Saturday, November 17, 2012

Techno Sitters

This morning Rob is out of town and I tried that thing that we all say we will never do before we are parents: let the TV babysit.

Some parents are really amazing and actually never do this.  The rest of us sometimes do, while feeling torn between elation that we can sleep/blog/cook dinner/poop alone for a few minutes, and the guilt that we should not let a screen mesmerize and hypnotize our precious children.  In these moments of weakness, we choose to sleep/blog/cook dinner/poop and let the TV watch our children.

What ended up happening instead is that the children fought over watch to watch and how to use the remote and I found myself shouting directives from the bed: "PUSH THAT CIRCLE BUTTON THAT WILL TAKE YOU BACK TO THE NETFLIX MENU.  NO. THE CIRCLE.  DID YOU FIND IT? OKAY. NOW PUT ON LINCOLN'S SHOW.  NOT YOUR SHOW.  LINCOLN'S SHOW.  STOP BANGING YOUR SPOON ON THE TABLE."

My kids are at that cusp-of-independence age.  With a bowl of cereal at the table and a remote, I might be able to catch that few minutes of sleep.  Might.  Then the fight moved from one electronic babysitter to another and I had to give up sleeping trying to sleep so I could referee.  Too bad the Bluths already capitalized on the Boy Fights franchise...

Apparently, it's very challenging to let your little brother watch you play alphabet games on the iPhone.  Just...too much.

I learned this morning what I already suspected:  technology can't watch my children like I can.


  1. I know it was clearly a frustrating moment, but the combination of looks on Sawyer and Lincoln's faces is priceless in that last picture. Thanks for sharing and I hope you somehow manage to find a nap today!!

    1. Totally reveals the dynamic between older and younger brother. :)

  2. Your little fellows are so cute!! Really, they are... I'm sure you're tired of hearing that (not!)

    My oldest is a techno-genius. He's drawn to screens (particularly computers) and has figured out how to operate all the electronic equipment in the house and he's only seven. We sort of gave up limiting his screen time because we're lazy. No, we're not, we're mostly overwhelmed with the twins. We decided that he's not suffering from screen-time brain mush because he's functioning above grade level (by a lot -- he's in second grade and is reading at an 8th grade level and will finish all of the third grade math this year). We'll have to see how the other three do, but none of the girls are as tuned in to electronic stuff as my son was.

    1. I never get tired of hearing or looking at it! :)

      I think that technology is here to stay. But I'm not Mayan, so we'll see how that prophecy holds. I think that if kids are functioning well and doing things that are healthy, it's fine! I really do want to cut down on our TV watching in general, but it tends to be the way I can do things, like clean or projects. If I sit them down with something they love like play-doh while I clean, they make the biggest mess ever. They're too young to let some of the activities they like help distract them if I'm not watching closely. So...for now, TV it is!

  3. I will confess to letting the TV babysit. Sometimes you just have to...

    My 16 yo is all about screens. He multitasks but still gets As so we don't worry about it.

    1. It definitely sometimes helps! I did a lot of Nintendo playing but I also loved climbing trees and was mostly normal. :)

  4. I am much more lax with kid #2 about the tv. Sesame Street allows me to take a shower from time to time, so I don't fight it. Your boys are super cute!

    1. People without kids underestimate the luxury of things like showering without fearing what your children are doing.


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