Reality Check

We don’t watch a whole lot of television around here. The boys are still happily watching episodes of Oswald that we recorded two years ago, or the occasional Dan Zanes concert video. They even watch Sesame Street sometimes, old copies on videotape, even though apparently the lessons they teach are suspect. And while I’ve been Tivo-ing lots of programs that friends recommend, or that I’ve read intriguing reviews of (shows like Mad Men and Pushing Daisies), I haven’t actually watched any of them. These days we watch Project Runway and the occasional final quarter of a basketball game and then get back to work.

So, flying on JetBlue, as we do several times a year to visit my family, is always eye-opening. On our recent trip east, Ben watched a Discovery Channel program about bridge engineers, and Eli watched a lot of cooking shows.

I don’t have the attention span for a movie on a plane, and on this trip, once Eli fell asleep on my lap, I couldn’t keep the light on to read my fabulous book. So I flipped back and forth between the reality shows on Bravo and The Learning Channel, which is apparently, late at night, Multiples TV. First I watched a program about a family with quintuplets. And I was glad it wasn’t my family. Then I watched a program about a family of 10: 6 year-old twins and 2 year-old sextuplets. In one episode, the mom tried to get her grocery shopping done in under two hours while the sextuplets napped at home under a neighbor’s supervision. In the second, which I watched because the first was so gripping (I’m not being sarcastic) the parents, with help from an uncle, spend a Sunday afternoon installing garage shelving. Let me just tell you that if the television writers’ strike never ends, we’ll all be fine, because this was high drama.

I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend surrounded by family, and enjoyed being with my parents, all my siblings and siblings-in-law, my niece, nephew and a pair of big dogs, but I sat on the plane watching these enormous families and gave thanks, again. My tiny grandmother used to say that it’s not a family until you have more kids than you can hold with both hands (she had four, despite being told that one pregnancy might kill her), but I’m content with my two, relieved that I don’t have to plan grocery store runs like military campaigns, and grateful that I don’t have to store six strollers in my garage.


  1. Chris says:

    As to storing six strollers, I know they make double strollers so there’d only be a need for three. But think about those car transport trailers that hold six or more new cars and I can imagine that there could be various ways to stroll six at a time. — Not that you really need to be so creative yourself!

  2. Violeta says:

    Do you know we watch that show- John and Kate plus 8- religiously? How do you think we’ve learned all our tricks to keep our house running (and our sanity) with 3 under 2. But we are absolutely DONE now. I can’t imagine 4, much less 8.