COVID-19 · post-op life · slice of life · technology

"Mommy, can I have iPad time?" #SOL20

This morning, Isabelle and I took session one of Amy Ludwig Vanderwater’s Keeping a Notebook, which was dedicated to curating a collection of quotes and writing long about one of them, for this morning’s writing workshop. Here’s the writing I did, which is what led to the slice of life story you’re about to read:

I heard a hand jam down the bathroom’s door handle. In a flash, Ari appeared with soaking-wet hair and a white towel around his body. He went from a trot to a canter in three seconds with his towel moving from a secure wrap to falling off of his shoulders. He stood before me, completely naked, asking, “Mommy, can I have iPad time?”

“Are you kidding me?” I asked.

But I knew he wasn’t. Ari probably felt as though he had been mightily wronged since I restricted his screen time to 20 whole minutes today in an effort to curb his screentime since it has been hovering around the two-and-a-half hour mark.

“Hey, what happened to my iPad?” he whined while water drop rolled down his forehead.

“I turned it off when you were in the shower. Come back to me after you get dressed, get your ears cleaned, and have your hair done, and we’ll talk.”

A few minutes later, Ari ran into my bedroom in striped pajamas with his hair a wet mess. “Now can I have iPad time?”

“Your hair isn’t brushed and I’m sure your ears aren’t cleaned,” I replied.

“But I want iPad time!” he continued.

In the blink of an eye, Ari turned on the iPad’s camera, reversed it, and began taking pictures. Have a look:

That’s our ceiling with his unbrushed hair in the top right of the photo.

That’s when Marc came over, scooped Ari up, turned him upside down into a handstand atop our bed, flipped him over, and said, “You’re coming with me.”

Isabelle and I laughed since we got to witness an upside-down, giggling Ari being forceably removed from the room while yelling “hey” as a way of protesting the latest perceived iPad injustice.

“See what I mean about what I wrote in my notebook this morning? He can’t get enough of that iPad. He’s like,” I paused and met Isabelle’s gaze, “an iPad junkie.”

She doesn’t know what a junkie is, but she laughed just the same.

See the glow on his face? Yes! Well, then please pay attention to his freshly-coiffed hair.

Finally, Ari returned with his hair brushed and clean ears. “Now can I have iPad time?” he asked.

“You can have ten minutes,” I replied, punching in the code.

“I want ‘Thomas,'” he said.

“You can have Khan Academy or nothing,” I replied.

I secured the iPad on guided access, handed it to him, and he played happily for ten minutes.

I know more screen time isn’t going to massively harm anyone, which is why I’ve been more lax about it in the past week. However, when the first words out of your child’s mouth — for three consecutive days — are “Can I have iPad time?” then you know something is wrong. Being stuck in bed post-op isn’t helping the situation since I’d be baking with Ari at times I couldn’t take him outside to play. But that is my reality now. I’m not sure what kind of an intervention we’re going to have tomorrow, but I know one is needed to break this little guy of his iPad obsession.

16 thoughts on “"Mommy, can I have iPad time?" #SOL20

  1. We’re in this same phase with Rose right now. She’s seeing her sisters using more screens for “school” and doesn’t get why she doesn’t get the same number of turns. This home school situation and working from home at the same time isn’t helping the screen time dilemma.

  2. I feel this deeply. I worry about my younger son & his obsession with video games. Normally I’m pretty strict but these past few weeks… My mother keeps reminding me that this, too, shall pass, but OH it’s a lot of video game time. And, for what it’s worth, I noticed his hair before the glow.

  3. I am on your side. Stay strong with limiting iPad time. It’s hard. Oh my, it’s hard, but you are right. I just found out our school closure is going on until at least May 1. With all the distance learning going on, I feel like I’m contributing to tech addiction. If our kiddos were in school, they’d be reading books made of paper, writing on paper. creating and experimenting with various mediums. I know it won’t kill them, but ugghh. It’s killing me!

    1. We just found out that school is closed until at least 4/14 and online learning (for Isabelle) starts on 4/13. I’m truly hoping that they limit the amount of digital work that’s behind asked of her. I’ve been handling all of her instruction and it’s more analog than digital. Fingers crossed!

      1. Ooh, thank you! I’ll check it out. (I’ve been researching things, but most of it is craft stuff on Pinterest and I can’t exactly get out to the craft store right now.)

    1. It’s 3:22 p.m. Ari has had 20 minutes of iPad time all day. He’s asked for more than that multiple times and I have said NO all but that one time. Why? It’s Digital Detox Day.

  4. In our staff meeting yesterday, the principal asked the teachers to watch the amount of screen based enrichment suggestions they make. Balance, he said. Always good in everything. In this disequilibrium, it’s difficult to get our balance.

    1. YES! I noticed I was spending too much time on a screen last week since I started having headaches. I backed off and felt better. However, I knew that as an adult. I doubt many young children would realize the correlation.

  5. What an adorable slice-from the mouth of babes! My granddaughter is also fond of taking selfies with my iPhone and knows how to use Google Hangouts. She even tells me when the connection is bad. “Grandma, I can’t see you.” Thanks for making me smile this morning, Stacey. Hope you are mending.

  6. I think we’re all walking the same fine line, especially when those screens connect us to the outside world. I love how you shared your notebook within this post!

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