Friday, February 18, 2011

Resistance is futile

We had no choice. Before this week, we were nazis about Sophie's media time- TV only during that 20 minutes when we're nebulizing her in the evening, video on the iPhone only for those desperate moments in the car when Sophie decides to wage war against her car seat, and we've even stopped letting her play with the iPad because it was getting too hard to get her to stop once she started.

But we had to give in. Sophie fell sick on Monday and stayed home from school for two days. Usually, it wouldn't be a huge deal- we always have stuff to do at home- all her toys, craft, reading, dancing, or we'd go outside, even if it's cold, just to get some fresh air and let Sophie run around all bundled up. And then there's always our fail-safe back-ups- the public library or the Hands-On Museum. But between the fever and the relentless coughing, Sophie was just zapped and too listless to do anything at all. And going outside into the cold would have made it worse. She had no appetite (still doesn't), was really clingy, and just wanted to stay close to me all day. And so I had no choice- I busted out the DVR-ed episodes of Ni-Hao Kai Lan and Curious George, and a whole slew of YouTube videos we know Sophie really enjoys. It was one of those moments when I thought to myself, OK on a scale of 1- 10, 10 being a parent who drives with her child in her lap without a seat-belt à la Britney Spears, how bad a parent does this make me? I'm allowing Feist and OK Go to babysit my child for 20 minutes while I make myself a sandwich (you do the math on how many times I had to put those videos on repeat); I give in to Elmo and his ducks' persuasive powers of entertainment so I can squeeze in some email time; and I let Abby Cadabby sing about how much she loves words so Sophie will give me a 5 minute break to go to the bathroom. Maybe a 2? OK, 3. Tops.

It was a humbling moment of contrition as I reflected on the sanctimony of my former opinion about media exposure. Clearly, they were formed by a woman who had yet to experience the profound depths of the sad Whine or its first cousin, the humorless Cling, otherwise known as a toddler with a cold. You try being a working mom attempting to be somewhat productive while staying home to take care of her sick toddler; and then you let me know if you still think TV and videos are really the Big Bad Wolves Waiting to Turn Your Babies Brains to Mush...

2 comments:

e said...

Much sympathy about the screen. I let Katie watch about 1 movie a week now, and well, more youtube vids. The problem is that if she watches them, so does Callum...

I like to think I'm still ahead because I'm at least trying to limit screen time, but who knows.

Debra said...

Goodness, I have the exact dilemma! Sean really loves watching Barney and has come to EXPECT it during car rides and when he has his milk (which is quite a few times a day). We do try to limit his watching time otherwise but still, big sigh!

Quite amazed when I spoke to a girlfriend whose daughter is the same age as Sean/Sophie and has not been exposed to TV or Youtube so far - she just doesn't demand it at all because she has no clue!