|M watching Wuddy on the iPad|
Around the time M was 1, she started to really pay attention to the TV. She would dance to Yo Gabba Gabba, squeal with delight when Elmo came on the screen and say "choo choo" when the Dinosaur Train zoomed across the television. I didn't see anything wrong with letting her watch a few minutes every day...I was sitting there with her, she genuinely liked it. What was the harm?
It was at that same time (Christmas) that I received an iPad as a gift (aka the best gift ever). I loaded it with applications for toddlers and M was immediately hooked. She was learning her alphabet, her colors, and even learning to say words out loud. I was shocked by how much she picked up so quickly - by January she was even able to turn it on and unlock it, and flip right to her page of Apps. One of the first words she said perfectly clear was "iPad." We had created a monster.
Then came the infatuation with Toy Story that I told you about a couple weeks ago. (What began as a curiosity, has now blown into a full fledged obsession. There will be fits had when we are out and about if she asks, "Wuddy?" and I say, "no, Woody is at home sleeping." Cue the screaming and fake crying.) We have TS3 on the iPad as well as cued up in the living room. And we watch it twice a day practically (not always in it's entirety.)
I am will be totally honest and say that I sometimes use the television or iPad as an electronic babysitter. If I really need to clean the kitchen I will turn on Woody and let her watch a few minutes of it. I am in the next room, I can see her on the couch from where I am in the kitchen, and she doesn't move from the couch when her boyfriend is on TV (she actually sits there with her Woody doll next to her - I told you, obsessed!)
If I am totally behind with the laundry and need to do a few load, I will plop her on my bed with the iPad for a bit.
Now, she isn't alone doing these things for hours at a time, nor is she in front of a screen for hours at a time, unless we watch a full movie, which does happen quite often, but that is never alone. But I feel totally guilty that I do this.
Yes I spend a good chunk of the time she is awake with her playing, or drawing or singing or some other brain stimulating thing, but sometimes I just need those 10 minutes to get something done. Queue the iPad or TV.
Am I a terrible mother? Are people reading this thinking, "how could you let your 19 month old watch tv? Or play with an iPad?" Do any of you do this too?
Be honest with me Mamas...