Create a Football/Wrestling Pit for the kids. Most kids cannot help themselves from bashing something after they have sat and watched football for more than ten or fifteen minutes. Last night watching the game my boys began wrestling and hurtling themselves into each other and the sofa and around the room and even veering dangerously toward the TV. The urge to tackle something is too great to resist. Even girls like my own little starshine find themselves inevitably wanting to smash into another human being. I had to banish them to the playroom with some yelling and they are just as likely to get injured over there as anywhere else. Next year I am going to throw down a bunch of blankets and pillows and tie some shirts around their heads for protection and just let them go at in timed rounds.
Self- Censor the broadcast of the Superbowl. This year there were a few ads I’d have rather avoided that featured guns and explosions but mostly there were a lot of racy sexploitation ads that my little children could have done without. Not so much that I object to the baring of the human body, but the way in which women’s bodies are used to sell stuff is just too much. It’s tacky to say the least. Then there are the totally creepy commercials about a company like GE as if it is a person running for President, selling us on the idea of a corporation leading our country to greatness. I do not want my kids exposed to this kind of corporate propaganda. It’s bad enough my three year old is telling me we should go out and buy some Coca Cola after all those polar bear commercials. I could censor this pretty easily by recording the game on my DVR and then pausing for a few minutes before the game starts so I’ll be watching a few minutes behind the actual broadcast. Then I can skip whatever I don’t want to show in my home.
Get out of doing anything that night or the next day. This morning after the Superbowl no one wanted to get up and if not for my wife’s extreme fortitude in such matters and the fact that we had bought frozen waffles to coax the kids out of bed we would have certainly missed a day of school. Next year I am going to make sure I use (recyclable) paper plates to save on washing dishes and have the kids buy lunch at school that day so I won’t have to make it. I’ll also use a plastic tablecloth for them to eat on the living room floor where we watch the game. That way I won’t have to sweep or vacuum up the mess in front of the TV. Next year I am going to tell my wife and kids that there is a furlough day at school and no one needs to get up and go. There are always these random days off at school lately so I think it will work.
Make food beforehand. Yesterday we didn’t start cooking dinner until about ten minutes before the game started and we were walking in and out of the room for most of the first half. Somehow I did see most all the snaps of the ball but it took some skillful maneuvering and game planning and most of all, my wonderful wife, who didn’t mind missing a play or two to get everything together. Next year we need to start cooking in the afternoon. Or just order out from a favorite restaurant or pizza place.
Get the kids bathed and in their pajamas before game time. Luckily we remembered this one yesterday. The game goes long into the night and there are few breaks because the commercials and the halftime show are as much fun to watch as the game. Kids especially like the commercials better than the game itself most of the time. Incidentally, we use this tactic all the time on the kids and put their pajamas on early in the evening in the hopes of putting them early to bed. As they get older this seems to work less and less.
The last thing I have to remember to do next year is repost this entry so I can remember all this stuff!