Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cutting the cord

Posted By on Sun, Jun 21, 2015 at 6:51 AM

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Being a parent forces you to give up some luxuries. Television seems to be the first things on the chopping block to go. As part of the hospital service, the delivery doctors should hold the television cable next to the umbilical cord when the dads are ready to make the cut.

Our cable company spun us around and rummaged our pockets for six years before I filed the cease and desist. The only reason we ordered cable in the first place was so my wife could record the Royal Wedding, which ran a full day in length, and, due to the time zone difference, was broadcast during the wee morning hours here in Colorado. The royals were married in 2011, it was high time to cut the cord, and if that wedding is still going on, Prince William might not have anything left for the honeymoon.

So, now we have a baby and we were looking around at things to cut from the budget. My wife thought my beer-brewing hobby should be the first thing to go, but I distracted her and brought up cable. I was ready to cut that shackle and chain loose as soon as we got home from the hospital, but my wife wanted something to watch while she was on maternity leave. I told her to watch the baby and she told me to shush.

I must have called customer service five times before they got around to canceling our cable bill. The friendly people on the other side could not figure out why I would want to do such a thing, and offered me various deals to keep their hands in my pocket. I didn’t bite and in the end only agreed to their most inexpensive channel package. We save almost $60/month, which they keep trying to get back by sending smiling young interns to talk me into their premium service every time I step out to check the mail.

We don’t watch much television these days. By the time the baby is in his crib and we’ve alternated turns soothing him to sleep, our heads are nodding back against the wall and my eyelids are in the half-shut sleeping position. If we tried to watch anything, I’d miss half the show.

Occasionally we sneak in some time to watch old shows. Being the authority in my house, I demanded we sign up for Netflix, a much more tolerable replacement for cable. My wife allowed it, and now I have millions of shows I have never heard of streaming through my screen that we can nod off to.

A great feature of Netflix is the KiDS menu, which features an unpredictable rotation of the beloved animated movies of my youth. I find myself being drawn in to old plots while my son crawls away to find something more interesting. If it doesn’t have colorful Muppets popping in from the side of the screen, he’s not interested.
Luckily, he’s into the real world. His favorite thing to watch with me is the mail truck making its afternoon stop in front of the house every day. He gets a thrill when the mailman waves back. It’s a show we can count on come snow, rain, or dark of night, and a viewing I wouldn’t give up for anything.

Pico spent his childhood years in the Springs. Now, as a father, he's seeing the city (and life) in a different light. Follow him on twitter at @DavidXPico.

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