Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bad ideas and scrubbing

Unlimited screen time was a terrible idea.  I couldn't have imagined just how early my son would wake up and just how much he doesn't care about doing anything else.  It makes me want to go extreme opposite and just lock up every electronic we have.  We could call it Summer Unplugged, it sounds like an awesome acoustic concert held in a big field but really it would be an horrible battle of misery and anger.   I'm not going there, but man do I want to!

In other news, my dishwasher broke.

That break in text was my moment of silence.  This summer we have had a chicken die, two fish, and now the dishwasher.  That last death just pushed me over the edge.  I do not find washing the dishes relaxing, I have tried rocking out to Black Eyed Peas and dancing around while scrubbing.  It was a little better but still hell.  Yep, I said hell.  I'm pretty sure that hell for me would be a never ending pile of dishes and no dishwasher. Maybe some spiders crawling around and milk chocolate everywhere (love chocolate, can't have milk.)
For now we aren't replacing the dishwasher, after all isn't it a fancy luxury item?  I mean I have a sink and hot running water.  I don't have to walk down to the well and pump my water and then boil it on the wood stove (My mom did this all the time when I was a kid.)  Still, I'm complaining anyway.

I considered paper plates that were from recycled paper and compostable.  Maybe plates made of corn that my chickens could eat?  Of course it would most likely be GMO corn and then my chickens would start giving me creepy mutated eggs and our whole family would grow extra limbs.  Nope, that wouldn't work.  Back to scrubbing.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Winging it

If you want to know how to get your child to sleep through the night you can buy maybe 10 different books on the topic and they all have totally different ideas on how to go about it.  Potty training- same thing.  If you have more than one kid then you know that what worked like magic for one child could have been a horrendous battle for the other child.  The truth is, we are all just winging it pretty much all the time.  Sure, we may get in a spell where something is working great but a change in the wind and suddenly our amazing method of parenting has to be tweaked yet again.

Just this summer I have had three different plans for Screen Time.  I'm still not sure which one has worked the best or if any of them really are superior to the others.  The first one was that they had to ask for it and I would approve it or not.  This turned to constant begging and pleading for more time and got to be exhausting.  Quickly I turned to little tokens in a jar that were automatically filled on Monday.  Each token was worth 1 hour of screen time and if it was past 4pm then you could spend them.  If you were out of tokens then you were done until Monday and family movie time didn't cost.  This turned into my son staring down the clock all day.  Ugging and grumping about how he was so bored and wished it could be 4:00.  Then when 4:00 came, if we were out doing anything fun at all, including swimming or going to the zoo he would suddenly realize that he was miserable and needed to go home immediately for screen time.  He would also blow through his tokens faster than his miser sister and so he would complain that he had no idea it had been three hours and he really only wanted to spend one token.   So once again I became worn down and exhausted from the 4'oclock token  method.

We have about 3 weeks of summer left and last week I read this article about The Sliver, and it seemed to make sense to part of my brain as a method for our family to try, plus a few weeks can't mess up my children too badly if they totally overdose themselves with screens right?  Today I announced that I want to do fun things like swim and go on day trips and play outside but that the new screen time rule is unlimited screen time for the rest of the summer as long as they will stop and go do those other fun things when I decide it's time for them.   I got a "YES!" and then my son quickly chugged his milk spilling it everywhere, raced to mop it up with a towel and made a mad dash for the computer.   Part of me is wondering what I have done and the other is enjoying not being nagged all morning about when 4:00 will be and why time is so slow.