We set up a pizza/wings/carrots/dip picnic on the floor last evening so we could yet again introduce the kids to this cultural rite of passage, the Super Bowl. You should imagine mild comedy in this scene, as we don't have cable and barely have reception for ABC. If we hadn't known what we were watching, I'm not sure we could have easily figured it out! Picnics for the four year old are great fun, but typically spell disaster for the one year old. While a few stray carrots and apple slices were strewn across our picnic blanket and he only stayed seated for a minute or two of actual eating, this was fairly tame. The real disaster came in the kitchen moments later when Kyra was pouring milk to take her vitamin--a little spill from her then led to a much more significant spill from her little brother. Suffice it to say, I was a bit frustrated by this point with being down on the floor cleaning spilled milk while Matt was calmly peering through the static to watch the game. I took the kids up to bed and stayed there myself.
There was a bit of a passive-aggressive message to be sent, of course. While Matt and I rarely communicate our expectations for events like the Super Bowl, we can both predict how it will go--he'll feel more invested and actually pay attention, because I am not invested I'll be paying attention to the kids, I'll resent that I don't even have the option of being invested in a game I'm not terribly interested in, and I'll probably express this with silence rather than words, simply because he's engrossed in the game! All this is to say, I walked up the stairs a bit annoyed. My outlook quickly improved, however, as I really enjoyed reading to Lucas and starting a bedtime puzzle with Kyra....and then quick redemption for Matt--he appeared upstairs to get Kyra into bed and offered me the chance to watch the halftime show or otherwise skirt bedtime duty. I chose a book and my bed and felt truly liberated.
For a few years now I have been freeing myself from all those "should," "must" cultural experiences. I no longer watch any televised anything on New Year's Eve, and rarely do I even set out to go to bed after the new year has arrived. Significant sporting events are now chosen for the interest they hold for me (Olympics, here I come!) rather than the compelling sense that "everyone else is watching it...." It only took thirty some odd years, but I believe I am finally living the life I want to live rather than the one I'm supposed to.
So, who won? Best commercials? I suppose I will learn in due time. For now, I'm enjoying having captured a few minutes with a good book and some much-needed sleep before Lucas's usual middle of the night waking. (Hence the middle of the night post!)