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.