Cute, aren’t they? The munchkin on the left is my oldest, 5 going on 15, and her sidekick on the right is my 2-year-old. I am a stay-at-home mom to these perfect little angels.
Whoa, I just slipped out of reality there for a moment. Excuse me! Perfect little angels in my dreams, maybe! Whether you have 1 or 9, or your experience is limited to simply passing some random child on the street, you know that kids are a handful. I am going to go out on a limb and say that the under-10 crowd is especially trying, but hit me up in 6 years and I’ll probably report differently.
Look closely in the pic above and you will see their very best friend, the iPad. It goes everywhere with them…the bed, the car, even the potty. Its presence is so strong in our house that I very often find myself treating it as though it’s another being deserving of discipline and guidance.
- I can’t tell you how many times a day I’m reminding the iPad of the difference between Inside Voice and Outside Voice. Just like my children, the iPad starts out at an acceptable volume, but then before you know it, I’m upstairs taking a shower and it sounds like there are birds flying and pigs grunting right outside my bathroom door. Grunting pig noises while taking a shower = very disconcerting.
- Just like employees at McDonald’s are trained to ask “Do you want fries with that?”, us parents are programmed to ask “Do you need a wipe for that?” Both answers, by the way, are always yes, of course. It’s just automatic to answer my toddler’s frantic cries of “The iPad no working!!!” with “The iPad needs a wipe, sweetie!” and then proceed with wiping away days’ worth of accumulating peanut butter, yogurt, and snot from the touchscreen.
- Just like I’m constantly warning my children of the dangers associated with balancing precariously on couch arms, Step 2 chairs, and the dining room table, I find myself continually scolding the iPad for its choice of hangout spots. The story doesn’t end well when you chill on the top of the steps, the floor, or the sink basin.
- There comes a time during the day when I know my children have reached their limit. I can see it in their eyes, that blank stare which begs for sleep (even though their incredible lungs will inform me that they are NOT SLEEPY). At least the iPad gives me a heads up before it zonks out. Every iPad parent can add battery math to their resume (10 percent remaining = 1 hour of playing time).
Our house is full of electronics. With a husband in IT, it’s inevitable. I’ve always referred to the mass of cords, towers, and screens in our home as “electronic vomit” and not with much fondness. Our iPad, however, has managed to crawl out from the pile of vomit, clean itself up, and implant itself firmly within the rankings of our family. It is a part of us, a friend to play with, learn with, and, as I’m finding out, get in trouble with!