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Friday, February 16, 2007

The Intervention

Our unauthorized study in cryogenics has confirmed my suspicions that we are:

a) difficult to kill
b) prone to severe side-effects such as couch-potato-itis.
c) this is further confirmed and compounded by our rear ends actually flattening from parking on them well beyond the two hour limit.

I began to feel panicky and almost criminal when my offspring began to speak exclusively in memorized commercials, and experiment in some cross-gender fashion options.

Time to get radical about our addiction to screen stimulants. I put us all on a restricted diet, effective immediately. The children showed some severe withdrawal symptoms. They had to relearn how to make eye contact with real people, redevelop muscle mass to raise their sorry butts off the couch and learn to walk again, and worst of all: learn to entertain themselves!

Naturally, there was a painful transitional time for all six of us as we raised our eyes from our various flat screens, and we forced instead to interact with each other. The first week was downright frightening. I suspected that my husband had actually quietly hated me for a decade or more, that our offspring's formative years were way past us and we'd lost that window of oppurtunity to have any positive influence on them whatsoever. They spoke mostly in grunts and squeals, punctuated with prepubescent tears and accusations. We'd forgotten about the baby in the family, thinking that he was about 18 months old and tolerating the tantrums. But when the screens went off, we realized much to our surprise that he had turned four, spent his time in a pink tutu with spaghetti straps, and hadn't had a decent haircut in years.

Once we elbow-greased our way through those first memorable days, some new dynamics came into play. The girls who by all accounts hated each other began to spend time together, with no blood. One could actually hear the sounds of giggling and imaginative games instead of the customary selfish and territorial rhetoric. Micah resurrected his Calvin and Hobbes book and polished up his reading skills. He learned to make eye contact with humans, noticed his long forgotten brother, and taught him some wrestling and pillow fighting skills.

Sam cut down his pink tutu wearing by opting to stay in his spiderman pajamas at least 50% of the time. He also opted for hotwheels slippers instead of lipstick-red stillettos after recognizing the difficulty in shooting hoops balancing on those beauties.

Once Brian and I got over the initial shock of managing six people in withdrawal, we began to (wait for it...) have conversations! Brian had time to fix the wiring in the dining room which had rendered half the outlets to be purely aesthetic. I found time to sew Sam's duvet cover, and put away most of the Christmas decorations. While in the giant-walk-in-closet that doubles as a basement, I came across a carefully preserved box. It contained every card, love note, and enclosure that Brian and I had exchanged throughout our dating life and early years of marriage.

It turns out that I had great taste in men at the tender age of 22. Turns out he was a sweet mushball who wrote me poems and drew me pictures and complimented me well beyond the Dr Phil recommended dosage. Turns out that not watching tv made me remember what silly fun we had together, why we didn't want to live without each other, and why we still don't. And I don't think I would have remembered that nearly as well with my flattened rear end parked in front of "W5" or "What Not to Wear".


Linda said...

He does look awfully cute in the pink tutu.

Homo Escapeons said...

That is crazy-talk!

Heather said...

Great post! I think it's nearly time for an intervention in our house too. I don't want to hear/see my kids do their rendition of the Pepto Bismol commercial ONE MORE TIME!

Anonymous said...

You inspired me to turn off my TV but then I realized I would miss Grey's Anatomy. My youngest doesn't watch TV, we've tried to entice her with candy but no luck. The middle one is never home, hardly. I miss my little kids, when they were sweet and still liked me, more than they disliked me.
It was a lovely post and made me feel quite nostalgic.

Anonymous said...

However would I survive if I did not know exactly what stage of disembalment Anna Nicole Smith's body is in?

Your little boy is adorable. My youngest wore my pink fuzzy bathrobe inside out for several years.

Judy -

esther said...

awh...loved that post.
you guys are so lovey, dovey!!