“Sitting on the couch, watching TV is hazardous to your health.”

November 28, 2012

Notable Stats

Head Lumps per Witching Hour (HLWH) – The number of times your child hits his or her head when it is either past their naptime or past their bedtime.

Repeated Repeat Repetition (3R) – The number of times you have to say the same thing for your child to put it into action once they are tired. National average is somewhere between 11 and infinity.

There have been extreme cases made that TV is dangerous for your children. Given the powerful influence of television, if we do not monitor what they watch, we fear they will make wayward choices, they may make life imitate art and if we do not like that art, it will be our heavy broken heart hanging on that wall instead.

Of course, never did I see it coming that the actual act of watching TV could be dangerous. If I had to stretch, I could see someone dislocating a shoulder when their NFL team scored the winning TD in overtime after fist pumping the air with a little too much force. Or, I could think of someone playing the Wii or any other game system that requires you to hold a motion sensor device; and, in a moment of excitement, throwing the controller and having it ricochet and hit you in the head. Fine. Maybe...

But currently our son is leading the league in injuries watching TV without actually doing anything, but watching TV. Yes, getting hurt sitting on the couch because of the inherent danger in the trance created by Peppa the Pig or Team Umizoomi. Of course, in 99% of these incidents, we did not see the contact transpire with our own two eyes.

This is the world after bedtime. Those visions you had, pre-kids, where you imagined a nice easy bedtime after one song and a book were delusions of grandeur. Your reality is that you become the Ping Pong ball between two kids jockeying for who is sicker. You find yourself answering their most poignant questions on government and world peace only one minute after you turned the lights off for bedtime, even if all day long, their top question may have been, “How do they get this squishy stuff inside this bag?”

No doubt you are tired while answering these inquiries. Tired is a perpetual state in parenthood. And it is not just about your never-ending sleep deprivation from chain illnesses swirling in your home’s air to nightmares about pillows leading to a screaming entry into your bedroom, it is managing their exhaustion while they vehemently deny every implication that they are actually tired.
No moment frames being a parent as when you bring home that newborn and for the first time in your life, you have absolutely no control over when you can go to sleep. It will break you down and build you up to the point where you say, “Wow, she slept three hours, that is fantastic!”

Then they eventually “sleep through the night” and you come to learn that at 2 o’clock every day, you can literally see any form of good judgment instantly seep from the bodies of your children. 2 PM used to be naptime, but now it is a vortex, a black hole between the “end of a nap as we know it” to the time it takes for him or her to master the true ability to be high-functioning this time of day. While they are learning to live without a nap, you will see the surreal. You will see your son lying down at half court during his “basketball” practice, or you will hear your daughter adamantly deny her delirium as she repeats that she is hungry, cold, hot, thirsty, and itchy all within eleven seconds. Then repeat.

If they are not in this state while in their bed, the risk of injury goes up ten-fold every nine minutes. In fact, at one point, this past summer, for some strange reason there was a bed that had a slab of hard wood behind the pillow. My son’s head now has enough craters in his head to be considered a second moon.

Being a parent makes you consider danger and injury in places where you never thought possible. At first you thought it was because they are 2 foot 6 inches when they start to walk and the world down low is much more dangerous than the world 3 feet higher, but it more likely has to do with poor risk assessment mixed with obviousness, mixed with the beautiful innocence of invincibility. Of course, beautiful only to the person who is innocent. Their caretakers spend most of their time keeping their blood pressure in check or padding their entire home.

So yes, a fuzzy, fluffy bear is dangerous. Yes, open space in a living room is dangerous. Yes, a glass of milk in a plastic cup is dangerous. A trimmed piece of eyelash is dangerous and as we have found out more often than we can count, sitting on a couch and watching TV is dangerous enough that we have to re-think either a couch or TV entirely. Seat belt anyone?

- Doug Glanville

Blog Category: 


Motivational Speaker

Click here to learn more about having Doug speak at your next event!




The Daddy Games

Check out Doug's blog, The Daddy Games.  Click here to read more.