A Love Letter to Lady Grantham and the Six Sigmas

I thought about writing to solicit any readers of this blog for suggestions of good books you might recommend. But as I started typing, I realized that I HAVE piles of books sitting on my desk, my shelf, and my kindle app which I want to read but have not because when the magic hour comes very late in the evening when four children slumber, all my fried brain can handle is 30 Rock or Downton Abbey on Netflix. I’m thinking something right now that is pretty dumb, but I’m just going to say it: watching Netflix on my iPad has totally changed my life. This housebound woman, not unlike the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, can snatch moments of entertainment on the fly–during baby’s feedings, while my preschooler stalks big game on the Wii, or while making everybody lunch. For someone who can’t leave the house much, it’s a complete dreamboat.

So maybe I should solicit suggestions for worthwhile shows I can access on Netflix. I’m on a roll with delightful period dramas like Sense and Sensibiliity, A Room With a View, I Capture the Castle, and Jane Eyre. I’ve reconnected with fun, theatrical Baz Luhrman favorites like Moulin Rouge and Strictly Ballroom. And I am voraciously consuming the aforementioned 1912 soap opera set in an English manor house, and the seriously so funny stories springing from the mind of Tina Fey (“Everyone looks their best in a Sheinhart”).

My ten-year-old loves Netflix as much as I do, but his favorites lean more toward America’s Funniest Home Videos, Drake and Josh, and iCarly. He and I recently bonded while watching Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. I’ve been singing “Baby, Baby, Baby” all day in my head, which I consider a small price to pay for quality time with eldest child. My three-year-old has figured out (with no tutorials from me, believe you me) how to wake my sleeping tablet, navigate the icons, and fire up Toy Story 3 for his six-hundredth viewing. Sweet Jack, however, just doesn’t give a hoot about Netflix, even when it produces such appealing options as Thomas the Tank Engine. He does, however, perpetually take off with my iPad charger for good times involving dragging cords rapidly through the house.

This extended period of enforced solitude I’m experiencing makes me see such marvels as Netflix as a sort of lifeline to the world outside. It’s also a pleasant way to briefly forget that the world outside is experiencing January. I think I can honestly say that while hibernation doesn’t really mesh with my natural tendencies, hibernating in the winter is not a completely bad idea. Nor is secretly planning a beach vacation.

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