Monday, August 24, 2009

A Bold new Idea... The Coppock Family Unplugged

Every once in a while I get this idea that we should totally unplug, go off the grid, homestead in a little teepee and live like Mary and Laura in little house on the Prairie. I told Brian that sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era. He gently reminded me how fond I am of indoor plumbing, electricity and how attached (huge understatement) I am to air conditioning. Plus, the dishwasher and washing machine work via electricity, and I can barely keep up with them automated, I can't even imagine pulling out the old washer board and trying to keep up. Frankly, he is right, I can't even camp, I am a total prissy cake.

But there is a charm in a simpler life, one that doesn't include electricity .. the little chats, reading a good book in a corner, sewing and cooking, knitting and embroidery, puzzles and board games. Paperdolls, like the ones the girls are playing with in the picture. I like that slower pace. I like not feeling as though we are all one decibel or megahertz away from sensory overload. With the idiot box always on, the house just seems so loud. Because of course the kids have to speak to each other over the tv.

Ideally, I want to be the family that doesn't own a TV, a phone, or a computer at all. I know, the horror. My children totally agree with you to be sure. Although that is what I would want, at the same time, I just don't think that its realistic. Half of my school ideas, sewing patterns, and recipes come online. Its a huge help. Brian's work depends on it. I couldn't hang on to a slip of paper to save my soul, so I lean on my computer for all my documents and pictures, and my blog. Its like a robotic memory. Plus, its a crutch, I use facebook and my blog to keep up with friends and family.

However, I think each thing should have a time and a place. I would like to reap all the benefits of the technology, without it overtaking our lives. I do want to unplug our TV during the day. Its just a time sink. As Kevin Costner might say (if he was super cheesy) "If its on, they will watch it". But if its off, they are forced to use their imagination, or their creativity to create fun. So I think I want to have the TV off until 4pm each day. I should probably buy some riot gear and tear gas for when I break it to the kids....

**update: we are two days of no tv until 4pm. Today it is 4:14pm and no one has even asked to turn on the TV. Its spookily quiet with everyone drawing at the kitchen table.


H-Mama said...

I could have written this, Jenn. Well, until you got to the sewing and embroidery part. ;) Then, there's a part of me that would like to learn that too. I've set the rule of 'no tv until all schoolwork is done' but setting a time limit is good too. It's now after 5 and no schoolwork has been done (unless you count 1 episode of Cyberchase and Word Girl while eating snacks before scout meeting... However, trying to do school and scouts on the same day is sometimes an unattainable feat too. ;) I commend you on leading the pack in being unplugged.

Jennifer said...

Yeah, thank goodness the kids don't really seem to have noticed, they have been really easy to redirect... so far.

Rob said...

I totally agree with this post. It's good to unplug now and again, getting some balance. The "noise" of a technologically centered life can become a deafening distraction if left unchecked.

Good luck with the TV being off. You're a brave one :)