The TV is broken. Let me say that again: The TV is broken.

Nobody is sure what happened. The modern day idol and our two-year-old were alone together for all of three minutes, and when I came back into the room the screen looked like it had been digitally shattered. Not a scratch on the panel, but dozens of rainbow fractures emanating from a single point when powered on.

I didn’t want to scare my toddler into telling a fib, so I sweetly asked, “Honey, what happened to the TV?”

“I dunno.”

Again, brightly, “Did you throw something at the TV, darling?”

“No…..Look,  I fixed the movie!”

And that’s all we know. We’ve been TV-less for weeks now.

A blessing? A curse? We can’t decide. We vacillate back and forth on what to do. On Saturday we had the cable box unplugged and ready to go back to the service provider. We would say “no” to The Man!  But somehow my husband managed to putter and mill around the house so long, the cable office eventually closed. It sat on our kitchen counter all weekend, the subject of much debate.

The pros: Less TV time. As a result of The Great TV destruction of 2011, our four-year-old found the Crazy 8 cards. We’ve played over 100 hands since the incident. He gets up in my bed with me and we play and play until something else catches his attention. I’m cherishing these memories.

The cons: No TV time. None at all. I admit it. It’s a great babysitter. It’s how I shower. It’s how I’m able to put my swollen, pregnant feet up each afternoon for at least 30 minutes in peace. “Dora” is my best friend.

The pros: No more arguments that include the phrase, “I said to turn that thing off!”

The cons: No more family Friday movie nights. Well, technically, we could huddle around our laptop, but it’s just not the same.

The pros: Sneaking food out of the kitchen and onto the carpet has decreased dramatically. What is it with TV and food? It’s like one can’t live without the other. Did my children think they had to make food sacrifices to the TV gods this entire time in the form of rotten apple cores and cheese stick wrappers, just to turn it on?

The Cons: The cost of a new one. Once you go large and flat, you can’t go back.

But our four year old said something last night that stuck out to me:

“Mom, I’m glad the TV’s broken, ’cause now we get to play Crazy 8’s!”

There. Decision made. Can’t argue with that.

But then this morning that same rosy cheeked boy uttered this heartfelt sentiment, “Dad better make enough money at work today so he can buy us a new TV!”

And around and around we go…

Margaret Anderson is a BYU graduate, freelance writer, returned missionary and mother of four small children. You can read more on her blog at