Monday, August 31, 2009

Just call me a couch potato, now. by Zoeyjane

When I moved in with my Ex (the last time), we lived in a suite without cable. Well, when I moved in with him, there was cable, but because his mother was never too good at paying the bills, eventually he had none. We got pretty choked about that, since it was nearing the end of the hockey season, but what was I supposed to do? Call my (then) mother-in-law irresponsible?

(Totally irresponsible.)

So then, we found out Zoë was on her way, we had the perfect reason to maintain our cable-free status - being semi-new agey people, we were never going to let our kids watch television and be poisoned by the consumer-driven propaganda we saw.

(We were also too cheap.)

Then Zoë came along and she was...Zoë. A 24-hour a day, all spotlights on me while I run around naked with faerie wings, a measuring tape and rain boots kind of kid. And my Ex and I separated.

(That's when I started buying DVDs. Her collections almost as big as mine, now.)

I used to feel really guilty for the amount of television I'd sometimes let her watch. Lots of housework could equal a DVD. A lot of tantrums in one day could mean that the break I needed came in the form of a DVD. Her not sleeping in the middle of the night, or waking up early or staying up late? DVD.

(Seriously, she can open doors, count, tell people to jump, stop, freeze, climb, hurry up - all in Spanish thanks to Dora and her mom's lack of patience.)

I still don't have cable. I never wanted it - content to rent or borrow DVDs for her viewing pleasure, my own and our Friday night dates.

(Friday night date: my excuse to not have to cook dinner and win awesome mom points. We rent a movie that she gets to pick most of the time, make popcorn and have for dinner whatever she wants. Usually either sushi, shawarma or cereal and gelato. And she gets to stay up late.)

But the craving hit me. It was three months ago, when I started helping a girlfriend declutter her home while our daughters played together all day. She'd make lunch and answer questions and I'd do the heavy stuff - the cleaning part that I love.

(It was kind of win-win for me.)

Her television is all on day. Mostly on the Treehouse network - which I was like, whoa, there's a million kids' shows! Not just the four or so that Zoë's sampled. But then, on one magical rainy day, we sat down with cups of tea while the girls played in the newly decluttered bedroom, and she turned on HGTV.

(I think I heard angels praising and singing on high and whatever other kinds of happy angel stuff takes place when you fall in love.)

Now, I need cable so badly, it hurts. I need the Food Network, so I can learn to cook and fantasize about angry, sweaty men cooking for me. I need Home and Garden so that I can see what I'm missing out on, being surrounded by the impossibility that is Vancouver's Housing Market. I need interior design, What Not To Wear, Intervention, and if it's available How Clean is Your Home.

(Basically, I'm looking for a fantasy world to live in.)

Thankfully, since this craving's come to light, I haven't had the stable income to say, "sure, why not add on cable, DVR and every single movie channel, possible." I would get so much less work done, if I had gotten it.

(The phone company called me last week. They're offering free digital cable. For three months. Then a reduced rate, thereafter.)

I'm so screwed.


Zoeyjane writes at Mommy is Moody & Journey in Parenting. Follow her on Twitter.