Firstly lets start with a disclaimer*, my wife is great. She’s extremely intelligent. She reads and comprehends text books and concepts in her job that I wouldn’t even start trying to understand and when she sets her mind to something she is extremely attentive and driven.
But, once a TV is on these normal characteristics go out the window (She becomes a plot questioning fidget monster).
They say parenthood is great; the joys of kids, understanding the meaning of true love etc. That’s because ‘they‘ are bloody parents and they want to lure you to the dark side. They omit the late nights with sick kids, early mornings with hyperactive kids and most importantly the no longer being able to binge watch TV without interruptions!
Watching telly with the Bear (my wife, for anyone new to the blog)
So let me set the normal scene;
My wife and I watch a variety of TV shows and her criteria for what she’ll watch is, “it must have a good story, not be gory and have absolutely no torture scenes”, fair enough you’ll say.
What this actually means is that I have to watch decent stuff like Quentin Tarantino films, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and Game of Thrones etc when she’s gone to bed and have to endure the likes of Coronation street during prime time hours (*Prime time hours being the time when the kids have just dropped off and you haven’t died from tiredness).
So she’ll start up what seems like an endless supply of Coronation street from the planner and settle in and I’ll be like “Great!!, 3 hours in Weatherfeld!” whipping out my phone for company.
Then 3 minutes in she’ll get up and leave the room!!
I’m sitting there listening to the ‘enthralling’ goings on in the Rovers Return, thinking “she’s not even bloody watching it. I could be watching something decent” and “how come she never sits down and watches me play the PlayStation, surely this is the same thing!”
So she comes back in and ‘thanks to the powers of modern technology’ is able to rewind it back to where she has last seen. Meaning Daddy Poppins has to sit through it a 2nd time and if her ‘get distracted like a magpie’ ability kicks in again then maybe even a 3rd time “Lucky me!!”
So being a modern day husband I do what every husband does during such an occasion; I make smart comments
“Oh, I bet Norris will keep outta this one, eh?”
“Stop interrupting, let me watch this”, she’ll say
“The bloody cheek!!”, I’ll think
Every now and then we’ll settle upon a program we both enjoy
When this occurs its usually a thriller or murder mystery type thing of some description. So last night we were searching through the Sky box and we found a program called ‘The Tunnel‘ from the makers of Broadchurch. (We both really liked that one, check it out if you haven’t seen it). SOLD.
Bella is in bed, monitor on and no noise for about 15 minutes and Ben is on his tablet (bed time for him soon). We have a window of opportunity. Lets do this!!
The program starts up and so does the Bear…
“Oh there’s subtitles” she says despairingly.
“Well, the description did say a joint French English investigation”
At this stage Ben’s tablet can be heard from the next room (He’s changed to a shooting game). When I say heard, I mean, louder than the Telly.
“Ok pause it, till I sort this out”, I say. So I go and get him headphones.
“I’m going to enjoy this, no interruptions”, I think
I sit back down. Ready. Let’s go.
“Get me some chocolate, will ya”, the Bear says (accompanied by the big puppy dog eyes)
“Why did you wait till I sat down?”, I say (My tone uncontrollably jumping 3 octaves).
“Ah, go on!”, she says, in her best ‘Mrs. Doyle’ tone.
So I struggle up from my ass grove to get her some and she says “Actually. get me Crisps, there’s 1 packet left”
I sigh heavily and then into the kitchen I go (on a mission to get this done so I can finally watch the program)
………”Oh and a cup of tea!”, I hear from the next room
“Ah FFS!”, I reply through gritted teeth
Finally the Tea is made and I’ve returned, crisps and cuppa in hand ( A little* agitated). I hand her the Cuppa and finally sit back down.
“Where’s the chocolate?”
“You said crisps!”
“But I meant as well as chocolate”
So I storm off to get some chocolate and realise that we are at the ‘dregs of the festive season’ level (its all coffee flavoured Roses and the unwanted bits of selection boxes). So I grab the biggest bar I can find and head back and hand it to her.
