Don’t Stand So Close To Me

Tiny-Small is what I like to call a “Close-Watcher” because she watches the TV standing only an inch from the screen. I’m not even exaggerating this time. I swear. I often catch her standing an inch away from the TV when she’s watching PBS Kids. I don’t know how she can see anything that is going on! It must be like watching a miniature version of the actual show. Like pixels in Technicolor, with images all a blur and running together. Like a melted bag of Skittles. Taste the rainbow because you can’t see the whole thing at the same time anyway so you might as well just eat it. That’s the kind of TV watching I am talking about.

Don't Stand So Close To Me
Could she get any closer?

I’ve taken her to the doctor to have her eyes checked and they claim her vision is perfectly fine. She’s just a close-watcher. Kind of like the close-talker on Seinfeld, but different and less popular with Internet memes. When we try to watch family movies together I just keep repeating, “Step away from the TV,” and “Come sit next to me,” and “You make a better door than a window,” and “Move over, we want to see too!” It can be a little tiresome and also explains why I know so little about the plots of the family movies we rent. I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed Despicable Me 2 a little more if I had seen a few more movie frames or heard more of the dialogue. I mean, who can hear anything with me constantly begging to see things? I even annoy myself with the begging. I mean, who is the adult here, right?

I’ve determined that being a “Close-Watcher” is genetic because sometimes, when I walk into the room, I catch Jim and Tiny-Small both standing in front of the TV watching it. Unfortunately, they can’t fit in front of it very well, at least not at the same time, because I insisted on getting the smallest TV known to mankind for the living room. They do compromise by watching it side by side from about a foot away. Jim said when he was a kid his parents were always telling him to move away from the front of the TV too. The only thing is, he did actually need glasses, where Tiny-Small has the laser-sharp vision of a healthy 4-year-old child, apparently. Why she stands so close is still a mystery. A mystery I don’t have time to solve. A mystery I am not equipped to solve. A mystery I could solve and still not really solve if you know what I mean. There is no scientific test for TV watching that I know of. Or anyway to convince people to step away from the shiny, moving-pictures box, besides repeating yourself over and over again like a broken record mom who lives to nag. So, I just let them have the TV as much as possible and tweet about how much I love chocolate and gel medium instead. Go gel medium! You rock.

Don't Stand So Close To Me - When Kids stand too close to the TV
Maybe I should put the TV on the wall like our dentist does in his waiting room.

Anyway, Jim is why I am blaming it all on genetics. He pretty much admits to it. I know he probably stands next to her to watch TV because he can’t see through her and doesn’t want to keep saying, “Move. Move. Move.” Plus, just the other day I walked into the room and overheard Jim telling Tiny-Small, “People don’t lick rocks.” Then he turned to me and said, “Where does she get this stuff?” Then I said, “Not from me, I don’t have a history of rock-licking.” Then Jim said, “I sure do. When I was a kid I was always licking rocks.” Well, if that isn’t self-incriminating than I don’t what is. He walked right into that one. Bunch of rock-licking “Close-Watchers” around here…Get off my lawn! Sometimes I just like to say that to sound cool and to prove that I can be an old fuddy-duddy just like the rest of you.

Not that I can say too much. Tiny-Small has genetically inherited some of my bad habits too. Like not wanting to sleep because it’s a waste of time and believing with all her heart that new shoes make you run faster. She also prefers to be home more than anywhere else in the whole wide world. She also could live on chocolate alone for the rest of her life. True story.

I often ask myself, who are these people I live with? They like their entertainment up-close and personal and they have an insatiable curiosity about the way things taste, obviously. I am just along for the ride, bearing witness to two insanely colorful lives unfolding in front of me. It’s a privilege. I know it, but sometimes I do wonder what a movie is all about…or what the singer of that band looks like. Sometimes I just wish I could see all the things. Is that too much to ask? Come on people! Get off my lawn!

I mostly keep hoping that one day Sting will come on TV during one of those PBS fund-raising concerts and sing, “Don’t Stand, don’t stand, don’t stand so close to me.” Maybe then Tiny-Small will finally realize that she doesn’t need to be an inch from the TV to enjoy it and maybe I’ll finally get a YouTube video that goes viral…with 30 people watching it. My camera is at the ready at all times to capture the moment when even the TV tells Tiny-Small to take a step back.

Until then, I’m probably going to start hiding some of these rocks we’ve been collecting. I have no idea where they might have been before or after they came into this house. That’s a mystery. One I do not plan to solve.



2 thoughts on “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”

  1. Isn’t it funny what characteristics are passed on to our kids? Both my boys are pacers…they CANNOT be still when they are talking on the phone–just like their dad. They will walk all over the house or pace back & forth like a lion in a cage.

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