Tuesday, September 11, 2012

WWF in My Living Room

I do not know exactly how it happened. Well, that’s not entirely true.  I do. My children are grounded from TV, computer and Ipod for one week. Well, they have 2 days left. If I can stand it. I must confess that this grounding has been a blessing in some ways and a curse in others.

Friday night, during the storm, we did let them watch the weather reports with us while we played “Apples to Apples.” A fun game which we never play because everyone usually just wants to watch TV. Then for a while (I’ll be honest…it was after the satellite went out), we all sat together in the living room and watched the light show…some from the lightening outside and some from the myriad of flashlights inside.  That was the blessing…some quality family time without the intrusion of media. Lots of laughs and cuddling (and don’t breathe a word of that…yes, they still cuddle but they don’t want the world to know it).
Tonight was a different story. It was WWF in my living room. We had finished dinner and everyone was clad in their jammies.  (Are you sensing a theme in my writing…often in my posts, someone is in their jammies. Just so you know that I know this is a theme. Go with it.)

It was a beautiful late-summer evening; the windows were all open, the ceiling fan was stirring the air around the room. We had just finished reading a chapter in “Wild Animals I Have Known” (It’s such a lovely little book on the PBA curriculum list…we’re doing it as a family read-aloud. I highly recommend it is you ever have the chance to pick it up.) One child was sitting with me; the other one was with my husband. And for some reason unbeknownst to me, the child sitting with me hopped up, ran across the room and launched himself on top of his dad and brother.
The wrestling/tickling ensued for a couple minutes; I sat watching it, wondering how we’d gotten to this place. Little did I know that that they had not yet begun to fight.  I warned them that they would ALL be in trouble if they broke the chair, and they all immediately dropped to the floor, all in one mass of humanity. “Get away from the coffee table!” I shouted. Those pointed corners are not any safer than they were when the boys began to toddle, and I still don’t want to rush anyone to the ER because he hit his head on that table.

I sat watching for a while. If nothing else, some of the things shouted out were fodder for my entertainment if nothing else:
From the 11yo: “Stop! You’re kicking me in the crotch!”    And the response from the 9yo:“Wow, that’s got to hurt!”

Taunting from my husband: “Can we see some of this on the football field tomorrow night?”
9yo: “Break it up, ladies!” (Although this comment was completely disparaging and I should have been offended, I did find myself giggling out loud at it. I’m not proud. Don’t judge.)

“Hey! No pinching!”
“No head-butting!”

Cat hissing from one child, directed at the other. “Hey…you know what it’s called when two girls fight? A cat fight.” Immediately the child began growling instead of hissing. Ahhh perfect...that’s much more manly.
There were lots of guttural noises. The flow of testosterone was prominent in the room.

After allowing a good long while of this melee, all three of my gentlemen were slightly winded and more than slightly sweaty. Mind you, since they were in their pajamas, they had already showered and I was somewhat tempted to make them shower again.
They paused the action for a moment and I took the opportunity to insert a time out.  Actually, I called the game “finished”. They tried to jump back in for a second, to determine if I was serious about calling it a draw. I was. I could tell the 9yo was starting to get seriously upset and I didn’t want to break up a real fight. I sent the two younger ones to their rooms to cool off. My husband immediately turned on the TV. “This punishment is seriously cutting into my TV time.”

A few minutes later, the 9yo emerged from his room; the red in his face had diminished. Without saying a word, he casually plopped down to watch Monday Night Football. I caved and said they could watch half an hour of TV before bed. The 11yo could not be less interested in football, and neither the Pack nor the Steelers were playing so my husband and the 9yo were ok with not watching the game.
We ended up happily watching “The American Bible Challenge”. Yes, it’s on the Game Show Network, but fortunately not nearly as risqué as the Match Game 75 my husband had gotten the 9yo hooked on. (After the 9yo came to us and asked, “What is ‘making whoopee’?” and “What’s a hooker?” we decided that we needed to find something else for him to watch.)  We watched this show together. We paused the TV and answered the questions, competing against one another. It was a very pleasant family activity.

And just before the show was over, WWF tried to reappear. One child sitting on the floor lunged at the other. I growled and they stopped before it could really get going. Grrrrr. Apparently I’m no better than the child who was making animals noises during wrestling...I wonder where he gets it from.

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