After a January full of weekend travel, it was a welcome change of pace to hang out in Charlotte this weekend and to have no plans. Even though I loved all of my January trips, I also love to be at home.
Backing up to last week, I was sick with a respiratory infection all week! It would not leave my body. I ended up missing the whole week of teaching because I either had no voice or was very hoarse. I thought I was finally on the mend midweek and then Wednesday evening I came down with a low fever and body aches. I finally went to urgent care on Thursday morning to make sure I didn’t have a sinus infection since my face was also swollen. Luckily, I did not and I also didn’t have the flu which they swabbed me for. (I could have told them that I didn’t have the flu…I’ve only had it once in my life my senior year of college and I legit thought I wasn’t going to make it. This was NOT that bad…at all!)
Thursday was a good day for laying low and not doing much. We had the wildest, scariest weather in Charlotte. There were six confirmed tornadoes that touched down in our area and we had a ton of rain and flooding. One of the tornadoes hit just a few miles down the road from us so I felt very fortunate that we were safe.
The combo of me not feeling my best and Finn being stuck inside due to the weather made for more TV than I like for us to watch. In general, I’m not super strict about the TV with Finn. I am okay with him watching it in moderation (like an educational show here and there…30 mins a day or so) but lately he’s been asking for it allllll the time and getting super frustrated and upset if I don’t turn it on. That gives me pause. I decided we needed a screen-free weekend to detox a bit. 🙂
Note, I know that TV preferences and opinions are ALL over the place and I do not judge any parent for doing what works for your child and your family.
I received a text Friday morning that Finn’s preschool was on a delay and then it ultimately ended up getting canceled due to the after effects of the weather (the school had no power). Thank goodness I woke up finally feeling significantly better so we headed to the library for story time and stayed to play after. One of Finn’s preschool classmates was there too so it was fun to hang out with them. Finn spent so much time playing in this kitchen after story time. It was super cute.
Related: Finn never got this respiratory thing from me because I’m 99% sure that I got it from him to start with! His just seemed to not be as intense. I probably picked up a secondary infection somewhere…who even knows this time of year.
Back at home, we laid low the rest of the day.
We baked oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies and delivered them to neighbors, went for a walk and played around the house.
I made banana oatmeal pancakes on Saturday morning. I loved how fluffy they were but they a tad dry. Despite that, they still tasted good. I’m not going to complain about a pancake breakfast!
After breakfast we set off for a family run. It was my first workout in over nine days and it felt so amazing to move! The greenway and trails were quite muddy due to the storms but there were tons of people out enjoying the fresh air. We did a little over four miles.
Finn slept for over two hours after our run. I have found that if I time a walk or run late morning after he’s had time to run around and play, and before his nap, that it seems to really relax him. He always sleeps so well after.
The rest of Saturday was hanging out, playing and a long overdue trip to Target. I was out of everything from toilet paper to toothpaste.
Sunday morning included assembling a very interesting jogging stroller. I can’t wait to share more about KidRunner with you guys soon! (Yes, you wear that around your waist and pull. No, I haven’t tried it yet…stay tuned!)
We spent a ton of our afternoon outside. A long walk first.
And then playing in the backyard. I always let Finn run around in the backyard after our afternoon/evening walks (if we don’t walk to the park). I feel like if I get to walk and get my exercise, Finn should get to run around too! We stayed outside until it started to get dark.
Finn’s screen-free weekend went really well! He definitely asked for the “mote” and “TV” and “Pets” or “Bum” quite a few times but as the weekend went on, it really seemed to taper off. No major meltdowns. He did a lot of playing with all sorts of things around the house and was generally really happy.
I’m not sure what the answer is around setting boundaries with TV. I’ll keep paying attention to how it seems to effect him and go with my gut. I don’t want to be completely anti-TV but I want a good balance and not for him to beg for it and meltdown about it. Tricky stuff!
I was not on a screen hiatus this weekend. My mom got me started on Anne with an E last time I was in Florida and I’m in love with it. It’s a Netflix original series and I’ve been watching one episode in bed at night before I read. I love that it’s relatively wholesome and not as dramatic as so much of the stuff that’s on right now. It’s relaxing for my mind before bed.
I’m reading Giver of Stars, and loving it.
And that is all! I am off to teach my first yoga class in over a week. I’m excited.
I ask this knowing it’s so different for everyone, but what are your TV rules/boundaries/guidelines with toddlers?
Recommendations for shows that are “tame” like Anne with an E? Like, I love You, Succession and The Handmaid’s Tale but sometimes you just need something that isn’t so freaking crazy!
Favorite pancake recipes?
Glad you are on the mend and that Finn had some TV free fun! I use the 70s standard Betty Crocker recipe for pancakes but with the full fat buttermilk option. So, so good!
I’m a pretty sensitive person, and the older I get the less I can tolerate the more “intense” shows like the ones you mentioned. More stress than entertainment! One of my favorites is “As Time Goes By” with Judi Dench (available on Amazon if you try out Britbox) which is a super gentle early 90s comedy with multiple seasons – it starts a bit slow, but finds its groove. I was so sad when I finished it!
