For years we have had a heck of a time teaching our boys to turn off electric-powered devices.
Our oldest, Sam, is famous for leaving his bedroom lights on as he rushes out the door to catch the school bus. All three boys are constantly leaving the upstairs hall light on. They rarely shut off the TV, often leaving it blaring as they move on to some other activity. Just this morning I had to shut off the fan and the nightlight in Mason’s room after he’d already departed for school.
I realized last Sunday, though, that I should shoulder some blame.
I was spending the afternoon in my office, catching up on some work, but I was multitasking, taking a break every so often to watch some of the Patriots game on the TV in the living room. When the game reverted to a commercial break, I returned to the office to crunch some numbers, but left the TV on so I could listen to what was happening in between data downloads. Ordinarily, I would have undocked the laptop, and simply done my work from the comfort of my easy chair, but I was simultaneosuly trying to restore my iPod for the next day’s trip back to New York.
During one of my office stays, I heard Benjamin come down the stairs, and check on Ruby, who was lying on the living room couch, perhaps even enjoying the Patriots game herself. She growled at Ben when she tired of his affection, so I called to Benjamin to leave the dog alone. He heeded my command, and promptly picked up the remote, turned off the TV, and climbed the stairs.
Later, I returned to the TV, turned it back on, watched a few plays, and retreated to the office during a commercial.
Benjamin came back downstairs a few minutes later, and as he headed out to play street hockey with his brothers, let me know that he had shut off the hall light, as he should.
“And Dad, you forgot to shut off the TV.”
I am proud of Benjamin, of course, for absorbing the lesson. I am less proud of myself.