Tales From a Middle-Aged Dad #52: Whose TV Is It Anyway?

Written by Alex on May 25, 2017 - 0 Comments

Dear Ivan:

You’re almost 6, so I think you’re now old enough for us to have a very serious and sober discussion about an important topic.  It is a topic that ultimately always is at the crux of any father-son relationship.  I speak, of course, of the television, and, specifically, who in our family is in control of programming choices.

Now, let state at the outset, that as an adorable, almost-6-year-old, you are given a great deal of latitude in this family to do much of what you please. Understand, however, perhaps just 100 to 200 years ago, children were not given such a wide berth.  Indeed a “good day” in a child’s life in 1817 (or even 1917), was only having to walk uphill in the snow on the way to school but not having to repeat that uphill march on the way back.  Contrast with today, where you are the proud owner of 3 fidget spinners (including one that lights up), an iPad, Michael Jordan sneakers (complete with “JumpMan” logo), and enough toys to make it seem like our living room is Santa’s workshop.  So, you may not fully appreciate that you are living in a “Gilded Age” for kids.  Yet, indeed, that is just what you are doing.

For that reason, you may not realize that the tv, which one gets purchased, how it is maintained, and, most importantly, what gets watched on said tv is the unique purview of the family unit’s paterfamilias — i.e., the dad.  Yes, sure, everyone in the family has an opportunity to watch programs of their choosing, but in the end, the tv is territory that has been marked off for “dear old dad.”  It is this way because very little else has been left to dad, so we need to give him something, and movies and sports are just the ticket (the alternative is that dads walk around the apartment banging stuff and cursing under their breath).

Now, this is not to say that you don’t or won’t have input, but in the end, what we watch is at my choosing and discretion.  So, yes, we can watch your cartoons (including ones from the “modern era” which I don’t necessarily care for, but which you seem to really enjoy).  But when it’s time for left-wing, bleeding heart, liberal news beating the tom-toms of war against ultra-right wind hypocrisy, then you need to hand over the remote so I can watch MSNBC.

Meantime, feel free to join me on the couch to check out the news.  You might learn something.  Also, we can have some quality time fidgeting with the fidget spinners.

Love always,





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