Emily and Phoebe

Sunday, September 04, 2011

TV or not TV

According to Phoebe, Emily was so excited about being back in Athens (and thus being able to watch Star's weekend reruns of Friends again after six weeks away on Tinos), that when her eyes popped open yesterday morning she exclaimed "It's Saturday!" and did a happy dance without getting out of bed. That's what you get when you don't have a TV in your summer home.

Why no TV? Well, I suppose I could try and pretend it's for the kids: all part of a back to basics plan encouraging them to make their own entertainment during the summer. That would be grossly hypocritical, though, given the sterling babysitting role that TV has performed for us over the years (allowing me to enjoy an afternoon nap each day without being woken up by squabbles, hair-pulling or other disturbances) and also given the kiddie hardware we cart around with us every holiday (DVD players, Gameboys, etc) precisely so that our offspring will be able to keep themselves occupied (and, crucially, not pester the grownups).

So if we allow DVDs and video games during the summer, why don't we have TV too? Well actually, it's a combination of factors, all of them pretty mundane. Firstly, the house is quite small, so a TV would get in the way; secondly, reception is dodgy (and we don't even have a outdoor aerial) so we'd probably only get a handful of channels; and thirdly, TV in Greece is even more awful in the summer than it is in winter, so what's the point anyway?

Obviously, this is not a view shared by Emily and Phoebe themselves, and in the past we have had to put up with a fair amount of criticism and unfavourable comparisons to those enlightened parents who do have TV in their summer homes. But now, mercifully, the village has internet, the kids can use my laptop to watch clips of TV shows on youtube (including quick fixes of Friends to keep Emily happy) and I can get some quality postprandial snooze-time without constant complaints of "Emily's annoying me" and "Phoebe's hitting me".

Result! (Though it surely can't be long now before they both argue that they really need their own laptops so that they can watch different things online...)


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