Last week I read a post over at The Mummy Autobiography that was a bit of a kick in the pants, actually it was a much needed kick in the pants. The post discussed the over exposure small children have to television and some of the negative impacts this can have on their development and behaviour. Now I am not about to ban TV in our house, we are a family of couch potatoes and that is unlikely to change, but even I was noticing how much I come to rely on the TV for background noise and Skye has developed a nasty habit of asking for it to be turned on as soon as she gets up – I knew it was time to switch off, and I am so glad I did!
Rather than staying inside where the temptation to put it back on was all too close, we went outside in the beautiful sunshine. Since it was a nice warm afternoon I filled a plastic crate with some water and let Skye drench herself and everything around her whilst watering the garden with her watering can and jumping in and out of the crate with her gum boots on. It was lovely to watch her playing, completely absorbed in what she was doing and best of all, not needing anything other than her own imagination and a couple of basic props in order to do it.
Once she became bored with that (and the water was pretty much gone) I decided a frozen yoghurt out on the grass would be a nice afternoon treat. Skye made it clear that she would not be willing to just share one this time and promptly swiped the frozen yoghurt out of my hands and plonked herself down on the grass.
As we sat there drinking in the fresh air and sunshine I realised how much of our interactions were being diluted by the television always been on. I have been missing out on so many little details and it was such a joy to just enjoy each others company for a few moments without having anything else competing for our attention.
I think Bundy enjoyed trying to convince us to share our treats with him too.
I am grateful this week that I was able to see I have become complacent about making the most of my time with Skye while she is little and learning so much about the world. Even just switching the TV off for a couple of hours was far more rewarding than I expected and now with the weather getting better everyday I have no excuses for hiding inside and tuning out.