Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Parenting in 2009: Home Sick
Both of my sons are home sick today. They are both suffering from the flu, but resting comfortably in the family room, spread out on couches, covered in blankets, eating toast and drinking tea with honey off TV trays.
Got my wheels spinning.
We all know that as parents in 2009 we are confronted with challenges our parents did not have to face. From having to monitor all the stuff on the internet to wondering (as you watch the World Series!) if they're getting some of those Fox TV ads, not to mention the incessant Cialis and Viagra ads (my sons get those and laugh at the "if you have a...exceeding four hours" line).
Now, have you ever thought of this challenge...the "home sick" day ain't what it used to be.
Hear me out.
Remember when we were kids, the "home sick" day began with a few cartoons. Probably Rocky and Bullwinkle. Maybe a little Bugs Bunny. Cartoons, however, ended around 8 because, well, kids were off to school and with limited channels, there was no way a network was going to keep showing cartoons into mid-morning.
What was next? Morning game shows. The Price is Right was one, for sure. I think you could also catch the $10,000 Pyramid. Maybe Match Game. Whatever they were, those shows were barely enough to keep you going until noon.
Come lunch time, when you returned to your couch for your second Ginger Ale (the only time we ever had soda in my house, by the way), you were pretty much forced to go to Channel 13. If you were too old for Sesame Street, you could perhaps handle Zoom or the Electric Company. The noon to 3 interval was tough. Channel surf all you want, but it was pretty much guaranteed you'd find nothing but soap operas and bad movies on channels 2-11.
Once you made it to "after school" hours, you were back to some decent programming. Maybe the Little Rascals, the Munsters, the Addams Family. Maybe a few more cartoons.
Point is, one or two days "home sick" was about all you could handle, right? I can remember missing a week of school in 7th grade with, of all things, a bad case of poison ivy. Seriously, that was the longest week of my life.
As I watch my boys now, they've gone from SportsCenter to NCAA Tip-Off Marathon (saw a bit of Monmouth-St. Peter's!). They've got some programs DVR'ed. There's talk of an afternoon movie. Yesterday was "Glory Road." I haven't even mentioned there are probably four 24/7 cartoon channels. And they've got a 46-inch HD screen...
Will they ever be well enough to go back to school? I have a feeling they're not going back without putting up a fight. My only hope is that the amount homework that's picked up at school today is huge.
Parenting in 2009...yet another challenge.