Ada recently became obsessed with computers and computer games. One day she was sitting innocently at the computer playing with the mouse and clicking on random things. Then next day she was demanding games, games and more games. I was trying to limit her total screen time since she also loves movies, but it wasn’t working. As a persistent toddler, she would inevitably wear me down after hours of begging and whining and having tantrums for “puter” games. When I finally gave in, she was on a computer without an Internet connection. Her game options included Solitaire, Hearts, Minesweeper, and Pinball. Pinball won. The bouncing of the ball, flashing lights and sounds, flapping of the flippers had her hooked from the start. Her name was entered in the top five highest score slots (previously empty since we didn’t even know Pinball was on the computer). She was in love…for a day…until she got bored and wanted Sesame Street.
While Ada was busy playing Pinball, Iain was playing his own version of Pinball around the house. He was the ball bouncing from the bookcase to the coffee table to the dining room table and down the hall. He started crawling and was so excited to explore with his new-found freedom of mobility. If I stepped out of the living room to wash my hands, I returned to a quick round of “find the baby”. He was never in the same spot for long.
My hope was that Ada would find Iain more entertaining now that he was mobile. Maybe it would distract her from the “puter” just a little while. Anything to reduce her screen time would be good.
Moral of the story: Kids are meant to be entertained. Know that having a second child might eventually provide entertainment for the first, but be patient. And understand that they are competing with more high- tech gadgets than ever.