Television has changed a child from an irresistible force to an immovable object.
So here in Michigan, they have a place called Meijer. When David first told me about it – it’s where he worked through high school and college – I thought it was just a grocery store. Boy, was I wrong. It’s got everything. It’s kind of like Wal-Mart, but with wider aisles, better lighting, and better stuff. And everyone here shops there. I’ve been there three times in two days, and I don’t even live here.
When we were leaving the store after our first stop there, I saw this:
These are TV Karts. Put in a dollar and pull out one of these carts, and you can stuff your small child inside where he can watch “quality children’s programming” as you load up your cart. I’m not kidding.
Give me a break. You really need a TV Kart to entertain your child for the 45 minutes or whatever that you’re in the store? If that’s true, you have bigger problems than a TV Kart can help you with.
What is the world coming to where parents can’t manage their children for even short trips out without resorting to things like this? David and I saw a family out at a restaurant once – two parents and three kids, one of whom was a baby. The two older kids, probably twins about 3 years old, were watching a portable DVD player at the table while their parents talked and ate. I couldn’t believe it. If you don’t want your kids’ company, get a baby-sitter. In my opinion, you do your kids harm when you don’t teach them to entertain themselves without mindless electronics or when you ignore them rather than use the opportunity to spend time with them. Maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, I hope you’re all enjoying the post-Christmas lull. Michigan, although covered in snow, hasn’t really been as cold as advertised since I’ve been here, and for that I’m grateful. David’s family is lovely and welcoming, and I’ve enjoyed meeting them all. Maybe later we’ll go bowling and I’ll get to wear my new purple bowling shoes (one of my Christmas presents from David – I love them)!