I wrote a couple of weeks about how my kids are growing up to be part of the iGeneration and freaking cool it was and blah blah blah.
All I have to say is- at 2am, a four year old playing the iPad is just not cool.
2 am- yes, you read it correctly the first time. The Chop woke one morning a week or so ago at that ungodly time and helped himself to the iPad.
He was still playing Angry Birds at 4am. And 6am. I hate to admit it, but I was too comatose to react much beside a snort and a half coherent thought of “sort out in morning…………….”
Come morning- 6 am- I was actually awake and horrified. The kid had been playing the iPad for four hours.
This had officially become a Problem.
I’m not proud to admit that this last year I haven’t limited my kid’s screen time as much as I did in the Before. But, hey, survival is survival, and ABC Kids got me through me winter. And while I know that’s not ideal, there are worse things you can do to your kids then let them watch too much TV. In fact, some psychologists will argue that you shouldn’t limit kid’s screen time at all. I think the jury’s still out on that one.
|A Chop iPotrait. Taken with CamWow, obviously. Like ShamWow, only not.|
What I do know is that when I spend hours playing a game, pointlessly surfing the Net, even absorbed in a book to the point where I’m almost inhaling it- I feel like crap. It’s not even the tired eyes, the stiff muscles or the fact that you can’t close your eyes without seeing Tetris blocks (or pissed off birds, whichever takes your fancy). It’s the general grumpiness, the detachment, the fatigue.
And I can see it in my son’s face- it has the same effect on him.
So I did what a lot of tired parents would do, given the situation. I lied.
The Chop is under the impression that the iPad is ‘in the shop, getting fixed.’ It’s been a week. The withdrawal symptoms- accompanied by tantrums and whinging on auto-repeat- lasted three days. The ‘When’s the iPad getting fixed Mum?’ questions are gradually slowing to a trickle.
Do I feel bad? You betcha. I don’t generally do lies, even little white ones. But the peace and quiet and lack of iGuilt is worth it. The chop still gets his Angry Birds fix on my phone, and the screen time is back to an (*ahem*) acceptable level. Depending on who you ask.
As a matter of fact, the iPad may or not come back from the shop at all. As usual, I’ll keep you posted.