If you were a man named Tom (as in: the one who has a penchant for peeping) and you were clinging to the limb of our pear tree so as to better see into our house, you'd see a living definition of techno-spasia. It happens almost every night at our house. I wonder if it happens at yours. Here's how it goes:
After coming home from work, kids do homework, Jared pulls out the evening's toys, mom puts off her workout and instead starts dinner/grades papers/does a couple loads of laundry, and dad stokes the woodburners/chops wood/plays with Jared. After dinner and dishes are done, mom and kids retire to the family room to find dad already plugged in. Plugged into what? you may ask. Good question. The answer is headphones and youtube. Usually, an episode of something along the lines of Survivorman or Man vs. Wild. That seems to be the general signal for everyone else to follow suit. Lauren pops open her netbook and does some virtual window shopping. Jared gets sucked into either the TV or a video (current favorites: Dinotopia, Up, and Kung-Fu Panda). Mom often reads, but sometimes she finds facebook a magnet she can't deny. Jonah flutters between Jared's show and other pursuits, ostensibly waiting for me to finish with the computer so he can look up tips for lizard care and play computer games.
My question is: how many other families spend their evenings separately together? At least we're all in the same room; that should count for something. But we're following different pursuits. Some of us have plugged our ears with sound and we can't even participate in a conversation that may occur. But what else do we do? Despite Lauren's desperate wishes, we're not a board game family. We watch movies together often enough (maybe once a week). Is talking a requirement for family time, or do we get enough bonding at the dinner table--and during prep time and clean up?
I'm not really complaining, just wondering, is all...