The truth. I turn on YouTube Kids, hand my phone over and tell my kid to have at it.
Just kidding. Well, kind of. Yes, I do rely on screentime (tail between my legs), but I try to limit it to one hour a day because that’s what (some of) “they” recommend. While others of “they” continue to chastise me for giving my kid my phone at all.
Meanwhile, I watch some of my friend’s kids literally parked in front of screens for hours at a time no problem and often think to myself, “just you watch, those kids are going to be way ahead of the game because of all of the technology that they are absorbing at such a young age”. Seriously, folks…you can’t win!
Anyhow, in reality…my kid gets one, maybe two hours of screen time a day. Other than that, I squeeze work in whenever I can. Whatever doesn’t get done, I do at night either after my husband gets home or after the boys are in bed. Like I said, it’s not very glamorous.
On really good days, my little one will sit quietly for hours with his trucks or his blocks, but usually this is how my writing time goes:
The pre-work pep talk – Hey Buddy, Mama’s going to get some work done and you’re going to play. Then, when Bubba & Daddy get home, we’re going to go to the zoo.
I get him a snack, a drink, some toys and get to work on the back porch.
Mama, don’t put your feet on the ground, there’s lava on the ground.
(I placed my feet on the feet of the table).
Mama, why aren’t your feet on the ground?
Because there’s lava on the ground.
(steps off of the book that he’s standing on)
You can’t step on the lava unless you have super power socks on.
OK, Buddy. I’m trying to get some work done. Do you think you can play quietly?
Mama, I want to go outside. Can you do your work outside?
Sure, Buddy (gritting my teeth) but you just said that you wanted to play on the porch.
I know, but I want to play outside. Can you move all of your stuff?
(Moves ALL of mine AND his stuff).
Mom, I want to play golf.
Not right now, Buddy. I need to get this article done.
Why can’t you take out my bag?
Because I’m trying to get this done so that we can do something as a family when Daddy & Bubba get home.
(comes over to the table & starts eating his cherries…I decide to join him).
Why are you eating all of my cherries?
I’m just sharing them.
(looks over at our neighbor’s house)
Who’s Mr. Steve’s wife?
He doesn’t have a wife.
Then how did he get married?
He didn’t get married?
Then when was he a kid?…1,000 years?
Does Steve have a wife Mom?
Mama, I think I swallowed a seed…I swallowed a seed.
Are you OK?
Can you get more cherries for me?
You can get them (I’m trying to raise an autonomous kid here). They’re in the kitchen sink.
(Brings cherries outside)
Please eat all of the cherry. See, how my bowl is just pits and yours still has a lot of fruit on it?
(Shakes his head)
See, now they taste bad.
They’re mixed with seeds.
Mom, can you open the shed?
Because Bubba will be home soon and then, when Daddy gets home, we’re leaving.
Where are we going?
(pause) The…Zoo…. (mentally slaps forehead)
Can we go to the bus stop now?
Not yet, Buddy.
Is the shed unlocked?
I don’t know.
Now can we go get Bubba?
Nope, not yet.
In about ten minutes.
When?! Why?! Can we go get Bubba?!?
When?!? Will Bubba be home in 20 minutes?!
No, Buddy. Ten minutes.
And so on and so forth until I actually finish writing my article, it’s time to get Bubba at the bus stop, or I gently close my laptop (really wanting to slam it), take a deep breath and decide that I will finish writing later.