Every morning Ella waits for breakfast on the couch while watching cartoons. Every morning the cable that connects our TV to the world fritzes out and the screen goes scrambley. Each time Ella alerts me with a blood curdling scream “It’s happening again!” and I stop cooking and hurry to the back of the TV and knock the picture back into shape with a wrench. Sometimes it takes a few wacks, but it always works. I’ve re-worked the connection to make sure it’s a good link and still the set goes wonky after a random interval every morning until I give it a good thump. Dan has mentioned replacing it, but beyond this one morning quirk it’s a great TV and it’s much better than the old days when we changed the channel with pliers and then readjusted the tin foil balanced carefully on the antenna.
I wonder if Ella will believe me when I tell her about having 4 channels and racing to make a cheese sandwich during commercial break, or doing the pee dance while watching the very end of the Six Million Dollar Man. There will never be a day when she can’t pause it or back it up or watch it at will on her phone. She will also probably never have chicken pox or take a photography class that involves signing up for darkroom time, or get her fingers black changing a typewriter ribbon. She won’t feel comfortable riding in a car without being strapped in and she will never know why moving your fist in a circle means 'roll you window down'. She will however be able to talk about that crappy old TV we had, the one we wacked with a wrench to get morning cartoons.