Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Bedtime Story (31/5/2017)

You know that feeling when you should be doing something else, but all you really want to do is curl up in front of the telly?!  Well, I've had that a lot, lately.  So, I decided to shake myself out of it, by writing a story about it!

If you would prefer to listen to this week's story, just check out the podcast!

Telly Addict!

The sun came streaming in through Sophia's bedroom window.  She could hear her older brother Jack, scrambling to get ready for a football game, as she lounged on her bed, with her TV remote in her hand.

It was half term, so there was no school, and every day, Sophia had been able to sleep in a little later and spend her days exactly how she wanted.  The trouble was, not everyone was happy with the way Sophia had been spending her days...

Sophia's brother Jack was twelve and he had a small TV in his room, with a DVD player built into it, so he could watch movies when his friends came over.  Of course, when Jack had been bought the TV, Sophia had been extremely jealous and had begged and pleaded to have one of her own.  But Sophia was only eight and her parents had decided that they'd rather she didn't have her own TV, just yet.

Then, an unexpected thing had happened.  Sophia's Grandad had bought himself a new TV.  It was bigger than his old one and apparently it did all kinds of clever things.  You could go online with it and everything!  But Grandad's old TV still worked and, to Sophia's delight, he asked if she would like it.

Well, Sophia pleaded so hard with her mum and dad to say yes, that eventually, they did.  Sophia was allowed to have her very own TV in her room, but on one condition: she had to promise not to watch it all day.

At first, Sophia stuck to her promise.  She watched a few cartoons in her room before and after school and that was it.  Even at weekends, she preferred running around outside, to staying in, in front of the telly.

But recently, Sophia had started to change.  She had realised that watching TV could fire her imagination.  It could take her to new places and teach her new things.  Suddenly, nothing seemed to excite her as much as watching TV did.  And it didn't matter what she watched!  She was crazy about cookery shows, fascinated by films and delighted by documentaries.  

And so, when Jack popped his head into her room that day, Sophia did not want to be disturbed.

"Come on," he said.  "I've got a football game this morning.  Mum's driving me and she says she'll take us for lunch, afterwards.  You're not even dressed, yet!"

Sophia pulled a face.  "I don't want to come," she groaned.  "Football's boring.  I'm watching this show about monkeys."

Jack frowned.  "Since when have you been into nature documentaries?!"

Sophie shrugged.  "Since now.  They're really interesting.  Did you know that there are currently 264 known species of monkey in the world?!"

Before Jack could answer, Sophia heard footsteps on the stairs.  Jack turned.  "Mum's coming," he warned.  "You'd better get dressed really quickly!"

"Too right," came Mum's voice.  "Sophia, you've been sitting in front of that telly all holiday, so far.  It's time you switched it off and came back to the real world!"

Sophia rolled her eyes.  Her head was aching and actually, her eyes felt rather sore, too.  The last thing she needed was to have the stress of going out into the bright daylight...  She rubbed her sore temples and sighed.  "Football's boring," she insisted again.

"We'll go to the park, too," Mum said.  "And then, I'm taking you both out for lunch.  So come on; the TV's going off right now."

She marched over to the TV and switched it off.  Then, just to be sure, she pulled out the plug from the wall.  

"Muuuuuum!"  Sophia wailed.  "This is so unfair!"

In a huff, she stomped to the bathroom for a wash.  She didn't say a word all the way to the football pitch and she was still grumpy when the game started.

"How are your eyes feeling?"  Mum asked.

"Sore," Sophia snapped.  "And it's because the sun is too bright."

Mum shook her head.  "It's because you've done nothing but watch TV for the last few days," she insisted.  

Sophia ignored her and turned her attention to the football match Jack was playing in.  The other team had the ball and were heading for the goal.  The ball whooshed towards the net, but Sophia cried out: "OFFSIDE!"

Mum blinked at Sophia.  "How on Earth do you know the Offside Rule?!"

Sophia shrugged.  "I was watching a football game on telly the other night."

