harvey-turned-1
Soon after this photo, we would be witnesses to a baby high on life from his first proper sugar binge.

Life has been freakin’ hectic in this household. Two toddlers under the one roof is enough to bring anyone to the brink of insanity. And I’m well aware I only have two, and that there are parents out there who have more, and are no doubt insane to some degree.

Harvey turned 1 a couple of weeks ago. Unlike his bigger sister, it was a low-key affair; no carefully planned invite, party (albeit this was because we now live 1000 kilometres away from most of his family), presents, or special birthday outfit. He even missed out on the milestone photography that we lavished on for Gemma.

Gemma's first birthday
Gemma looking “thrilled” on her first birthday. (I was unknowingly two months pregnant here).
IMG_5233_2618.jpg
Photo evidence acquired of child turning one: typical first-time parent/s endeavour.

Obviously, Harvey couldn’t care less, and in a way his birthday was enriched by being able to share it with his sibling.

Last week, we sold the TV. A man buying it as his third TV set came in and took it away, whilst Gemma sobbed on the recliner in the corner – clearly in a state of mourning. Miss Two would thereafter provide me with daily recounts of the time when the man came and took her tv away.

We now have zero televisions in the household. And it’s been a blessing. (Just to clarify, I still have access to ABC, SBS and Netflix via my iPad, and if I was that way inclined, I could choose to watch seven, nine, and ten on some form of catch up tv. But I don’t need to, nor do I want to.

As a family, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed not having the temptation there to waste time in front of the screen. It’s meant we have more time for reading, activities, and time to get bored – which is a gift in and of itself. If you’re bored, your brain gets creative at finding something to do. For us, that’s been a blessing.

SONY DSC
Sometimes, it was easier to resort to turning on the Wiggles to get through cooking dinner. With no tv, you’re forced to find a way to have your kids stay sane whilst their tummies are seemingly empty to the point of near starvation because you haven’t fed them in three hours. Here, we were making home made pizzas (including the dough) with Italian music playing in the background. It was actually a lot of fun, and has inspired us to create a weekly meal from different nations whilst listening to their music.

Just for fun, this was one of the tracks we listened to (P.S. Looking for Alibrandi is a fantastic Aussie flick if you haven’t already seen it). Turn it up, and see if your kids enjoy dancing to it!

Having no tv also compels you to get out of the house. You can’t appease the kids with a tv show, and so to restrain two kids from turning the house upside down, you find a public spot where they can be unleashed.

springtime
To cure boredom, we spent as many hours as my toddler would walk on two feet down at Brisbane’s Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens. It turns out that time is approximately two hours, after which I had to bribe Gemma with an ice cream so I could stop carrying her on my shoulders whilst pushing her equally heavy brother -and assorted luggage that is required on such an outing – in the pram.
japanese-gardens.jpg
I could sit on this lawn all day and bask in the tranquility. There is NOTHING like nature to bring clarity and calm to one’s mind.
dinosaur-ferns.jpg
The joys of parenting include fostering the imagination of your children. Technically ferns were around when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and so to Gemma, they are now dinosaur food. Semi-boring ferns are now totally awesome!

And so, I challenge you to go without television for a week, or better yet, get rid of it altogether. Do you think you could do it?