Twin pregnancies are hard. I laugh at anyone who says they’re a piece of cake and then wonder if they are insane or don’t remember how exhausting they were.
First, you have all the crazy hormones that completely mess with your system for the first 4 months. Then you are flung right into the third trimester without passing go. There’s no soft-focus, glowing second trimester where you feel great. Sure, there are days or moments (definitely more moments than days) you feel great, but for the most part it’s the farthest thing from a party you’ve ever experienced.
Now that you have some perspective, you’ll understand why I did what I did.
For a good portion of this pregnancy I used the TV to get things done or simply pass out on the couch while Thad was “occupied” with the screen. I take that back — while he was completely and utterly focused and turned into a zombie who would not respond to any questions I asked. It didn’t matter if it was the “quality” children shows from PBS (because that’s all I’d let him watch), or if he slipped in to PBS News Hour, he turned into a zombie on crack, always wanting more.
Partly because I am a consultant, and partly because I’m too tired to entertain him and play as rough as he would like (by rough, I mean crawl around on my hands and knees so we can play trucks, chase him around outside…. you know, really energy zapping things) he goes to daycare 3 days a week.
This daycare is great. It’s super cheap, the owner is loving and great with kids as are her employees.
I found out they watch TV. And I’m not sure how much, but I’m assuming more than they say.
One day I went to pick him up and he had a Micky Mouse doll, and I mentioned that he didn’t know who that was. The grandmother said, oh yes he does. I looked up at her and I said, we don’t watch Disney and he’s never been to Disney Land….
Oh, he’s seen it here. When it’s getting later we turn on the TV so the kids settle down, because it’s better than them getting all fussy before their parents pick them up.
My eyes became very, very wide.
Then the owner said, yes, but only for 30 minutes and only a few times a week. Grandma then jumped in again and said that if any parent had a problem with it then they should say something.
I just sat there dumbfounded.
OF COURSE I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT, I wanted to shout. But then I remembered I do the very same thing at home.
However the polite me just sat there silently and gathered our things to go.
That was the last day that Thad watched TV at home. It took him a week to adjust to the fact that TV wouldn’t be going on after he woke up so mommy could fix breakfast, or before daddy came home to get him. I thought It would be a hard adjustment (for me…), but it really wasn’t.
Now we read books for long stretches at time (30-45 mins and he’s left wanting more), we find things that he can “help” with around the house, or I turn on the music and get him to dance (his favorite song is Ho Hey by the Lumineers, and his favorite Pandora station is Johnny Cash).
Here’s what it looks like when I fix breakfast now.
I must admit it’s getting harder by the day because I don’t have the energy to really do much with him (his little brothers are going through some massive growth spurts).
That’s where my mom comes in and has been a complete godsend! She comes in the morning if I need help, she’ll take him on days he’s not at daycare, or she’ll come in the afternoon and help with watering the garden and dinner…. and keeping Thad entertained.
Don’t get me wrong, there are days where all I want to do is turn on the TV so I can rest. But then I’m reminded that my alone time with him will soon cease to exist. Soon he’ll no longer be the center of attention. Soon I’ll be so very tired and basically a zombie with babies hanging from me (isn’t that a pretty picture?), that these moments won’t happen again for a while.
And when I think about it like that, I remember that face time with my little man is a million times more important right now than 15 minutes of losing him to the screen.