It is a murder show, so I guess it’s not totally drama free, but “Father Brown” on Netflix is great. And I love my “Call the Midwife.”
Glad you are feeling better. *knock on wood* We’ve all been pretty healthy this winter thankfully!
I’ve been craving something light to watch in the evenings too but coming up dry lately. I’ll be following for others recommendations!
Ugh, toddlers and tv is so hard! My son is 2 so I’m in the same boat as you. We typically watch a show on weekday mornings because we get to cuddle in bed for an extra 30 minutes & mom gets to drink coffee without it going cold. But I do find that he’s way whinier on the days where he watches more tv.
Nice post, Jen. I think it’s wise to make screen time a rare occasion rather than a regular use for young children. I expect that using your gut and intuition will serve you well in this parenting as it has in other areas. Here is an article that gives a perspective from Silicon Valley.
We have three children under 10 and still have no TV. We have an iPad and a computer and we use both of them as tools when appropriate. I think it’s important to show our children that although technology is easily accessible (and maybe because it is so accessible), we should use it responsibly.
The TV thing with kids is so tough. Our son (almost 2) tends to eat his breakfast while watching PBS kids in the morning because my husband and I are both getting ready at the same time. We leave the house at 6:50 so it’s not like one of us wants to get up extra early so we are ready in time to sit down and eat breakfast with him… When he is sick, we will let him watch things like Little Baby Bum. Or I will let him watch that show if I need to work from home when he’s sick or daycare is closed for the day. Basically, we try to use it strategically. He does watch Wheel of Fortune with us pretty much every night but I figure it’s helping him with letter recognition. He asks for “wheel” during the day – it’s pretty cute. He will shout out letters and claps when people solve a puzzle. He will also say “news” so I guess he’s learned that we like to watch the news, too. A lot of the time, the tv is on in the background. I’d like it to be on less but my husband likes having the news on in the background or sporting events.
I feel like this is another area of parenting with extreme judgment. I am sure some people think our son is too exposed to tv but he also ignores the tv when it’s on and will play with toys/read books with us/etc. So it’s not like he’s glued to the tv.
I’ve seen that jogging stroller in action! There is a guy that I’ve seen at a few local races that uses one, I’m interested to hear what you think.
I’m not much help on tame shows, I tend to watch a lot of true crime! If you haven’t watched Cheer yet, it’s really good and pretty wholesome. Parks and Recreation is another good, funny show that is mostly light-hearted.
My almost 3-year-old watches a show when she wakes up in the morning and my husband and I are getting ready for work. She sometimes watches a show in the evening while I get dinner ready. She started a full-time daycare recently and I found that if she’s really cranky after school (I think she’s still adjusting to the long day), it can help her chill out and help me get food on the table. I’m trying not to make a routine out of it in the evening, because if she’s in a good mood she likes to help in the kitchen. Anyway, I feel you on striking a balance and trying not to make TV a tantrum-inducing event. I definitely have not figured it out.
We have done detox weeks of no TV. It has helped. Our current “rule” (kids ages 6 and 8) are no screen time at all during the week. They watch about 40 minutes of TV on Saturday mornings as well as Sunday mornings. That’s when my husband and I relax with our coffee. The occasional movie night too. But that’s it. No iPads or computers or phones. I found in the past that too much TV caused cranky kids. They don’t even ask anymore and thankfully can find creative things to do during those “boring times.” My 8-year old loves to play piano and wittle. My 6-year old loves crafty things. Both love to read.
I like this approach and it’s one I’ve thought a lot about implementing.
What age did Finn become really interested in TV? We have a 14 month old and almost never have it on unless it’s something us adults really want to watch (like a football game 😉
Emily, I would say around 18 months it really became something he would sit and watch and ask for. Prior to that, I could have whatever on and he didn’t seem to care.
Oh my! Feel free to let people know screen time is NOT good for young brains. (Probably not for old ones so much either.)
I limited screen time HUGELY for my kiddos. Upside is that it is a real treat –and lifesaver–for when you need it! The thought of a movie when momma and daddy went out on Friday night was a big win-win. No tears, no complaints.
My 2 and a half year old boy gets 30-40 mins on the iPad in the morning only for the convenience of getting him ready quickly, getting ourselves ready without the risk of him destroying the house/hurting himself and getting out on time. Other than that I definitely steer away from screen time because I’ve noticed he is a lot harder to handle and highly irritated after he’s had screen time. At one stage he got addicted and kept turning on the TV himself with the remote so I turned it off at the main switch which he couldn’t get to. Since then, he has learnt to entertain himself with his toys or just kitchen utensils!
I say start em’ young with abstaining from screen time, they don’t need external ‘noise’ to shape their beautiful brains. As a yoga teacher myself I’d like to pass on the gift of stillness, connection and mindfulness to my little boy, and I find technology does get in the way of that!