It's been a week since Presley and Cash have watched television. They haven't even tried to turn it on today. I pulled the plug, quite literally, because I couldn't stand to watch another episode of the drivel that is 'Big and Small'.
There has been a great deal of fuss made this week about the Australian government's guidelines that television should be banned for the under twos and limited for the under fives. You can read about it in The Times and The Telegraph.
Some have called it mummy-bashing. It's another way to criticise parents and mothers in particular for raising obese couch potatoes. On Twitter @TheNobleSavage had this to say:
"Sorry, but I'm not convinced that kids watching tv is the end of the world. Mothers have enough guilt w/out this bollocks."
Flea, Sally's daughter, has never watched television. You can read why on Who's the Mummy?.
Dulwich Divorcee has no problem with her children watching television, so long as it is rationed.
Liz at Living With Kids agrees and there are some excellent comments on her post too.
Well, I pulled the plug before all of this started, but I'm not the first to do it. Hot Cross Mum banned television for a week last month. She found it tough going for the first couple of days.
Since I started blogging I have watched less and less the idiots' lantern. In the last week I have watched 'Strictly Come Dancing' and an old episode of 'Wife Swap' we had recorded and never watched. I also sat on the sofa with my laptop whilst Andy watched 'Electric Dreams'. That's it. That's enough for me.
Presley was never that interested in the tellybox. I recorded three programmes each day from CBeebies for him to watch: 'Something Special', 'Big Cook Little Cook' and 'In The Night Garden'. He would happily watch these while I did some housework. Then along came Cash and I was busier and it was easy to leave the television on to entertain the boys. I would forget it was on.
I have to admit I did use television as a baby-sitter - something I said I would never do before I had children.
It was even worse after Cash learned how to turn the set on. He's the biggest telly-addict of them all. I kept telling myself that they didn't watch that much television. They were only watching the quality programmes: 'Nina and the Neurons', 'The Green Balloon Club', 'Mister Maker' and 'Grandpa in my Pocket'. Of course if you add up, that's a fair few hours of television each day. I'm quite ashamed.
I started to get quite sick of CBeebies, especially the cartoons and the noise. I particularly dislike programmes like 'Nuzzle and Scratch' and 'Bits and Bobs' (I'm not sure I even paid enough attention to get their names right)! Every time I turned the television off, Cash would turn it on again. 'Big and Small' was the final straw. Noise. Then silence.
I've loved being a mummy this week. Presley and Cash have played with all their toys. We've read all their books, many times. We've had massive tea parties. We've been artistic. We've sung and danced and played musical instruments. We invented the sock game. Don't ask. I think it's rubbish, they think it's hilarious. They've 'helped' me with the cooking and housework. We've watched the squirrels and birds in the garden. We haven't missed the telly at all.
So what now? I'd be happy to leave the television unplugged, but I believe in everything in moderation. Also, I've just bought some In The Night Garden toys in the half-price sale at Toys R Us. So I suppose I'll let them watch that!
Do you limit television in your house? Have you achieved a balance?