We have a new family member in our house. He’s great because he doesn’t keep us up at night, he doesn’t need to be served three meals per day plus two snacks, he’s very quiet, and provides our family immense pleasure.
I don’t really know how to pronounce his name, and I have to constantly ask my five-year-old son if his name is Roo-Ku or Row-Ku. He looks at me like I’m crazy as he tells me for the 100th time, “It’s Row-ku!” and then he rolls his eyes. And then my husband chimes in and says, “It doesn’t have two o’s in its name like a Kang-a-roo!” Silly me!
Truthfully, I don’t know if they are correct, but I don’t care. We still love "however you pronounce his name" just the same.
As I have stated in past posts, we aren’t known to have the latest electronics in our house. Still no iPhone, iPad, iPod, Smartphone, Kindle, but I did finally join Twitter for the blog even though I don’t tweet much. Poor little family! We’re just slow to catch up with the Joneses, but I am pleased to say that Roku made its way into our family rather quickly. I guess you could credit that to the fact that we are all couch potato, TV junkies.
In Christmas 2009, my husband told me that our new HDTV was our Christmas gift from Santa. I didn’t complain because I did enjoy watching the last season of 24 and Lost on the clear screen. Following a Thanksgiving trip last year, he told me he wanted to get this new device that streams Netflix from our computer. He probably told me this while I was on the Internet which is when he does some of his best conversations. I said, “Uh-huh. That’s nice!” and kept typing away without missing a beat. Less than three days later, Roku joined our family.
And this is all that he does.
I don’t even know what half of those icons do because we mainly use our little friend for Netflix, and Pandora. Oh, and let me just say that Pandora opened up a whole new world for us. I’m now learning the names of musical artists that I have heard on the radio, but had no idea who they were. We play children’s music, and occasionally, some pop will come into the mix. Baby Girl has some rhythm! Here she is dancing to Usher’s DJs Got us Falling In Love Again. I think it’s her favorite! Anytime, it comes on, she starts shaking to the beat.
We raise our sippy cups to Pink, jive to the Jackson Five, and melt our popsicles with Katy Perry. We’re even Lady Ga Ga fans! My son wants to know why she has the same name as one of his imaginary monster friends though. Goo Goo and Ga Ga have raised havoc in our house since he was about three, and like the artist, I think our Ga Ga is quite colorful as well.
I do try to limit my son’s TV because he would rather do nothing else. It must be in his genes! He’s already talking about going to California because that is where movies are made. I do have to admit to you that I am probably the type of parent that gave the American Academy of Pediatrics the reason to write the recommended guidelines for TV watching in children. The older my son gets, the more I max out their recommended time limit, and go over about 30 minutes extra. I wish I was a better parent and could entertain my child every waking minute he is awake, but I like to keep it real, and am going to admit my faults to all of you. At times, he would rather watch TV than do something with me, and I feel the same way. He’s up at 7 am, only in pre-school for three hours, and bedtime is at 8:30 pm. That’s a long day especially if TV is not part of the equation. Go ahead! I know what you are thinking. Say, “Shame on Me!” Before you are quick to judge, in daycare where parents pay for their children to stay while they work even have movie time on their schedules during the week. So, I don’t feel too guilty (most of the time).
My 15 month-old daughter does not watch TV yet, but she has been exposed to Elmo and that curious monkey who I’m so glad does not live with me. She has also dropped her morning nap this month, and I’m in MOURNING. This morning, she pulled a lamp off the table, dragged a picture frame into a room, hid our alarm clock, and knocked the windowpanes out of our bedroom window. That was all in the 15 minutes I was trying to dry my hair. Let’s just say that this 42-year-old mama is exhausted by the time she goes down for a nap after everyone eats lunch.
I have declared this afternoon time while the baby naps as my new “Tea-V” time, and Roku takes center stage. My son gets to be a couch potato after pre-school; I sit down with a cup of tea, and get on my computer. I need to do this to recharge or else my broomstick comes out of the closet, and watch out, world! At first, we didn’t let my son do too much with the Roku remote except he was allowed to hit pause if he needed to go to the bathroom. However, he started testing the waters recently and one day I heard all these clicking sounds coming from the other room. I jumped up, and ran into the family room, and sternly said, “What are you doing?” I looked at the Roku screen and he had conducted a Netflix movie search and the TV screen was far, far away from our little Netflix Queue that my husband taught me how to operate.
Frustrated, I took the remote out of his hand. I didn’t know what to do to get it back to familiar territory, and I started getting mad. I yelled at the remote, “I don’t know what to do?” I then heard this little voice coming from the couch, “You have to scroll up with the little arrow keys”. The expert spoke.
Now my son operates the remote all the time under guidance, and is teaching his little sister how to use it, too.
I tell my kids, “Don't you just love, Roku?” And my son says, “Yes, but not as much as you do.”
Until next time, it’s tea-V time so let me enjoy a few more minutes of quiet.