In a Physical Contest of TV vs. Two-Year-Old, TV Wins With Fatal Results

Yesterday I wrote a facetious post about how my daughter likes to watch TV by applying her eyeballs to the screen.

Soon after I published it, my sister texted me:

Just read your post. Not to be alarmist, but around here a few weeks ago a 2-year-old pulled a flat screen TV over on herself (because now they are so light) and was killed. So, just make sure the TV is far enough back on the credenza when Alex hangs on it. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer (wah wah.)

P.S.  I am not telling you because I think you wouldn’t figure that out (duh), it was just a horrible freak thing that I never would have thought of and now always will.

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Sh*t the Hubby Says: Our Child and TV Edition

A popular parenting argument these days is over whether or not to allow your child to watch TV, or how much TV-watching is acceptable. The American Academy of Pediatrics has condemned TV for the under-two set as the Great Satan. Clearly none those people have ever tried to go to the bathroom while a small human tries to climb in their lap and / or unravel the entire toilet paper roll.

My husband and I don’t argue over whether TV is okay or not. We’re on board with TV. We agree that excessive TV is bad. But we also realize that an occasional marathon won’t cause brain damage, so we are pretty liberal about letting Alex watch TV as long as it’s educational. We stick with Nick Jr.

We also read her about 100 books a day and she gets outside for daily exercise. She’s well rounded. We’re not worried.

Our disagreement is about whether standing too close to the TV will hurt your eyes. Or at least that’s the initial argument Steve presented, but I think it’s an old wives tale. Regardless, Steve really doesn’t like to see Alex watching TV like this:

She tends to hang off the credenza and stare upwards at the screen. Steve would rather Alex watch TV like civilized folks: from a respectable distance and sitting on the couch. So I’m not sure that this qualifies as a “sh*t the hubby says” but I’m the opposition and this is my forum, so there.

My feeling is that if she’s going to get a little exercise in front of the tube by building her “hanging off things” muscles, and getting her calves a workout as she strains on her tiptoes to get as close as humanly possible to the screen, then I think she’s better off than if she were sedentary while she watched.

Did you know there is something called sedentary death syndrome (SeDS)? SeDS is the result of physical inactivity. According to theNIH:

“SeDS is a major public health burden due to its causing multiple chronic diseases and millions of premature deaths each year.”

In essence, I am adding years to our daughter’s life by allowing her to watch TV while she stands right in front of the set. Am I right? Eh? Eh? Oh wait, don’t answer that.

Hello Insomnia, Old Friend. Tonight I Took Advantage of You.

iced coffeePhoto by Kenny Louie / Creative Commons

I’m excited. There are good things brewing in my life, not limited to the tasty iced coffee sitting beside my laptop.

When I woke up at 2AM this morning, I thought, “NO problem. This is just that whole ‘People are not meant to sleep 8 hours at a stretch‘ phenomenon showing itself.” The upshot of a BBC News article is that, historically and biologically speaking, it’s normal to split your overnight sleep into two chunks. If you wake in the night, then take advantage of that time to meditate, plot your great ideas, or just otherwise relax and repose until you fall back to sleep. Don’t stress out about insomnia and getting back to sleep; instead, enjoy the nighttime intermission.

In the dark while comfy in bed, I got to thinking about this project that’s been percolating on the back burner for a few months now. I decided to get up and take some notes and allow myself to think through a vision I had while lying there.

I hopped back in bed at 3AM fully expecting to finish out my night’s sleep without incident. But I was hungry. Ravenously hungry. I’m hosting a commercial video shoot in early May (tentatively, hopefully, fingers crossed)…wanting to look my best for that, buttoned-up eating combined with military-tough workouts were coming back to bite me.

I’m not a middle-of-the-night eater, though, so when I thought about actually putting food in my mouth, I felt turned off. Yet there was the hunger, gnawing at my guts, making me completely incapable of sleep. I thought some more about my project, and got a few of those jolts of insight that make you feel super-excited about a creative endeavor.

At 4AM, I knew sleep was off the table for the night, so I began my day in earnest. Hence the iced coffee. I wrote a post for Parentables. I made a second cup of coffee, and then I wrote up a shot list for my pet project.

As my daughter says when she rushes up to a crowd of people she doesn’t know, “Hi hi hi hi hi!” She’s friendly like that, and I can take a page out of her book. I decided it was high time I check in here and say, “Howdy.” Sometimes people email me and say “hi” back, and that feels AWESOME. So I want to extend that warm feeling to you. I’m holding your face in my hands and saying, “Hi hi hi hi hi!”