“Is there no other stuff?” (She’s officially taking the piss now)
“That’s the only one I’m getting you, Now turn on the program!!”
Wahoo!!… The program starts again.
So now she’s Rubbing Shoop (our one remaining Dog :(). and paying no attention to the program at all.
“Are you watching this?”, I say, knowing that I’ll need to explain the plot within 10 minutes
“Yeah, I am watching it!!”
(Narrators voice “She wasn’t”)
Another 5 minutes pass……
“I thought she was dead!” she exclaims
Who's that guy? Why'd he do that?
We both started watching this program together… do you think I'm the director or something?#tvwithwife
— DaddyPoppins (@DaddyPoppinsBlg) January 1, 2017
So the program is paused (again) and I explain all the bits she missed when she was rubbing the dog (and told me she was watching). We are 15 mins into the program and its taken about 45 minutes to get here.
Five minutes later….
“Oh! That’s the dead one. I though she was the one in the phone box”
Five minutes later….. Ben starts talking loudly to himself next door. (Its his first time at home with headphones on and thinks he’s whispering but he’s about as quiet as a jet engine)
“This is ridiculous!! maybe I do have to stay up at night and watch TV on my own like a secret eater sneaking to the fridge at 2am”
So the program is paused again and I have to go out and explain to Ben that he’s loud because of the headphones.
Back I go to the couch again and for the umpteenth time I wiggle into my ass groove.
Five minutes later…..
“Wait, what happened there?”
(Narrators voice: What happened was she wasn’t really watching, again)
“Holy Christ this is like 10 hour long episodes and we are 30 mins in” I’m thinking.
Then Bella starts whimpering over the monitor. (They know you are watching TV, I’m convinced of it). but after a few seconds of alarm registering on my face she settles herself (thank god).
“I missed that. I was listening to the monitor”
5 mins of uninterrupted viewing……. (Ah Bliss!!). ‘This is really good’ I think to myself.
Ben storms in……. ‘my tablet is out of batteries!!!!’
“OK it’s late anyway, it’s time for bed” the Bear says (Ballsy move, I’m thinking)
“OK”, he replies (begrudgingly)
“Go and brush your teeth and be very quiet your sister is in bed” I say.
So he pounds up the stairs (like a baby elephant).
“Make us a cup of tea will you” the Bear says with a wink as she also pounds up the stairs (to tuck him in). I’m no seismologist but within seconds it sounds like there’s an elephant induced earthquake or some other natural disaster occurring in the room above me.
Once again the Monitor goes…… Whimper whimper.
“Ah this is all I need”
So Pooh Bear comes back down (after about 15 minutes). Apparently the tea I’ve made isn’t ‘right’; It’s too strong and cold.
“That’s cause you’ve be upstairs for ages!” I think.
So here is the progress report; It’s taken 1 and 1/4 hours to watch 34 mins of a program. Its been stopped 6 maybe 7 times, I’ve made 2 cups of tea and got chocolate and crisps and fixed 2 different tablet incidents. 1 child has been put to bed and the other has been on the brink of waking up for the last 40 minutes. This isn’t going well……
……then the most unusual thing happens… silence and full attention. My wife and I sit and watch the program. Yeah this is good. no distractions. The first episode ends. 25 minutes of program in 25 minutes!! (as it should be).
“Will we watch another one?” the Bear says.
“Go on then”, I say, thinking ‘why not?’ in these optimum conditions. (kids asleep, wife paying attention)
“Who’s this now?’
Who else’s partner does this?
Do they talk through your favourite program?
Do they ask you to pause the TV while they ring their mother (true story)?
Do your kids seem to know as soon as you think they’ve fallen asleep and wake just as you decide to turn on your PlayStation or favourite program?
Do you long for a simpler time when binge watching something other than CBeebies was achievable?
Let me know in the comments.