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Sunday, April 3, 2011

T.V. Time helped not hindered Tribe Time



I forget how not normal we are.
With the youngest two kids gone for the evening the remaining five of us took advantage of the quiet quieter house. (Keep in mind our family refers to itself as a Tribe for a reason!) We tend to move through this life as one big herd unit (much to my tweenagers dismay).
That's why when some of us are gone we take advantage of it cease the moment.
That was the case tonight. With two less mouths to feed we ordered pizzas. An easy $12-$15 savings.
This is not to say we don't miss family members, we do!, but who can pass up ordering one less pizza ? Not us! Having the twins gone for the evening was a first - a rare moment in our lives. A moment we marked with take out.
We piled our plates with steaming pizza, filled our tumblers with pop and each found a seat in the family room 'round the t.v. and the big game.
As I found my spot on the sofa I said "Look at us! All eating in here"
"Yeah!" My teenager said without missing a beat "like normal families do!"
Its true. I never let my kids eat in front of the television. And by never I mean N.E.V.E.R.!!
Keep in mind that for 15 years my house has been full of kids. Young, messy, little people. Why would I let them wander 'round the house with food? Toddling around leaving a trail of crumbs like Hansel and Gretel? Why in my right mind would I make more work for myself?
And then there's the whole quality time/family meal issue. You've read the same stats as me: Kids who have sit down meals do better in school and avoid teen pregnancies.I don't make my kids eat meals with me to keep them from having sex. We we eat as a family because it seems wholesome and good. Because our t.v. is already on too much anyway. Because my kitchen is not a drive-thru and I'm not a short order cook. Because food is meant to be enjoyed and savored - not inhaled. Because conversation happens naturally when we are all sitting around the same table at the same time.
But you know a terrible thing didn't happen this particular night when we all gathered 'round the t.v.
We bonded. Despite the television.
Despite the distrations.
Even depsite the fact that we weren't all together....we had a fun evening of hanging out and cheering for our favorite team. Because we never eat in front of the t.v. it made eating in front of the t.v. special. Maybe I'm a hard nose about dinnertime but even I recognize that quality family time can come in unusual usual places.

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