26 May 2011

May I watch the TV please?

Yesterday evening I had 2 little boy guests at my house. After all the hullabaloo of greetings, like they've not met for a very long, (when in actual  fact, they meet almost everyday), they settled down and asked "Can we watch TV? please?Please? Please???"

I replied "No, there's lots to do around..go play."

So Jo brought out the cooking toys and she and Lo played with them for a while, just about 5 minutes, before the first fights began.
"Mine, I took it first!!!"

"No, I took it first!" shouted Jo in return.

Both Jo and Lo have got their little hands tightly wrapped around the toy, and none would let go. They're both pulling with all their strength, tightly intertwined with that little toy between their bellys, gritting their teeth, shouting and giving me looks that said "help me, be on my side." I refused to help them, I refused to take sides, but stared at them,  tiredly, blankly, like I didn't understand what was going on.

They kept fighting, and finally I stood up (despite telling myself  that I'd never interfere in children's fights, coz they should learn to sort it out themselves), and shouted "ENOUGH! Put the Toy down! Go do something else! Or ELSe I'll be sending you Jo to your room, and you little guest home!"

Not wanting to go home or to the room, they put the toy down very quickly and stayed quiet for a while. Just a while before they asked again, "Could we watch some TV then, pleaseeee?"

"No," I replied,  "Go find something else to do. Look at Nel and Lc, they're good, reading quietly in that corner. You both go do the same."

"Mum, may I have a snack then mum? We're hungry." asked Jo with that sweet pleading look.

"Alright, go get yourself some and serve your guests while you're at it."

Jo disappeared into the kitchen while I lay on the sofa resting my head. Then  I heard a loud CRASH. I headed to the kitchen and saw Jo on a stool spooning strawberry icecream into little bowls, and topping them with fresh strawberries. One of the bowls had dropped with a crash and broken to pieces. There was strawberry ice cream and pieces of strawberry all over my kitchen floor. (sigh)

Quickly I ran to the back to get a cloth, but upon return, I found Jo gone from the stool. Instead I found pink, sticky strawberry footprints leading from the kitchen to the living room.*double sigh* (I'd just cleaned the floor before they came.)

"No more ice cream!" I say a little angrily. "Finish up and clean your own bowls then go find something quiet to do. No More MESS you got it?? I'm tired of cleaning up."

"Can we watch TV then?" they asked again. A firm "No" was my answer.

After a while,  Jo called loudly from the dining area. "Mum, Lo has used your art stamp and stamped all over his hand, my hand and the floor!" I looked, and yes, there were pink Pooh stamps all over their hands and my living room floor. I glared at my little guest, lectured him a little, handed him the cloth and got him to wipe the ink off. It didn't completely come off, and I still have pink on my floor.

Ink stamp away, they started to bring out more toys, and I started to think of the horror of cleaning up, more spills, mess and mess. I had a little mini discussion with myself, concluded  and then hurriedly told them,

"Tell you what, why not just go watch some TV. Jo's got a new show. Shoo..go on you all and watch some TV."

"Hooray!" they all said and away they went.
Finally peace and quiet restored and no new messes made. My little guests finally left after the show. I looked at my living room, and there were toys strewn all over and little pink marks on my floor.

A reminder to myself,  In the future, as soon as little guests arrive, I shall have the TV ON!

[I generally do not allow much TV time for my children. In fact, I don't even have Astro or any TV stations. What we have are selected VCD's which I've bought. I tend to think that if children watch less TV they will find other creative things to do, like art, reading, story telling, puppet making, and of course, lots of mess making like stamping ink on the floor. ]

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