In case you were wondering…

Thursday was the first — and, so far, only — day of the new no-screen-time-on-school-nights regime. Here is a quick recap:

On the way home, it was clear the kids were well-aware of what was in store (even though we hadn’t talked about it much). There was mention of “having nothing to look forward to.” Both kids suggested that since their homework was already done and would only be corrected by them in class, and not handed in to the teacher, there was no need to go over the work. I pointed out that actually understanding every assignment was an important part of learning and doing well. They did not buy it. I reminded Alexander of his self-proclaimed new year’s resolution to get all A’s. He decided that he had changed his mind about that.

Once at home, we had dinner, followed by a rather extravagant dessert, which the kids claimed would fuel them during the homework session. After that, they became very silly. They played a game of being slo-mo zombies. For a long time. It was funny — until it wasn’t anymore.

At last, we sat down at the table and started reviewing their math worksheets. Both kids had some of the answers wrong, and we went through the problems together. They were acting a little whacky, but basically cooperating (somewhat to my surprise). They were also working together remarkably well, which doesn’t usually happen.

We finished going over homework by around 7 p.m., which normally would have given them plenty of time to watch TV for 30 minutes or an hour before they started reading. I almost wavered and changed the plan based on the homework being successfully completed. But then I realized that this would be sheer madness.

I announced that I was going to work on a new jigsaw puzzle if anyone wanted to help. Zander went into the living room and turned the television on. I wrestled him for the remote, and turned the TV off. This happened again. We wrestled again. I yelled (I would call it “mild” yelling). Zander stormed off to his room.

Zoe and I worked on the puzzle for awhile. Alexander came downstairs pouting and complaining. After awhile, he joined us at the puzzle table. He did something to make Zoe mad, and she stormed off to her room. (I think they were arguing about who would get to put the last piece in the 1000 piece puzzle when we finished it. Yup.) Zander and I worked on the puzzle a little longer. Then he asked if I would “do questions” with him on the big bed (an activity he had earlier rejected as too taxing on the brain).

An earlyish bed time was easy to achieve. Things were peaceful. Zander’s last words to me as I turned out the lights were to blame one of my friends for “giving me this idea” and assert his right to watch television the next night, since it would be Friday.

All in all, I considered the evening a success.


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