My first indication that we had a problem was when Eli started climbing up the stairs chanting, "Who's the cat? Who's the cat? Who's the cat?"* I knew our troubles had escalated when I went around the corner in front of him at the grocery store and he cried out "Ca-Caw!"* I decided I needed to take action when he was playing with Silas, who started to cry, and Eli said, "He's broken, I don't want to play with him any more."*
Then, my friend posted a link to a documentary on marketing to children, Consuming Kids. It was all over. I knew it was time to turn the television off and find something else to do with our days.
So, out came the artillery. I needed ideas, and I needed inspiration. I pulled out this book, called my mom for ideas, and made a list of things I want to do with Eli. So it began: we put the DVDs in the closet, pulled out the double stroller, and went out to gather materials for our first morning of our new regime: we are going to fill our days with creative learning experiences, not movies! And this is what we came up with:
There is a house down our street with an enormous pine tree in front of it. From that pine tree hundreds of big, beautiful pine cones have fallen. So, off we set down the road to collect some of the pine tree's offerings. Eli went through several for every pine cone he picked. Some were too small, some were too poky, some were smashed on one side, some were too big. Finally he had picked five ravishing cones, and we were off to the grocery store for more supplies. We needed peanut butter and bird seed.
I wanted Eli to feel like he could do it himself, so I changed his shirt, gave him the spoon, and told him to dig in!
All in all, it was an incredibly successful day! Eli didn't even ask once if we could watch a movie, and after it was all done he napped, without question, for two hours. Now, if I can just keep it up, our house will be littered with beautiful artwork and crafts made by Eli, and the ceaseless movie quoting will end! Please feel free to comment with any brilliant ideas you may have for me!