I read four national news sites and one local site, sometimes "checking the news" every few hours, or even more. Sometimes if I'm crocheting or browsing the web in a room with a television, I leave the news programme on, and it spins round and I realise I'm listening to the same news as an hour ago. I think that it is the result of September 11th - the images of that horrible day are seered into the minds of so many. And I think because of that I have to "check the news" just in case I need "to do something". You see, at 3am, that "do something" becomes "fleeing the city with my children" or some other unlikely scenario, that plays itself over and over in my head. I wasn't even there and that is the long term effect on me: I hate to think of the trauma of people who were directly involved.
There are several things I've seen or heard in news programmes or seen on news websites, or even read in fiction books that have stayed in my head for a long time, some maybe forever, and they're not very positive. I could really have lived my life without seeing or hearing them. I'm not going to give examples or go into detail because then they would be in your head, but I'm sure you have your own examples.
I'm not advocating an ostrich stick your head in the sand approach either. It is impossible not to hear of any big events, but so many of the news items we hear about, I can personally do nothing about.
I don't want to get philosophical about the reasons : I've just come to the realisation that there is too much bad news getting into my head, so I'm going to try to stop watching TV news and browsing newspaper websites, and buying those paperbacks in the supermarket which always have a gruesome death or incident on the back cover to draw you in. That should save me: I would guess - yikes £100 a year - considering all the times I'm buying my groceries and I just have to have a book, and they're cheap so might as well get two. I'm not an unhappy person, but surely all this bad news must take its toll - no more.
So in a completely unrelated kind of way, here's a picture of two gorrillas turning up for the baby penguin's party on the back of reindeers :) Otherwise known as : Don't buy lots of expensive toys - a box of plastic animals can have hours of fun playing with children of all ages.
Another great way I have found of keeping a toddler busy for free, is to let them play in the sink. All little kids love this, and will happily splash around in a bubble enfested sink with whisks and measuring spoons and funnels for ages, whilst Mummy sits with her feet up on a chair watching, eating a big cream bun and drinking a coffee (in my dreams). Just make sure they can't turn the hot tap on and don't take your eye off them in case they fall in and drown, or more likely: try to eat the bubbles. Health and Safety advice courtesy of my dad who always likes to remind us of all eventualities.