First, a brief preamble.
I’m completely aware that one of the silliest things a parent can hear is someone without kids talking about how they’re going to raise their kids. It’s still not going to stop me. In fact, I’m partly writing this to future me—probably about nine months to a year from now—who can look back over these in his free time (ha!) and laugh at the silly, naïve schmuck who’d say such silly, stupid things. He can look back and see exactly what went out the window and when. Maybe I’ll write something about it at that point. Future Me, you’re welcome—both for the laughs and the idea for a post.
A Manifesto of the Uninformed
Part 1: Television
First off, this is an area where Karli and I agree as far as Squatch is concerned, so that helps. And it’s one of the first things we came to a quick agreement on as far as child-rearing. We want it off. As much as humanly possible, we want it off. If it means removing the television to our room so that it’s not a constant presence, then so be it.
For most of our married life, we haven’t had cable. The only reason we have it now is because it’s supplied free with our rent. But we don’t watch it that much now as it is. So hopefully that’s a good step one toward our no TV goal. If we don’t have it on, then the kid won’t have it on, right?
“Oh, but you’ll want it on,” you say. “Your kid will want it on, and they’ll whine and cry, then you’ll want it on. You’ll be happy to hear Dora and Diego and those damn Wonder Pets if your kid is quiet and occupied.”
And maybe your right. Maybe this is the first thing I’ll look back on as a sleep-deprived parent and mock heartily. But this is where we’ve drawn a line in the sand. And not seeing Squatch staring slack-jawed and hazy-eyed at a colorful, manic buffoon (one that isn’t its father) will be a reward in itself.
One day, Squatch will return from visiting a friend, saying, “We watched this dimwit girl ask dumb questions that nobody answered for about 15 minutes before I got bored and we went outside to play. I think her name was Donna or something.” On that day, Karli and I will hold our heads high knowing we’ve done our jobs. Yeah, it’s a stupid dream, but it’s a dream. Stop laughing, it’s really gonna happen.