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Friday, February 17, 2012

Go Go Gadget....

When I was pregnant with Soren and we were doomed to buy an (gulp) minivan, we also purchased a DVD player for the van for long car rides. But there was a rule: no tv watching unless we were in the car for an hour or longer (which rarely happens here as everything aside from the zoo is less than 30 minutes away).

We've stuck to that rule despite a myriad of complaints for years. But while we still don't use the DVD player, I have broken the gadget rule over the past few months and I can't believe how I ever got along before that.

Let me explain.

Since Xavier's school is technically out of district I have to carpool. Every morning I hustle all three boys into the car, drive ten minutes there, wait in line for five, then ten minutes home. Every afternoon I have to hustle two boys into the car, one who would have recently woken up from his nap and is still grumpy. Then I drive ten minutes there, wait thirty minutes for the snake like line to move, and drive ten minutes home. That's on a good day. So every weekday I am stuck in the van with two kids who would rather be running around for a minimum of 50 minutes.

That's 50 minutes of listening to two kids bicker, whine, sing to children's music, and kick the back of my seat. It's enough to drive a saint insane and I am no saint.

Christmas time the boys got some cool toys. Ashe got a DS for his birthday (right before Christmas) and Santa brought the boys a Nook Tablet to share. J also got an Ipad for work, which really means the boys get to play with it. With the excitement of these gadgets still new I started bending the rules and letting the boys pick one gadget to bring with them to keep them occupied during carpool.

This one bent rule has made a world of difference in my sanity.

For 50 minutes the boys have one gadget of their choice. They can play Angry Birds to their hearts content, or Zelda, or read a book, or whatever they want to do within parental controls. They are happy. But most importantly, they are QUIET! I can now sit in carpool and read a chapter of my book while the boys are quietly engaged. And it's been heaven.

Does it make me a bad mom? Nah. You have to learn to roll with life with parenting, and you have to know when to pick your battles. This just wasn't one of them. If I were a kid and had to be stuck in a car for almost an hour a day, I'd have gone crazy too so I can sympathize. And there is only so much kids music one can listen to before it gets old and you start contemplating ramming your minivan into the car in front of you.

I personally think this is a win/win situation and wish I had thought of this sooner.


Loressa Curiouswisdom said...

LOL! I get this post! I really do! We are just opposite we are trying to survive three girls! Yikes life is nutty around here! New follower! Come link up to Finally Friday hop if you would like:)

Helene said...

That is definitely a "pick your battle wisely" scenario. We used to have the same rule about the DVD player in our minivan. But then I'd get stuck listening to the kids whine and fight with one another. The noise was too much.

So I made a deal with them...I'd let them watch a DVD in the minivan as long as they were quiet. The minute they started talking, the DVD got shut off.

At this point, I'll do anything for a minute of peace and quiet, even if it's listening to The Little Mermaid repeatedly.

in pursuit said...

Amen sista! Before I had kids I'd see families at a restaurant or driving with a sullen pre-teen engrossed in some sort of gadget (probably a walkman or portable cd player, die to my age) and I'd think, "Those parents are not ineracting with their kids. How sad." Now I'm a parent and have discovered that interracting with my kid is over rated. Just kidding. It's not over rated, however it doesn't need to be constant. The worst thing we do to oursleves as parents is make absolutes/rules. THe truth is, lots of rules are fluid and evolving- at least they should be. Spending an hour with a gadge when you have a mom who talks to you, plays with you, cooks, for you, sets up playdates (hate that word) and does a thousand other things a day for you is doing NO HARM and does not make you a bad mom- it makes you a well rounded mom. Technology is part of this generation's lives and like most things, if it's part of a well rounded life, it's pretty freaking cool. ANd god knows the price of an iTouch is cheaper than the therapy i'd need for screaming at the kids in the car;)

Frugal in WV said...

I have two boys and I totally understand! They each have their own ipods and they are life savers! New follower from MBC, look forward to your future posts! Have a great weekend, you can find me at

Jen said...

We have very similar rules in my van and I say whatever gets you a quiet ride... is all good.