As we lay on our bed enjoying a slow start to the Sunday, I was pleased to notice there was noise coming from every bedroom in the house.
“You hear that?” I asked Tracey.
Almost opening her eyes for the first time that morning, she cocked her head then shook it. Our house is perpetually loud so a sound has to be exceptional to stand out against the white noise of our lives.
She was missing the whole point. This was Darryl Kerrigan-like serenity.
“That,” I explained, “is the sound of no one arguing.”
And it was all because of ME!
When we tucked the kids into bed last night I told them when they woke up in the morning they could watch movies or shows on their iPods and iPads, provided they didn’t come in and wake me up.
You can’t do this with free to air television. It’s not the lack of choice (2, 7, 9, 10) which my parents were presented with to placate their kids with when I was growing up – there’s an easy dozen plus channels these days with not much on. The problem is no one wants to watch the same thing.
This doesn’t get any easier when you go to the local ‘video shop’ to hire a DVD to watch. Our kids don’t even head for the same section. In fact, the only video all our kids have been interested in watching together recently has been a rather embarrassing one Tracey made of herself dancing to Madonna when she was ten, and unlike most Disney ‘classics’ that one is never getting old.
The cause of all this sleep-in granting blissfulness was our recent subscription to Presto because they asked us to check it out – and they’ve asked me to offer my readers a free go as well. That’s free all-you-can-watch movies and television shows for the family for two months. This is why I wanted this gig. More on that in a sec.
One signup granted us unlimited access to movies and shows on up to 3 devices, such as smart phones, tvs and all the other techy wonders of this fabulous day and age. As luck would have it we have three iPads in the house and they were all being utilised without our having to negotiate a peaceful solution, which some days is so impossible it makes the Israeli/Palestine situation look easy – primarily because there are only two sides involved over there and we have five kids in the house.
I haven’t been wasting time. I’ve already started on Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures, and I’ve made a mental list of other shows I need to binge on. If someone says they can’t find anything to watch on Presto, Tell ’em they’re dreamin’. There’s a heap of choice, and personally I intend to put my Mum’s theory about developing square eyes to the test.
For starters, I suspect I’ve missed an episode or ten of Frasier – and Presto has them all. There’s seven seasons of our family favourite, The Big Bang Theory – I’m seriously over trying to watch them on Youtube. My number one son, Master24, has been trying to get me started on Parks & Recreation for ages, so I think the time has come. Plus Mr Robot and Homeland look like my sort of poison: I love that geeky misfit brainiac thriller stuff.
Tracey and I set up her iMac at the end of our bed the very first night and enjoyed – I kid you not – Speed Racer with the kids. I used to watch the Speed Racer cartoon when I was a kid and put off seeing the Wachowski’s movie for fear they’d destroy the frayed bit of my childhood memory remaining after watching the Rocky & Bullwinkle movie. But the viewers on its Presto page gave Speed Racer a satisfaction rating of 60%. By comparison, they gave Rocky & Bullwinkle a well deserved 19%, so I assumed they knew what they were talking about and took the plunge.
And loved it! The memories of my childhood, sitting in front of the tube on our shag pile carpet, are still intact. Although I did cringe at the idea of a Mach 6. My favourite number, to this day, is 5 because of Speed Racer’s car.
But as good as it was it wasn’t as good as The Castle, which we giggled our way through next. I’ve got too say, being asked to check out Presto was a fun gig.
For the kids, there’s enough choice to keep them all happy. Miss4 and Miss6 spotted Charlie & Lola early on and haven’t watched anything else yet, although it’s only been a few days. Hopefully they’ll run out of episodes soon because I have to confess the volume control on the mini iPad they use must be broken – it keeps going to full volume only minutes after I tell them to turn it down.
The next day we all sat and watched Wendy Wu in the lounge room. Actually, I sat and started to watch it and they all gradually joined me. Having a bowl of popcorn probably helped.
Some of the titles the older kids were most excited about as we went through the extensive catalogue of available viewing on their site were iCarly, Shaun The Sheep, a heap of Pixar and the Harry Potter movies.
I’m just thrilled there’s so many classics for me to try get them to watch. Big. The Dark Crystal. Labyrinth. Herbie Rides Again. Spice World.
Okay, I’ll grant that last one might have been a joke, but Herbie is absolutely on that list. Classics, every one of them.
I think I’m gonna love binging on these shows more than a big two stroke engine on full throttle! And you can too!
There are thousands of hours of movies and shows to keep your family entertained these holidays, and best of all Presto has given me a special offer I can share with you – check them out using the special code RMA010416 and you’ll have two months (!!!) to dive in and check out just how right I am about everything I’ve written above. For free! Isn’t that a happy coincidence for the school holidays? I’ve found the hardest choice to make has been whether to pause the show to go to the loo or take the tablet in with me. It’s totally an even sweeter deal than discovering your hotel has, This one channel. Kickboxing. 24 hours. A day.
Give it a go and, like us, you too can feel the serenity these holidays. You’ll be lying back in your bed, almost opening your eyes and listening to the sound of no one arguing, and thinking, Looks like everybody’s kicked a goal.
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Raising a family on little more than laughs.