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The Unwanted Option

July 13, 2011
Wetzel Chronicle
For a while my husband and I have said we needed to look for a new (to us) vehicle. Our old one had served us well, but it was just time to make the trade.

We were fairly flexible in our search. While they may not be hip or en vogue, I like the mini van. I appreciate the sliding door and wanted a similar vehicle, thumbing my nose at mini van jokes and stigmas.

I didn’t care too much about color and the features I wanted that weren’t in my old van were now pretty standard. It should have been pretty easy to find a suitable vehicle.

The only option I didn’t want was a DVD package. I leave the house to get my daughter away from the television, I don’t need one in front of her on car trips.

But guess what? The used van we liked had the works, including the DVD option. Despite that, we bought the van and my four-year-old daughter was ecstatic, instantly contemplating what DVDs she would take with her on her first long trip. (I specified that the DVD would only be used on longer journeys of say at least an hour in length.)

Our first trip with the DVD in use was horribly silent. Gone was her fun banter and laughter. Instead she sat comatose, watching a cartoon on a mini screen. I was sad.

I have tried to find some ways to limit the use and make it a bit more interactive, but with little success.

On Saturday my family and I took a rather lengthy car trip and I was happy that she would be able to help pass the time by watching her DVD. To me this was the time when it would be useful. But during the trip we passed through some Amish areas. We tried to explain to her about the Amish culture and beliefs, but she wasn’t listening. We pointed out horse and buggy transportation and Amish children.?If her eyes left the screen at all, it was long after the point of interest was past.

The adults in the car felt nothing but frustration. My husband Daniel said he could “break” the feature by removing a fuse, but he didn’t. Instead we just kept moving toward our destination, unable to share the journey with Joellen.

Maybe the Amish have the right idea when it comes to such modern



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