Saturday, July 3, 2010

Why Children Should Come With TV Remote Controls

1.  This is obvious. Mute button.  Husband and I value almost nothing more than listening to our kids.  Of course we want to hear about what they are worried about, who their friends are and which field trip notices they forgot at school.  But we also listen to an endless play-by-play of the game they just played on the computer, the next game they want to get on the computer, why they want to get the next game, where we could get the next game.  Sometimes I just want to mute.  I'm pretty sure Husband might use this one on me occasionally.

2. Replay.  You know, that button that will replay the last 30 seconds. Perfect for sports fans who wants to see if that was really goaltender interference, or an expert dive.  Well, sometimes, I am updating my status on facebook  making dinner and I don't quite hear what has gone on. One kid is in tears and one kids is wildly knocking over furniture, and I want to get an accurate account because neither  "Jackson is the worst brother in the world" or "Sydney is a big fat poo-head" tells me what went on.  This would also be useful on me, as I sometimes say something in an effort to be funny and it comes out kind of unfunny. Or mean.

3. Rewind.  Things fall off the rails sometimes. Someone said something or did something and it sets off a chain reaction of incivility, poor behaviour, hurt feelings and noisy conflicts.  Sometimes I wish we could reach back in time 30 minutes and have a do-over.  This would also be helpful if I could use it on myself to have a second crack at thinking that it would be untidy NOT to finish off the entire row of Oreo cookies.

4. Fast forward.  Sometimes you just want to jump forward a month.  You know, those phases the kids are in.  You know it won't last forever. It feels like forever and you want to jump to next month this time to see if we can get through one day without the kids arguing who gets in the van first or through one bedtime without it feeling like a hostage negotiation.  I have thought this would also be helpful at work when faced with a deadline and I can't possibly imagine how I will meet it (but always do).  Wouldn't it be nice to just jump forward to the minute I meet the deadline and the sweet sense of relief?

5. Picture in picture.  Our family life really is a family life. Sometimes, I wish I could just hive off a little time for a grown up life, but not forget the family life.  So if I could keep an eye on things with the picture in picture (I am the consummate multi-tasker) I could have my own parallel, alternate life but could switch back at the press of a button.  I think the kids might use this one to switch to a universe where green gummy worms counted as "something green that is healthy".

6.  Sleep button.  With the day light hours extending, no school and allergy congestion, Jackson is sometimes up very late.  Honestly, this June has been MUCH BETTER than the last two Junes. But he still comes into our room late to read us something funny in a book. Or more likely, to tell us that he is bored and declare that he has done absolutely everything fun and could we please come up with a new list of suggestions.  After he has exasperated us and we tell him to leave our room NOW, he'll encamp just outside our bedroom door and twitch for about an hour.  A 30 minute sleep button would be come in very handy.  Or an off button for that matter.  And since I suffer from the same I-can't-sleep-until-my-brain-stops-running syndrome, I could use a sleep button myself.

7. And finally, freeze frame.  For all the work, exasperation and challenge of raising kids, there are so many moments in every day when I just want to freeze and remember how cute they are.  Like when I find them cuddled on the couch watching TV together.  Or Sydney is upset that she can't find her monkey "Vines" and Jackson offers to help her look for it.  Or Sydney gives up her turn on the computer for her brother. It's why I'm a bit of a camera freak.  If I take enough pictures I won't forget the million moments a day when my heart bursts with pride. Or melts with love.

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