Friday, November 16, 2007

DVD generation

We don't have cable or satellite TV.

We get about 5 channels with the rabbit ears, and of those, 2 are French and one is kinda snowy. But that's OK, the shows I like to watch are all carried on the 2 channels that come in clearly.

There are a couple of reasons for this. One, I'm cheap. I don't watch that much TV (Grey's Anatomy, Law and Order - SVU, the Tudors, Rick Mercer Report, HNIC and the local news is about it) and I refuse to pay $50 or more a month to waste more time in front of the TV. I read a lot.

And two, I like that my kids aren't bombarded with the endless advertising, especially toys and junk food, that seems endemic to any of the kids' specialty channels. It's nice for me to choose what to get my girls for Christmas, instead of having Mattel and the other big toy companies brainwash them into wanting what the companies want to sell me. The girls get some kids' programming on CBC, and that's commercial-free.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fanatic. If they watch The Cartoon Network while over at their Dad's place -- cool. And don't think that they spend all their free time playing with educational toys or hooking rugs for the homeless either -- they get their fair share of screen time. We have a fairly large collection of childrens' movies on VHS and DVD, and that's what they watch.

Our TV is older, which necessitates a complicated series of hook-up cables, but both girls can set the TV and its peripherals up to watch a tape or a DVD when they want. Rachel seems to confuse the two technologies though -- asking where the Special Features are on the tapes. Leah patiently explains that only the DVDs have those. They are masters of the pause button and the scene selection.

They truly are children of the digital age, though, in the way their thought processes work. The other day they were playing together in the living room while I was making dinner. It was some complicated imaginary game involving Barbies, small toy cars, and randomly cut pieces of coloured paper. They were quite happily playing when Rachel stood up suddenly, started hopping from one foot to the other, and said to her sister, "Leah, pause the game for a minute. I have to go to the bathroom."


  1. Anonymous11:56 AM

    While my boys can't work the DVD player (it's too high, so I always just do it. I'm sure they could figure it out, though...) and we don't have a VCR, you should see them hook up the PS3 and load a game. Or the Wii. And then to watch them navigate through the menus and actually blows me away every time. They're only allowed 30 minutes a day (total, not individual) so it's not like they have hours and hours of practice, either.

    And Drew can navigate the cable menus better than I can! It's funny, I'll be in the kitchen and I'll hear "OK, Nicky, you want Dora or Oddparents or Drake and Josh?"

  2. Anonymous1:55 PM

    Without my son I would never be able to watch a movie on DVD. I have to call him everytime :)

    As long as you can get HNIC, you're good:)

  3. Anonymous2:22 PM

    Yeah, the boys have to manipulate the various DVD/VCR/TV remote hookups for the nanny, or when Granny comes to visit. Too funny!

    I've heard them say a variant on "pause the game" quite a few times when they're playing, too... although I assumed it came from computer games! They also talk about "play level three" or something like that as they jump around with their light sabers.

  4. We truly are soul sisters, single Ottawa mom who works for the government and whose old TV has rabbit ears and requires a complicated mess of cables to watch DVDs. I'm showing your blog to my daughter who thinks we're the only people alive who live in such primitive conditions.

  5. That's so funny! At least a game like that is easily paused.

    I try to shield my kids from commercials, too, so they just watch a few select shows on public television. The rest of the time they watch some videos. So used to the pause feature on the DVD player that they have a hard time understanding that they can't pause a regular TV show (no TiVO for us!).

  6. "Leah, pause the game for a minute. I have to go to the bathroom." LOL!

    I'm a first time visitor to your blog, but already cracking up at all your posts!

  7. Chris knows how to disconnect the game cube so they can use the DVD player--for whatever reason both can't be done at the same time. Me? Not a clue!!!

  8. It's like you read my mind. We don't have cable or satellite either. We pretty much watch DVDs and that's it.

  9. Logan only knows how to pause, play and stop. He is not allowed to put the DVDs in the DVD player. He can't remember which one is for tapes and which is DVDs. And when they watch TV it's almost always Bommerang, which is a bunch of OLD cartoons (they love Woody Woodpecker, JabberJaw, Captain Caveman, Smurfs and the Snorks.) NO commercials for toys and I LOVE that!