We've seriously cut back on TV time in our house, as Malaina was getting a little too caught up in her cartoon shows - sometimes watching for hours on end while I was distracted with work or Justin (don't judge - you know you've been there, too). We've all been enjoying the positive changes from less TV, but every once in a while the influence of TV still creeps in and takes me by surprise.
Malaina, Justin, and I were home last night while Matt was studying. We were getting ready for "movie night" (Little Mermaid), and had the TV on for few minutes while I got everyone ready to start to the show. Malaina turned to me and this is how the conversation went:
"Mom, can we have a Dixie day?"
"A Dixie day."
"I'm not sure what that is, sweetie."
"It's when you make dinner and then we eat it and then you throw away the plates."
"Well, no, we don't usually use paper plates, we eat off our nice dishes."
"How come? If we have a Dixie day, we can play more."
"Well, I prefer to use our regular dishes because I think using paper plates is bad for the environment. I think it's bad for the earth, and it kills trees when we use paper plates."
"Oh. But wouldn't it be fun to eat off those plates and then throw them out?"
"Well, I think it's nicer to eat off our real dishes. We still have plenty of time to play without having to use paper plates."
"Oh. Well, I think paper plates are fun".
I personally don't care for paper plates. We don't use paper plates or cups unless we are camping, or possibly when it's someones birthday. I think paper dishware creates more junk for the garbage dump, and as a home which uses disposable diapers, I believe we are already contributing more than our share to America's landfills. I realize I may not be the norm here, and I have been surprised more often than not to enter into someones home & realize that it's common for their families to eat 90% of their meals off paper plates, and use paper cups for all their beverages (for those homes with kids, I am not judging). Sure, I hate doing dishes, but there's something to be said for sitting down to a meal on nice plates, with substantial silverware and sparkling glasses. I feel it also teaches children that meals are meant to be appreciated - from the time and care that went into the cooking, to the company that you share the meal with. Not every meal at our house is an "event", but it's important to me to show my children that nice things are meant to be used. What's the point of registering for china when you get married if you keep it boxed up for 20 years? So down with Dixie and their insidious marketing campaign designed to make your children feel like they are being shoved aside in favor of doing the dishes.
On another note: Today was Matt's last day of school. 1 year down, 3 more to go! The end may not be in sight, but as long as we're making forward progress it's all good.