Do you know those people who never turn their televisions off? It drives me nuts. Their kids eat, play and sleep in front of the t.v. I'll go over to visit and they never turn their television off while we're talking. It makes no sense to me and I love watching television. If that were my life, the guilt would eat my alive. As is, I am constantly calculating how much television/computer time Luke has a day. I have to tell myself a lot that it is alright to let him watch a movie while Charlie is sleeping so that I can get a break.

We are in San Diego this week, back at the good 'ol "house-hotel" to visit Erik while he is working here. Although I have a car and I can leave, it is a very daunting task to avoid turning on the television all day long. It is especially difficult when we are in a small room with everything (the bed and couch) facing the television. We don't have cable at home and I know that once I turn it on for Luke, it will be a fight to turn it off.

I thought Lincoln Logs would be the answer so I bought some last night for them to play with. They're more frustrating than entertaining. Lincoln Logs, I have learned, are a cross between Jenga and building a house out of toothpicks. If you breathe, it collapses. Nothing brings out the Kate Gosselin in me like Luke screaming in agony every time a log falls over. In other words, I was feeling like an awful mother because all I was doing was yelling. I couldn't take it anymore, so I turned on some Handy Manny and thought maybe those mothers who let their kids watch television non-stop really are onto something. It was a really nice diversion from being asked to fix an un-fixable "log" house.

Then, after about 30 minutes the guilt set in, and I figured I better do something amazing with the kids today. So I decided to take them to the Disneyland of all zoos.

I knew I had been to the San Diego Zoo before, but I didn't remember it. Wow. I had avoided visiting in the past because of the price of admission, but it was completely worth it. If anything, the $53 I spent today made me feel like a better mother because I had resisted the urge to sit in the hotel room and watch television all day.

My kids are troopers. First, putting up with my anger this morning. Then, Luke happily walked around the entire zoo because I didn't bring the double stroller. Finally, Charlie missed both of his naps during the 5 hours we were there and somehow we survived.

The only problem is what to do tomorrow that will compare to today. Sometimes I don't like being a stay-at-home mom, but sometimes, like today, I really, really, do.


  1. Oooh I'm so jealous, I LOVE the San Diego zoo! My sister used to work there as a paramedic and could get us in for free, one more thing I miss about living in Southern California ü I totally agree with you, I can't stand having the TV on for more than one or two shows a day, and those are usually Sesame Street and the Disney Channel or something that will entertain my kid long enough to keep him out of trouble so I can do the dishes.
    And honestly, I don't think you could EVER be half as bad as Kate Gosselin, you're not that crazy ;)

  2. isn't the zoo so awesome! i want to go back again in the spring with erik. also luke looks so big now, he really is starting to look like a boy and not a toddler.

  3. Think of Handy Manny as training for Lincoln Log building.

  4. Good for you Cristin! I have realized that just getting out of the house and doing something active really helps the kids and gets them away from the TV/computer temptation. The TV limiting thing will continue, so get use to it. Our kids only have video game/computer time 3-4 days a week for an hour each day. If not, they would be constantly asking all the time.

  5. I hear that Sea World season passes are pretty affordable. . . LOL.

  6. It really is the Disneyland of zoos. We went to the Philadelphia zoo a few years ago and I was shocked at how small it was. (I was also curious about how all the Amish people got there, but that's beside the point.) I guess I was totally spoiled by going to the San Diego zoo so much.

    Peter keeps asking to go back to kid city at the Science museum in Balboa Park, so that's good for an afternoon of fun.



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