|She told the baker what to write on
her birthday cake.
The usual answer became "I'm not sure" and after a while, Wifey and I decided just to get her what WE thought she needed (imagine that!). Among her gifts were a new school backpack, a new dress and shoes for church, a modest mp3 player ($14 from Amazon, no ridiculously overpriced iPods here) and a new line of Legos made just for girls.
It wasn't until Wifey relayed a recent conversation to me that she had with one of her friends that I saw the big picture. My daughter didn't know what to ask for because she wasn't being bombarded with carefully crafted commercials hawking the latest, greatest must-have toy of the week.
You see, we opted to disconnect our cable tv over three years ago. We don't even have the bunny ears required to get three local channels. We simply don't need it AND don't miss it one bit. The constant barrage of junk television shows with misguided teen plots and negation of family values will not be polluting my kids.
In fact, almost a year after we turned it off, I took a few of my older girls with me to work one night. I had been called into a hospital to perform an emergency ultrasound which typically takes less than one hour. My girls tagged along with plans to watch the tv at work and enjoy the free soda pop in our cafeteria.
Upon returning from my examination, my eldest daughter informed me that not only were the same sitcoms on the Disney Channel on year later...but the EXACT SAME EPISODES were playing. In other words, one year after we tuned out commercialized television, the networks were still re-running the same old junk.
My girls were amazed and laughed at the fact that, in their minds, they had missed NOTHING by having to live without cable television.
So I had my thoughts reconfirmed this month as to the validity of turning off the cable networks many years ago. My children don't ask for the latest widget and are happy with gifts from the heart.
Wifey even teased #4 that she was only getting one birthday present. Unbeknownst to her, all her gifts had been wrapped up inside one large box, giving the appearance of one gift. Do you know what she said when she was told she only got one gift?
Not one...single...word. No whining, no crying about multiple gifts at past birthdays or birthdays of siblings. She was content with the notion of one single gift. Can I attribute that to a lack of tv? Probably not, but it sure helps keep her little mind from being distracted by worthless drivel.
I am so proud of her and the little girl she is becoming. I love her so much. She makes Fatherhood such a joy.