"I thought football was boring?"  Mum frowned.

"It is, usually," Sophia replied.  "But it's better on TV."  She rubbed her eyes and sighed.

"Your eyes really are hurting you because you watch too much telly, you know," Mum said.  "I'm not sure we should keep that thing in your room."

"We should," Sophia insisted.  She took a deep breath of fresh air and decided to change the subject.  "There's a lovely breeze today, isn't there?  It's nice not to feel too hot, today."

Mum glanced back at her.  "Have you been too hot lately, then?"

Sophia wrinkled her nose.  "Well, I haven't opened my curtains much this week, because the sunlight gets in the way of the television screen.  So, my room's been a bit warm..."

Mum tutted.  "Oh, Sophia, for goodness sake!  That TV was such a bad idea."

They watched the rest of the football match without saying much.  Afterwards, Jack came jogging towards them, with one hand on his belly.  "I am starving!"  He cried.  "Where are we going for lunch?"

Mum shrugged.  "Where would you like to go?"

Sophia clapped her hands together.  "Ooh, I'd like to try that new sushi place!" 

Both Jack and Mum stared at her.  "Sushi?!"  Jack exclaimed.  "You don't even eat fish fingers!"

"But fish contains Omega 3 and it's really good for you.  Besides, I've decided I want to go to Japan, so I ought to get used to sushi."  Sophia gave them both a smile.

"Where has this idea come from?!"  Mum asked.

"I watched a documentary about Japan," Sophia grinned.  "See, Mum; TV is good for me.  It's teaching me stuff and it's making me want to try new things!"

Mum smirked back at her.  "Well, maybe we'll go somewhere else today and we'll buy one of those sushi snack-packs from the supermarket on the way home, so you can try a small amount before we go all out at a special restaurant."  She paused and eyed Sophia closely.  "How's your head feeling, by the way?"

Sophia chewed her lip for a moment.  "Lots better, actually," she confessed.  "And the fresh air really does feel nice."

Mum smiled.  "How about we make a deal?"  She suggested.  "You can keep the TV in your room, seeing as it is teaching you things, but you have to promise to just an hour or two a day.  And plenty of fresh air and playing outside, the rest of the time.  Deal?"

Sophia nodded.  "Deal!"

With that, Sophia followed her Mum and Jack back to the car, as they prepared to find somewhere for lunch.  Sophia suddenly realised that she had missed being outside in the sunshine.  And although watching the TV could make her feel like she was visiting new places and trying new things, it was no substitute for actually doing it, herself.

"You know, Mum, I watched a show about cars, the other night.  Did you know that this model of car can go from 0-60mph in just over eight seconds?!"

Mum chuckled to herself.  "I didn't," she replied.  "But I do now."

After lunch, Mum asked Sophia and Jack whether they wanted to go to the park for a while.

"Yes, please!" They cried in unison.

"Isn't there something you want to watch on TV?"  Mum asked Sophia, chuckling to herself.

Sophia smirked back at her.  "I think the best thing to do is have a balance," she replied.  "I'll spend some of my time outside playing and some of my time watching interesting TV programmes.  That way, my eyes won't hurt so much, my head won't ache and I'll get lots of fresh air, but I'll still be watching and learning cool stuff."

"Sounds like you've got the right idea," Mum smiled.  "So, we can go out more often!"

"Yes, we can," Sophia agreed.  "Besides, if I want to watch something, I can always record it for later."

Mum frowned.  "But, you don't have a recorder..."

Sophia grinned.  "It's my birthday next month," she reminded her.  "And now I've got a TV, I should definitely have a recorder and probably a DVD player, too..."

Mum chuckled to herself.  "What on Earth am I going to do with you, Soph?!"

Sophia smirked.  "There's a programme on tonight about a lady who goes round to people's houses and helps them with their kids...  Maybe you should give it a watch?!"

And with that, Sophia went rushing off to the park, to play in the sunshine, with not a screen in sight.


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