Monday, June 18, 2007

Don't Buy This TV / Father's Day

I had a fantastic Father's Day, complete with:

  1. Homemade Breakfast.
  2. Homemade Father's Day cards.
  3. A 32" TV with component input and 480i.
  4. Back pain medication since it was acting up, coupled with cuddles when I napped. I kept feeling the kids swapping who would be on the couch with me as they played around and I lied there, intert.
  5. Lots of attention from kids.
Whatever you do, however, don't get that TV, an ILO 32" IWT3206. Mine came with a permanent color problem on the left hand side - I'm taking it back as soon as I find a vehicle that can fit it.

Naps are Good
It was great having my back pain medicine on a day I didn't have to work. I never feel like getting up from naps when I come home for lunch on those days, and on Sunday, I didn't have to. The kids took turns riding the horse in Shadow of the Colossus, or playing Wii Sports, and someone would always end up on the side of the couch with me - mostly my 7 and 4 year-old daughters, as my 10yo is getting a bit big and didn't have room. I'd drift in and out of sleep and hear their voices. Children are so cute when they giggle and talk to each other saying "My Daddy's asleep."

Wii + Component Output = Good
The Wii works great with Component Output - text that was unreadable on Gmail was now readable on the 32" at 480i... my wife's 32" lacks this input or resolution and you can't read the text even on a big screen. Whatever replaces this TV will also feature 480i at least.

Jose Francisco, "The Strong"
Jose Francisco is quite the baby boy. He stuck a crayon inside the power-button hole in the old TV that just died, and I smacked him on the leg for messing with electronics (which he knows not to, it was just too tempting). In hindsight, I think he was trying to make it work - he loves to try to fix things. Rather than cry and then fall into my arms like my daughters, he kept a grudge for about two hours, and didn't want me around him. I did not press him, knowing that you have to give Jose Francisco his own time to decide things - playing with a sprinkler (something else we did on Sunday), anything. Afterwards he came out and we played cars and games with the giant TV box.

Many adults I meet don't have the strength of personality of my two year-old boy. That's why my wife and I spend so much time trying to give him exactly the right upbringing: obedience that isn't blind, decision making (for him) that isn't abdication of parenting (on our part), and rewards for anything tough or clever he does, from falling (tough) or lifting things (same) or attempting to redirect my attention from reprimanding a sister (clever, he often comes up with something new).

On the surface, he's remarkably emotionally detached from things, but that's only if you don't get to know him. He picks a sister and gets a hug in the morning - it's not always his little mama (my 10yo). He handles each sister a bit differently:
  • Alejandrita (4yo) is his playing companion and friend (he'll often grab her to show her something he wants to do or join in her activity).
  • Dulce (7yo) is both his help, his target (for wrestling or chasing her around the house with something that scares her, like my belt, which he has learned how to swing overhand quite well), his sympathy magnet (Dulce's a sucker for anyone out of sorts or crying) and sometimes his playtime companion.
  • Maria (his oldest sister) is his partner in crime (he knows she won't tell on him unless it's dangerous or strictly forbidden, and even then she handles disciplining him herself and rarely involves me or my wife - strengthening the trust), his help, his little mama, and his playtime companion.
Father's Day was great, if only because I got to see my kids alllll day, and my wife got a chance to rest - the older two had to cook all the meals.