Maddy has an amazing memory. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given who her parents are. She has her favorite books that she can “read” to me. She can’t actually read the words but she can recite the entire story to me and even turn the page in the right place. She also likes to recite her favorite movies. Lately that’s been an animated version of A Little Princess, a non-disney version of Pocahontas, and of course Dora the Explorer. All of her movie recitations have made me realize something. I think she watches too many of them.
I don’t think that lots of TV and movies is good for kids (I’m sure my mom would be happy to hear that considering how much I complained at the limited TV watching growing up!). I want my kids to love reading and learn to use their own imaginations. I want them to be creative and be able to entertain themselves by creating their own little fantasy world of play or their own new games. Too often though I find myself turning on a movie and letting the kiddletts veg out in front of it.
I have come to realize that there are two huge reasons my kids watch too many movies. 1) they are LOUD. I have never been a fan of loud noise. I hate loud places and I like my radio to be at about half the volume of most people. Loud noise makes my head hurt. When two little toddlers get playing together it often involves a lot of running and chasing and screaming and yelling. Of course there is always the all present whining and crying because they do not know how to share. When the noise is just getting to be too much the easiest thing to do is turn on a movie. They sit still and sit quietly and mommy can enjoy some peace and quiet. 2) I have no idea what else to do with them. We read stories and sing songs, but I really don’t know what else to do with my monkeys. You can only read and sing for so long before the toddlers are off making noise and messes again. We hardly ever leave the house because packing them up, supervising, then forcing them back into the car when they don’t want to go home is way more stress than it is worth most days. I can’t let them play outside by themselves because Benny always makes a beeline for the road and we don’t have a fence. It’s been too cold lately for me to keep Leah outside therefore everyone stays inside. I have no idea what kind of games you can play with a 1 and 2 year old, except the noisy ones.
So help me out people. What can we do instead of watching a movie? Any tips to make getting out of the house easier and more fun? Should I just invest in a good pair of earplugs and call it good?