If your child is anything like mine, they have a slight to major device addition. Like literally they can’t function unless they’re attached to something that requires either charging or batteries. Trying to have a conversation requires, “What”, and “What did you say”, because their ears are plugged with ear buds, or Mommy canceling earphones. It has completely taken over our everyday life.
But how you ask, how did we get to this point? Well, I realized I could have five more minutes of blissful quiet, snuggled in my bed, if I just let him continue to mindlessly stare into the device abyss. So, there you have it. My selfish need to have silence in my life, and an extra bit of heavenly sleep, has led to a complete meltdown of the otherwise unmovable structure I had so painstakingly established in my home. And so, here we are. The device giving me that cheeky grin, like it has won, and me give the device a sideways glance, wondering how big the mutiny would be if the device met some tragic end. I’m not opposed to telling a little fib for the benefit of my Mommyhood, a girl has to do what a girl has to do. But then, in a moment of sheer brilliance, sorry it felt brilliant to me, I was going to make this device do my dirty work. My son wouldn’t even see it coming.
Mornings in our house can be a bit of a cluster. And yes, there is only one child in the house, but that in no way exempts me from the everyday drama getting out of the door brings. This is mostly my own fault though, simply because I am a night own, who detests the need to rise before the hour of… well, I’ll just keep that to myself. Anyway, because of my own behind dragging, I tend to bark rapid-fire questions at my son in an effort to accomplish the goal of getting out of the house. “Why haven’t you cleaned up your breakfast?” “Were you planning to put your shoes on today?” “Did you brush your teeth?” Come here and let me smell you, did you remember deodorant?” For those of you with boys…I know you feel me on this one. All of this happening in about a two-minute window, because I have laid in bed for so long, pushed the snooze button on my squawking phone so many times, and waited until I am on the verge of, God forbid, making my child late for school. And what ensues is a complete breakdown of humanity in my house. I’m yelling, he’s crying, nothing is getting done, and we HAVE to walk out the door right this minute! Somehow we end up in the car, with everything he needs for school, but I’m angry, he’s pissed off, and both of us start our day off on a terrible foot. I used to hate mornings, with my entire being, but now, now mornings are a whole new ball game.
My son wakes up at 6:15am, sometimes on his own, and sometimes with the help of his alarm clock. Before summer break he would wake up at 6:22am. This gave him just enough time to get dressed, grab the breakfast Great Guy had prepared for him, and turn on his favorite show at the opening credits. Notice there was no mention of me in this scenario? That’s right, because I don’t want to be talked to before 7:30am. If the house is burning down, fine, wake me up. Otherwise, it is in everyone’s best interest that I be left alone to finish my sleep, until I decide it is time to raise myself from sleep.
With the start of school this year, we adopted a new screen time schedule. He now only gets his screen time in the morning before school. That’s right, he gets from 6:20am – 7:30am to play as much Clash of Clans and watch as many wrestling videos he can cram into that time. But at 7:30am everything changes, and not because the Mommy beasts is coming downstairs. At 7:30am his first alarm goes off on his iPhone, indicating he needs to go upstairs and brush his teeth, put on deodorant, and make his bed. At 7:40am the second alarm sounds to remind him to put his lunch bag and water bottle in his backpack. 7:45am the third and final alarm goes off, letting him know it is time to put on his shoes. Now when I come down the stairs at 7:50am, he is smiling at me completely ready to walk out the door, without a single word from me. There’s no yelling, no crying, no frustration on either of our parts. Leaving for an on time arrival at school is no longer the most diabolical parenting challenge. We just walk out of the door talking about what we are looking forward to throughout the day.
All in all, it seams to be working out for the best. My son and I are both able to start our days with positive attitudes, instead of wanting to kill each other. My enormous loathing of the device has mildly faded. I wouldn’t say the device and I are friends. I look at it more as a healthy mutual understanding we will achieve goodness through the joining of forces, rather than creating discontent by continually butting heads. I know I feel better when I’m able to hug and kiss my son happily, when I drop him off at school. My son has expressed how much he really liked morning time, now. He shared how the alarms were really helpful for him. Win win, right? I’m happy, he’s happy. We hear the blue jays singing as we skip off into the sunrise…okay, that’s not exactly how it happens. But we’ve found our magic trick for making morning time less of a battle, and a more delightful start to our day. If anyone had asked me if I’d be glad about my kid’s screen time, they would certainly get a “What the pickles?” But, here we are, and I’m okay with it.