It wasn’t long before our new TV was “damaged.” The Bigs were throwing Jenga blocks at each other and one hit the TV, leaving a colorful mark behind.
“He did it!” my middle son accused his older brother.
“I don’t care who did it. You were both throwing the blocks so I hold you equally responsible.”
Apparently they had been throwing their best pitches, because the TV was scarred. They had to look at a colored splotch every time they watched. The scar grew until it was a vertical line on the right side of the TV. Then several vertical lines, then horizontal lines as well, and finally, the TV became unwatchable. I removed it from the living room. (The Jenga game had long since been removed, though I did continue to unearth pieces from time to time.) These were the natural consequences of their actions; I did not feel I had to punish them any further.
We had not had a TV in our living room for more than two years. Besides the man cave, there’s a TV upstairs in my room (a cast off from someone who upgraded), again with an older cable box (I don’t even know how DVR works). Whenever we watch family movies, it’s upstairs, since I do not enjoy spending time in the man cave. Until now.
This weekend I went to the local cable office and picked up a new cable box (with DVR, the woman assured me if I could use a VCR – I don’t even have a VCR anymore, but I do remember how to use one – I could figure out the DVR). I hooked it up to an old, no-frills TV we had in the attic, that has no remote and won’t work with the cable remote, so you actually have to push a button on the TV to turn it on (imagine – I remember having to turn a knob, which was also the volume control).
Well, after two years of going without, my boys were thrilled. They did point out that the color was not the same as on our other TVs (“It’s, like, black and white, Mom…but-that’s-okay,” they were quick to assure me, lest they appear ungrateful. “Kids, this is not at all like black and white.”)
An added bonus is, that I had to move my furniture around and now there’s a couch blocking the double-wide doorway through which the boys used to race cars, play soccer, and run through before they took a flying leap onto the couch, ramming it into the wall: the configuration of the couches seems to keep everybody contained in that particular area.
Tonight we all ended up sitting together on the love seat watching The Laughing Show (America’s Funniest Home Videos) and The Regular Show.
Maybe someday we’ll get a flat-screen TV (and I told The Bigs it’s their job to figure out the DVR).