Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Super husband/new ways

A few wonderful changes have brought really really great results to our family; A couple of weeks ago, I had had *enough*. We had our big main TV set with the Wii, the DVD player, the VCR, the whole shebang in our smallish living room. All blocked off "for the baby". So there were all these kids playing Guitar Hero and watching Little Einsteins and Eska crawling and laundry folded everywhere getting tipped over, and the computer right there,too....it was CRAZY! I was so stressed all day....I finally cracked and wrote an impassioned email to my husband telling him "my ultimate dream". Well with this kind of an angel husband, I guess I had better watch what I say....

I wrote to him that my wish was a sunshiney simple and tidy front room with just music. No tv whatsoever. No crowded smashed Eska-Rug full of laundry. And someday, my dream of a "laptop". The idea that I am computing in the wooden kitchen chair when and if the kids ever ever got off the internet, right next to the TV, with the baby scratching and beating my leg, well it kind of sucks.

So he comes home with an "anniversary/valentines day" present for me, and tells me to take the baby to starbucks or wherever and stay gone for 2 hours. the present was this amazing and adorable "netbook". A small computer, notebook style. I was so mortified and immediately said we cant afford it. Then he told me it was 289 bucks. I thought it wouldnt work but it does!!!!!! We do NOT give each other big gifts, nor do we celebrate little holidays. Then he proceeds to tell all the jumping and squealing LEMME TRY IT!!!!! children that
THIS IS MAMA'S COMPUTER. THIS IS HERS. I realized by their completely blank stares that I hardly have anything that is MINE and how uncool and not right that is. We try to set alot of boundaries with the kids and this is one that has come to the forefront. Way cool. I took the baby to starbucks as prescribed but the wi-fi wasnt free and she was kind of freaking out anyways so we just sat and people watched. I love being out with just one kid and imagining that being my only child and how funny that feels. People are WAY more into your adorable baby when you dont have 4 siblings also gathered 'round. I think thats crappy, but it is how it is. Im gonna make sure I dont do that to anyone. So we came home after 2 hours and my house was completely transformed. Couch turned towards the front window. The symbolism of looking at the tress and birds and not the TV was not lost on me. Stereo system that was rather neglected in the basement prominently displayed behind the couch on a stand that I fought over and over to not get thrown out. Entire basement redone with tv video games and fun rearrangement of the couches down there, kids jammin out nice and loud and boisterous while the upstairs was safe peaceful and serene. I cuddled into the couch with my little computer and could not believe any of it.

Now the kids, who still want to be with me alot, are playing and playing and playing with TOYS up in the front room or at the dining room table. Their creativity has gone off the charts, with making movies to put on YouTube consuming much of their days, as well as building and drawing and enjoying our considerable music collection, discussing, dancing, daydreaming. They go down and play games, and watch animal Planet and Food Network and HGTV, too, but it isnt in my face, or Eska's. She loves playing with her toys in the sunshine and looking out the window and so do I. Steve also left a large area behind the couch for the omnipresent domino buildings. I am so happy with out set up right now, it is kind of ironic that we are moving. but the lessons, not the building, are whats important, and I am feeling really optimistic about the good close vibe we have now going into this move. not knowing how "committed" Steve was to all of this, I broached the idea of something similar to this in the new house, and he actually said, of his own free will, that he would like to not get cable in the new house. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This NO
MORE CABLE is something I have been lobbying for for over ten years. Now he is gonna give it a try. With SO many of our favorite shows available online, if we have to watch something we can. Greta is the only kid we told about this and at first she was going to cry at the thought of "no animal planet" but we told her lets just see if its true, about the episodes being online and there are TONS. We watched Dogs 101 and Jeff Corwin right then and there and she was slightly less worried. Maybe it will open the doors to a life without insidious advertising or maybe it will just be for the summer. But I am so blown away at how much the kids are engaged in VERY happy play and how getting the TV out of the living room and getting the new big van that we all can happily fit in has brought us back together as a close knit crew. We have felt disjointed and broken since Eska was born last June, and it got way way worse when we sent them to school before it started getting better. this feels like the old days-- the old old days, and I just walk around with this goofy grin on my face.

Money doesnt buy happiness, but a clever combination of great bargains (1500 dollar van and 289 dollar laptop) and some well thought out re-designing of living space can definitely, definitely unlock the loving potential that we all had somewhere under all that noise and furniture.


Rixa said...

Oh, so you are moving then? Is it to that little dream house you were talking about? My BIL got one of those Acer laptops and loves it. I was amazed at how small it was! Clearing the living room from all the gadgetry sounds like a great idea. It's kind of what we have by default: furniture, stereo, laptop, and an old steamer trunk with Zari's toys. We don't really have a TV (8-yr old one in Zari's room temporarily, but it stopped working anyway). I like being able to live in the living room!

Oh, and could you supply some pictures?

Kelley said...

It's true that a tweaking of what we have already with just a smattering of new things can bring big changes. That is wonderful what Steve did for you. I'm thrilled.

We went for a year and a half without cable and did just fine, but had to get it when we got in this house because there's an apartment upstairs and the owners included cable in the guy's contract, but now we have to foot the bill. I'm not quite sure how that happened, and though it's nice to see the shows I've missed, I'd probably be happier without it. Oh well. Hopefully we can get rid of it when the guy's lease is up. We'll see.

kris said...

wow, that's awesome that he understood what you wanted and did it for you. here's hoping you can find a similar arrangemnet in your new place:)

now, show me where to get that laptop for that cheap!
and about that van, i totally get it, i would trade up for a full size van in a heart beat!