Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tech Junkies = Bad Parenting?

Is it bad that my kids are obsessed with ipads, ipod touches, Apple tvs, laptops, and cellphones?

Is it bad that when they role play it is often as Zombies?

Is it bad that my four year old and two year old know every single character name of Super Mario's world? And that when I do an "underdog" for my little girl on the swing she says, "Mom, say under bob-omb?" (the little bomb guy on Mario. I didn't even know that's what he was called).

Yes, I realize it means they're going to be major nerds, but is it more dangerous than that? Calvin loves watching YouTube. Mostly he loves the home movies that people make with the Mario, Rio, and Angry Bird plush toys, which seems like they would be fine, but there are some really messed up kids out there with too much time on their hands and not enough adult supervision. The other day I was with him watching trailers for the new Despicable Me movie and someone had dubbed the cute little yellow guys to yell Mother F----er at each other. I was horrified.

Tonight Calvin told me about a video he watched with Mario and Princess Peach. Again, horrified. I try to keep an eye on him, but I guess I shouldn't assume he's playing a fun little preschool spelling game when he's really watching awful crap. Tonight I turned off all of the internet connections on the devices and tomorrow when the kids get up, we're going to talk about a technology crack-down. What do you do though? I realize the first step would probably be not having ipod touches for toddlers, but since we've already moved past that... I mean, when I was a kid (here I go sounding old) we didn't even have internet, let alone little handheld devices that kids knew how to operate. What do you do? Not let them play them? Sit with them the entire time? Block YouTube? I have no idea. Mostly I feel like a crappy parent.

Also fun today, Autumn started yelling "it's not fair!" any time I tried to dress her, change her, feed her, touch her, bring her inside, etc. I have no idea where she heard it. She has always been the sweetest little thing, but today she would arch her back and stiffen all of her limbs and fall backwards like she was going to crash into the floor, the whole time yelling, "it's not fair! it's not fair!" I saw a whole new little monster.

When I talked to Andy on the phone tonight, I recapped the day and he said, "oh great, our girl is acting like an over-emotional drama queen, and our boy is sneaking off to look at smut. It's like they're teenagers already."

So what do you do to UN-mess-up your kids? I play with them. I keep a close eye on them. I read to them. I pray with them. I talk with them about things. I'm a present and available parent. But apparently I suck at it. They're growing up too fast. I'm not equipped to deal with any of these things.

You know something is up when it's way too quiet and you find two big lumps underneath a blanket:

Uh-oh, there goes their perfectly contrived hiding place:


Forced out of hiding:
(you'll notice my ghetto ripped bedskirt. The kids use it as a ladder. Someday I will fix it.)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's a Small World After All

Here's a fun story.

About a month ago I submitted a short story for a Writing for Charity Anthology--my first ever creative writing submission. It was accepted. I was thrilled because it also includes famous authors like Shannon Hale, Dan Wells, Rick Walton and others.

But then I noticed that also receiving top billing on the cover of the ebook was none other than my former roommate/24-hour-a-day-companion, Nancy Fulda (look at the picture--you'll see how she's ranked on the cover with the best of the best) from my days in Germany. I have stalked her a bit in the past year because she's been quite successful as a writer. I don't remember us ever talking about both being aspiring writers, but I do remember listening to cassettes that her mother, a professional storyteller, would mail her. Anyway, it was fun to reconnect with her this week and to both be in the same book.

Here's her blog post that mentions me and makes me feel special since she's a REAL writer:

Nancy's Blog

Kind of fun. It's a small world.

On another note, I hope to be back to blogging again soon. My life has been a hellish blend of sickness, thesis revisions, homework, and domesticity. Lots of great things have happened in the last few months too, so I'll catch you up on all of that soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Adorably Quirky Daughter I Always Wanted



The other day Calvin decided that he wanted to help clean the house. He asked me for a sponge and a bucket of water. He and Autumn worked really hard,

They scrubbed the bathroom:

And spread water across the furniture, floors, and walls.

It took a while to clean up after all of their cleaning up, but it's the thought that counts, right?