Monday, July 21, 2014

How Tivo Saved My Sanity

There's no doubt about it: Tivo saved my mommy-mind. I can't begin to tell you how much I love my new Tivo. LOVE. Let me try to paint you a picture, so you can understand the depth of my feelings:

It's Tuesday night, at 6:59 p.m. Both of your adorable, cherub faced sons are fed, bathed, and snuggled into their  pajamas. You've had a long day, but you've managed to stay reasonably calm and zen-like even though your eldest child took a dump in his pants for no apparent reason earlier that day and your youngest has been nursing non-stop since lunch. Finally, an hour until the kids' bedtime you sit down to watch the bright spot in your work-week evening: the newest episode of Pretty Little Liars.
Now, before you presume to judge me, hear this: I have no real defense for myself. I like a show marketed for teenaged girls for reasons only known  to God and my inner-psyche. My husband teases me mercilessly for watching such a show, but the only thing I can say is that it's mildly entertaining and it beats the hell out of watching Backyardigans or whichever cartoon my son has deemed to be the flavor of the week. I can only take so much children's programming before I start a downward spiral that ends with me crying and eating an entire box of cookies. Teen aged programming on ABC Family may be a small step up from Barney, but it's a step up none the less. Now, back to my picture painting:
6:59, one minute before the show starts. You tell son #1 that Mommy is going to watch her show, and send him into his room to play. You begin to nurse son #2 so he'll be content and hopefully fall asleep before Aria, Hanna, Emily, Spencer, and Alison get their first text. Cue Pretty Little Liars. As you start to get sucked in to an hour of mindless television BAM! You get hit with your first "Mommy! I have to go potty!" You detach son #2, who begins to scream because you took away his snack before he was ready, and rush son #1 to the bathroom before you have another accident on your hands. After you hurry your son through the bathroom and wash his hands you get back into television viewing range in just enough time to catch the theme song, which means you've missed the first 5-7 minutes of the show. Awesome. By now son #2 is hysterical and has decided to make you pay by refusing to latch, shrieking at the top of his lungs, rendering you basically deaf to all other sound. While the decibel of your youngest son's screams pierce your ears and stab your brain, your eldest son will then decide that he has something important to tell you, that he can ONLY tell you if he can sit in your lap while he does it.
Up to this point you haven't been able to hear much of anything, let alone the snappy dialogue of a bunch of 28 year-olds masquerading as teens. You also haven't been able to SEE anything, either. The first half of the show is over and your kids are nowhere near done with their verbal assault. Your zen-ness from earlier in the day has disappeared and has been replaced with frustration, guilt over your frustration, and an intense and all-encompassing desire for everyone (including you) to go to bed. You give up, letting the little terrorists win.
The end.
Not a very pretty picture, is it?
But, thanks to Tivo, I never have to have another Tuesday night like that again. I can record my shows and watch them after the kids are blessedly asleep. And I know what some people may be thinking, "It's only t.v. Is it really that important? Spend some time with your kids, you horrible parent!" Well, no, it's not the end of the world. But, since I don't even get to pee by myself anymore, let alone go to a movie or concert, I rely a little more on t.v. for entertainment than I used to. I'm a stay-at-home Mom, so I am literally with my kids 24/7. Sometimes, in order to stay sane, a little "me" time is necessary. I read a lot, go to the gym, watch documentaries and stuff like that, but I also like to have some junk t.v. in my line-up.
Ask other parents of young kids what they plan to do on any given Wednesday night and your answer is probably going to be either watching "x" show, taking Jr. to tee-ball practice, having happy hour part 2, or sleeping. Since we got our Tivo the problem has been solved, and now everyone is happy. My eldest son can sit in my lap while we read the same three books over and over and over,my youngest son can nurse uninterrupted, and I can relax and know that I still get my "me" time, it may just be a few hours later than it used to be.