Let me preface, we’re not a big techy family. I have a tablet that the kids very, very rarely use. The kids don’t use smartphones aside from an occasional 10 minute session of Angry Birds. There are no iPod Touch things or any of that. They play Wii and Playstation, but that’s it. You won’t find them at a restaurant with a DS in hand or any other type of mobile device.
While perusing through Facebook the other day I came across an app called Jurassic Park Builder. I immediately thought of Logan. I knew he would love it. Then I pondered downloading it. My curiosity won and I hit “install.” I called him into the room and he was overjoyed with excitement! “You mean I get to build my own Jurassic Park!?” Yes you do kiddo. As we started I realized that he’s learning lots of things. First, he’s practicing his reading because you need to read what your missions are and execute them. Secondly, he’s learning about business and how to make some money by investing money. He’s also learning to take care of his dinosaurs by feeding them…which then again costs money. He’s having a BLAST!! From doing research and hatching dinosaurs to installing ponds and other features, we’ve been exploring all the possiblities and building a fantastic park.
At first I was really thrilled about us spending some time together and him coming to me for help and advise. However, now he’s become a little obsessive (okay, me too). As soon as I get home from work, “Hi Mom, you know what I’m going to ask, don’t you?” Yup, he wants the tablet. I even find myself collecting money from the dinosaurs while he’s sleeping. I tell myself I’m doing it for him. Deep down I know I just really want to get enough money to add a Stegosaurus.
I now almost understand this crazy Candy Crush saga that has been plaguing society….wait, no, I don’t think I’ll ever really understand it. How addicted are you to apps/games?
He just asked this morning for his own tablet. And so it begins.
And there he goes. I can see the thought already set in his mind and he’s about to act on it. There he goes…UP the slide. Now normally, if the playground were empty, this wouldn’t bother me. However, we have a rule that slides are for going down not up, especially when the playground is crowded. We’ve already discussed this more than once today. I could shout, “Stop right there, don’t you dare go up that slide!” I really don’t want to shout.
There goes the other little guy. He’s getting onto that spinning monstrosity that someone ALWAYS ends up getting hurt on. Seriously, every single time we come to this place. It may not always be my kid getting hurt, but someone will just watch and see. Must I shout and draw attention? Must I shout across the playground sounding like the strict and overbearing mom?
I don’t want to be that “helicopter mom” or whatever they are calling it these days. I don’t want to constantly nag my children. I don’t want to yell, scream, and shout…especially out in public. I’ve reached that wonderful stage where I can sit back on a park bench and watch my kids run around and play. They can climb independently now. I no longer have the need to stand behind them, hands up, ready to catch them when their foot slips. It’s a new day. A new day where I can sit and vent with a friend on a park bench and not hover over my kids. We can dish about all our mommy triumphs and fails, while delivering a thermos and snack here and there.
I bite my tongue and try not to intervene. I would love to yell, “Stay away from the little punk in the red shirt that’s trying to push everyone.” I hold back and wait for them to come get a drink and then whisper it in their ear.
That’s the key. The whisper. I’ve had this idea for years. I think about it every single time we go to the park. Little kid buds. I would love to sit from the bench, not hovering, and softy whisper, “Don’t even think of picking up that stick (possibly for the 4th time).” Next, I’ll see them look right at me knowing they just heard what I said through their little ear buds. No need to raise my voice and draw attention. How fabulous would that be? What would you always be whispering?