Thursday, August 4, 2011

My son thinks I'm his personal TV remote control

This morning Conor is watching TV from the breakfast room as he eats waffles and fresh strawberries. I'm in the kitchen making my usual morning, cup of coffee.

He decides, that he doesn’t like the great wisdom Spongebob imparts to Patrick, and asks me to please, change the channel for him.

I look up from the kitchen sink and stare at this slim, rooster-hair child, and I see my dad. Not just because he’s inherited certain physical features, and that twinkle in the eye when he smiles. I realize, he’s also inherited his grandfather’s ingenuity.

When I was young, TV programing offered shows from only three networks. To change the channel, you had to actually get up from where you were sitting, walk up to the TV and turn the circular dial.

There was no remote control. Until my dad invented it.

My dad, was your typical modern-day male, channel surfer. In the evenings, he would lie on the couch, after dinner, and watch TV. He’d lie with his feet stretched over the couch. 

  From my bedroom, I would hear him calling me in a pleading voice. "Edees" My dad always had trouble pronouncing my name in English. I’d roll my eyes and try to ignore him in an attempt to stall the inevitable.




More silence.



“Come here”

“What for?”

“Come here.”

“What for?”

“Just come here, please.

In those days, there was no defying your parents. A plea, was really an order, in disguise. I’d drag myself to the living room, knowing what was next.

“Can you change the channel?”

 I’d give a heavy sigh, and walk up to the TV.

I’d stand there waiting, like Vanna White; except for the smile and the nice outfits.  No sense in arguing the unfairness of the situation.  I'd stop on NBC’s Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

“Hold on.” My dad would say. “I don’t know if I like this show”

I’d keep my hand on the dial to let him know my frustration and impatience. Thank God there were only three network channels then, instead of the 500 offered by digital TV along with pay-per-view, and DVR’ed shows.

“Now?” I’d say impatiently.

“No... Change it.” He’d reply.


“Wait… The Dodger’s are playing… Nope. They’re losing. Change it.”


“Wait… Okay.”

I’d begin to leave.

“Wait. The picture looks fuzzy."

"Dad!" I'd protest.

"Move the antenna to the right."

"I have homework." I'd implore.

"No. A little to the left." He'd ignore.  "Hold it there, for a second.”

Fast forward 35 years. That old familiar scene is being played out again. My son now takes the leading role.  I stare at my child from the kitchen.  He stares back. We both wait, to see, who gives in first. Without a word, he gets up from the table, locates the remote control in the living room, and changes the channel himself.


CarlosSanchez said...

Congratulations on your first post and welcome to the world of blogging. I would encourage you to check out a site called I spoke with the editor there recently -- a kind woman. She encouraged me and I would encourage you to send posts like this to her so that she may link to them from her site. Growing up near La Jeff would make terrific posts for this site. See you in a couple of weeks.

Edie said...

Thanks Carlos!

Edie said...

Ah! Yes. Memories of La Jeff.

Albert Cruz said...

LOL yes i have seen that with my nephews and nieces "mom change the TV channel or rise the volume". these kids nowadays, they are way to funny and smart!