I have a deep, dark secret that I must confess. When I first became a mother, I made a promise- I vowed that my child would never set her eyes upon you. As many a first-time-mom before me, I declared that my daughter would never engage in your mindless technology. I was told you would ruin my child, stunt her growth, turn her into a zombie. No, my kid would never be sucked into the great, evil abyss of “Screen Time”.
But wait, iPad, there’s more. Because now I have experienced parenting in all it’s sleepless, diaper-bursting, tantrum-filled glory. My spawn are a mere 2 and 3-years old and, yet, they are seekers of constant entertainment. I cannot cook, I cannot shower, I cannot eat without them making demands of me. Occasionally, I leave the house and passerby offer me pocket change because I look as though I literally slept on the street. It’s because my children won’t let me get ready in the morning. They are in my face at all hours of the day and sometimes I must resist the urge to curl up into the fetal position and drink copious amounts of wine.
I am sorry to have judged you so quickly, iPad. But, there is a light at the end of this story and that is because I found you again. I had forgotten the endless hours of joy you could bring; your distracting lights and colors and pictures and videos. I had forgotten your magical, almost inexplicable allure. But then I remembered you and I dusted you off and I presented you, like a peace offering, to my children.
My toddlers began pressing your button, tapping your glossy surface and they soon learned to swipe, pinch and flip your screen. You began accompanying us everywhere. You entertained in the car and you provided amusement in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. You even babysat my 2 year old while I cleaned his sister’s vomit from all over my bed. You were and you are magical. Sometimes I can actually drink an ENTIRE mug of coffee in one sitting because you are there, giving this mommy a five minute break. I will forever be in you debt.
I am certain that wherever I bring you, there are sanctimommies lurking around the corner, posting in their mom groups. They will talk about “That poor child” who was “Playing on his iPad at dinner instead of engaging in meaningful family conversation.” But, guess what? I don’t give a flying fudge. I need to eat too and I actually like having a conversation with my husband more than once per year.
So, thank-you. I owe you so much, iPad. You have maintained this mommy’s sanity.
Until we meet again,
Gayle Smith is a former teacher, current blogger and mommy of two. She loves doing fun stuff with her kids and is passionate about keeping life uncomplicated. You can read her blog at www.eversimplemom.com or follow her on Facebook and twitter @eversimplemom