iKid

Brooke Takhar
Written by Brooke Takhar

The mantra for my mothering style is this: don’t be an asshole. A solid rule for the kid, but also for me. Wouldn’t it be rad if all parents just agreed that the way we’re doing things isn’t necessarily right, but it’s the option we’re choosing so we can survive?

Whether it’s breastfeeding, leashes, TV or the lack thereof, nutrition, sleeping and diapers – we just have to trust our guts, do what works safely for our kids and if our neighbour chooses to take a different approach, well, shrug, high-five over a bathtub of wine and carry on. Perfect. I can stop feeling defensive about everything and finally get Stella’s septum pierced. (KIDDING, MOM. WAKE UP.)

(The Confession)
For real though, feeling defensive and in turn guilty about your parenting decisions is the silent crippling disease that eats at the soul of every Mom. In a small step towards exorcising those piranha nibbles of doubt and loathing in my head, here’s my deal. Currently, every member of my family has an iPad. Except one person. If you guessed the three-year-old was the one lacking in technological toys, you would be wrong. The person whose bum I still wipe has an iPad and I do not. I know. I KNOW. Are we…ok? Can we still be friends?

(Where I Try to Justify It)
First off, this sweet child of mine has NO peer competition. She is the only one. The chosen one. She is a princess who walks on portable red carpets and eats only name brand jelly beans because she may not know how to spell whipped, but she has her Aunts and Uncles and Grandmothers so terrifyingly at her beck and call and whim she is essentially the Anna Wintour of toddlers. The upside is that her gratitude is so true and large and perfect. When she’s happy the world is sound and right and when YOU have made her happy it kind of makes you feel like you’re maybe 15% immortal. It’s a sweet sweet poison and she doles it out generously, especially when her Uncle who works at Apple buys her an iPad. How could I possibly intervene?

(In Defense of the iPad {and Me})
Do you like peaceful public transportation jaunts? Me too. I take the skytrain twice a week with the kid. Ensuring she has something to entertain herself with when I need to move her from point A to point B keeps her mouth shut. I give her this vessel of distraction partially for YOU. I don’t want your eyes to roll out the back of your head when she spins off into a bored tantrum. I don’t want you to have to turn your headphones up as I try to gently ply what is wrong out of essentially a howling bobcat, because you’ll see me struggling with the urge to just pull a Dexter-like syringe from my bag and let her sleep off the trip/next few days.

(Where I get Judgy)
I’m not allowed to do that, so the iPad is my answer. She learns shit. She doesn’t point out that “Moooom, that is not a man, that is a lady!” She doesn’t stare at someone’s fake leg, lady moustache, facial mole etc. And more importantly doesn’t ask me about it loudly, because I would then have to pull the emergency brake on the skytrain and jump off because I wouldn’t know what else to do there. I really really wouldn’t. So, oooooh, let’s see what Elmo has to say about your teeth, ok? WHAT? A teletubby has dirty knees – let’s hope it takes 12 minutes to solve this crime! By that time, the green Mom wrapped in linen and chives, breastfeeding her child while knitting bunting and doing core exercises will have left the train and I can give you a cookie. (Reverse judging! Sorry!)

(The Thrilling Conclusion)
YouTube may be my co-pilot in parenting and I’m not necessarily proud of that, but after a long day of jumping, running, exploring, painting, eating, singing, dancing, kicking and questioning every aspect of life twice, it’s ok to slow it down on the couch with a blankie and her iPad. I get to cook dinner uninterrupted; she gets a warm light that glows off her face, Japanese cartoons and the wild wonder that is old Pee Wee’s Playhouse episodes. Yeah, I’m iOk with that.

(This post originally appeared on missteenussr.com.)

About the author

Brooke Takhar

Brooke Takhar

Brooke Takhar is a Vancouver-based mama to one goon and busy body to all. She loves the Internet, glittery nail polish, over-sharing and teaching her kid outdated dance moves. If you really love her, you’ll fight in public.

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7 Comments

  • I totally get this. I’ll confess, I was one of those judgy moms pre-kid who swore up and down that my kids wouldn’t need electronic babysitters to survive a trip to the store (or a trip to anywhere.) I was so wrong. Those tablets have saved my ass and my sanity a time or two. People can judge if they want.
    This was good – bravo.

  • All 3 of my kids have iPads…fabulous inventions and love the peace they bring to road trips or complete breakdowns. Great blog and couldn’t agree more…we all do what we need to do to survive these years. Each individual mom has to figure that out for themselves.

  • I totally agree that if less parents were judgmental assholes, the world would be a better place. And you nailed it…the same people who snort in derision at toddlers with Ipads are the first and loudest to bitch if the child acts up.

    My child has use of my Ipad, and I’ve been known to use the TV as a babysitter. I personally think it’s not the device that’s the problem, but what they’re watching or doing. I taught myself to read pre-K from watching Sesame Street as a kid, and mine all are very verbal and informed, because 75% of what they watch is educational. My five year old knows more geometry than I do.

  • I was super judgy and against it, until I got a kid. And an iPad. My two-year-old son has asthma and we have to do the nebulizer at least once a day for 6 INCREDIBLY long minutes, and when his asthma is really bad or when he’s sick (which is always) then it’s two 12-minute sessions. Well, hello there iPad! Thank you for jumping in and saving the day.