It's time I step up and admit something. Hi, my name is Mommy Daisy, and I've been a really lazy parent lately.
I've been letting Zachariah watch way too much TV. I'll talk more about this later.
I've been too easy on making him clean up his messes during the day. He does it at night, but I just ignore the toys scattered around when we leave the house or before nap time.
This is not something I didn't know. I could see the laziness sneaking in on me. I knew I was to blame, but I didn't feel like fighting so many battles. I decided to just let some things slide by. But one thing slid by then another then another.
The first problem is my son has way too many toys. I've always had a hard time weeding through them. I don't want to get rid of things that we might be able to use in the future for other kids. And I'd hate to get rid of something that Zachariah would still play with or someone gave him as a gift or whatever. We don't have a lot of storage space in our house, so this is becoming a problem.
And I know with Christmas quickly approaching there will be lots of new toys that we'll need to find a place for. And just over 2 months after Christmas, Zachariah has a birthday and gets even more toys. It's been 2 years of this now, and I am on to the pattern.
I suppose it's easy for our family to buy him lots of things because he is the only "baby". There are still no other grandchildren on either side of the family. So if you want to hear about spoiled...let me tell you. Honestly Matt and I don't often buy him toys. And at holidays and birthdays we hold back, because we know that he'll be getting lots of other things.
The second issue I already mentioned is the television. 6 months ago Zachariah hardly watched TV. And 3 months before that he didn't even really notice if the TV was on. I blame my dad for my son's TV addiction. My parents started him on the Disney movies at their house. Then they bought some Bob the Builder DVDs. He's been hooked ever since. Now he's discovered a love for Dora, Diego, Curious George, Elmo, Barney, Thomas, and others. He goes in spurts as to what he likes to watch. And some of his favorite (and only watched) movies are Cars, Toy Story I & II, Lady & the Tramp (which he refers to as "Doggies"), and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Since I recently started reviewing children's DVDs, I've been letting Zachariah watch quite a bit of TV. He wakes up in the morning with a demand of what video he'd like to watch right now. And I've had to set a rule in place that once a movie is started, I'm not exchanging it for another. He doesn't always watch the whole thing, so sometimes its just parts and pieces.
In the last week or so (especially the last 2 days) I've been allowing the TV on all morning. And it's not on for my benefit, oh no, it's on for his. So he's watching television or movies off and on all morning. Now he doesn't sit there like a zombie the whole time, he does play while a movie is on too. But the fact that the television is on for his benefit so much is really starting to get to me.
So in the next few days we're going to instigate "Turn Off the TV Day". I'm playing this by ear. I think we might go cold turkey and say no TV during the day at all. Or I might allow one show in the AM while I'm getting a shower or something. We shall see. But I hope that helps.
I still don't know what to do about all of the toys. We had a nice chat this afternoon about how other kids didn't have as many nice things as he does, so he better start taking care of picking up his own toys. (He does pick up his toys, but he complains the whole time. Or he says "Mommy will do it". Oh no, Mommy won't.) But I think he's a bit too young to understand all of that.
Any ideas about toys? TV? What are your policies? I'd love to hear from you about these issues.
And in the meantime, I'm going to try to be a less lazy parent. I think I'll get plenty of work on that while Matt's away (2 more days) since I want to make sure we have things to keep our mind off missing Matt.