to share with them.

    I was thinking of you yesterday, Arun discovered Bindi the Jungle Girl and is in LOVE with her. So, we have been watching that Disney channel and I sorta saw my future with all the shows being promo’d. Thanks to you, I know I won’t be all doom and gloom. ;-)

  5. Crystal says:

    That picture is awesome. We probably wouldn’t know what to do without the tv in my house. It’s always on, if nothing else than just background noise. Not that I NEED background noise with 3 little kids, but still. Although I think we’d be even more lost if our internet disappeared.

  6. Fraulein N says:

    Heh … John Barrowman. :-) I’m counting down the days until “Children of Earth.”

    And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with letting your kids watch some TV, as long as it’s age appropriate. And the way you do it, it provides for some great family time.

  7. cursingmama says:

    I watched PPP with ThePrincess over the weekend (says something when a 13yo wants to see it) and I have to agree – Carter was brave.

    I also liked it when Carter rebuffed a certain person AND that it didn’t end with the romantic stuff it could have. Not everything Princess needs to end with some guy on a white horse. The lack of Awesome Mom’s in Disney movies still bugs me.

  8. stacey says:

    TV, I have always been addicted to thee. You held my attention way to long last night when I should have been asleep. blast you! :) I love that she was so excited for it!!

  9. Sara says:

    I am 100% convinced that TV is NOT a bad thing…as long as you’re selective about what your kids watch and you watch it with them periodically so you can discuss whatever show is being watched.

    My son is 4 and can do math. Did I teach him that? Nope, TV did. He can also identify a rediculous number of musical instruments by sound- he can tell the difference between a tuba and trombone- thank you very much Little einsteins!

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Zoot!

  10. Liz says:

    I DVRed Princess Protection Program too and watched with my 4-yr old girl.. :P

  11. zeghsy says:

    movie recorded. torchwood recorded and currently watching reruns because we <3 captain jack harkness so much it hurts a little.

  12. Harrytimes says:

    That so cute! We do that, too, especially with overhyped Nickelodeon and Noggin specials (seriously, why must they tell kids so far in advance?). Our favorite thing is to have a pizza picnic with delivery pizza and a picnic blanket on the TV room floor– kidtopia!

  13. Jenera says:

    I don’t have cable :o) and I love it. Our TV stays on PBS the majority of the time it is on which has done wonders for our oldest. He knows so much more than some kids in his preschool class. But we have all learned stuff on animals, nature, and history. At this point I’m okay with the TV we do watch since it totally counteracts my love for Big Brother, lol.

  14. Melissa says:

    I was so excited to see that my DVR had recorded a new Doctor Who (finally!) and then the commercials showed me that Torchwood was finally coming back?! I was ecstatic. I still am though now I am antsy for the end of July.

  15. Wacky Mommy says:

    Sweet. One of my favorite times ever with my daughter was when we popped a big bowl of popcorn, broke apart a chocolate bunny left over from Easter, sprinkled the pieces in with the popcorn (pure, mad genius) and watched an “Eloise” movie in bed. We still talk about it. No boys were allowed though. Nice you let the guys hang out with you.

  16. I’ve never been anti-tv, and never understood it. But I must say that I am so glad my kids are teens now and like a lot of the same things I do. For a long time, I never saw anything geared towards adults unless I happened to be off work and catch the talk shows during the day.

  17. Maria says:

    Miss Zoot: I wanted to tell you about an iPhone app I just found. Grocery Gadget. See http://www.grocerygadgets.com/.

  18. lynne says:

    Is Cat Deeley big in the US? I used to watch her on Ant and Dec’s Saturday morning show as a 20 something. Although I don’t watch much TV now, my job doesn’t allow it time wise, I do think I learnt a lot from watching children’s TV… like Sesame Street -”we bring to you the letter z”. Can you imagine how much it would annoy UK parents when their little kids started to pronounce ‘Zed’ as “Zee”, call ‘dustbin ” “trash can”, “pavement ” ‘sidewalk”. Yeah,my parents used to get ratty about that.

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