Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I want an Ooopa Loompa now Daddy!!

I have created a Monster.

I want an iPad now Daddy!!
M is obsessed with the iPad. It has gotten to the point where I have to hide it from her. She knows where it charges in my bedroom and will make a beeline for it when we go upstairs. She will go over to the diaper bag and say "Mama's bag! iPad inside?" I have a fancy gold frame case on it, and when I was cleaning up some stuff in our basement, I came across a sparkly frame the size of the iPad and she said "ohhhh! iPad!"

The problem is that when she thinks the iPad is within her reach, and doesn't actually get to use it, all hell breaks loose. It is even worse when she is using it, and I need to take it away from her (see the post below for a kicking the dog incident).

It is totally my fault too. I wanted an iPad to enjoy with M, to download apps and play games with her on it. I introduced it to her when she was just 12 months, and would put it in front of her to show her things before she even knew what it/she was capable of. But then she started realizing how much fun it was to use, and she started craving that feeling of excitement of making things on the screen move with a touch of the finger (I know how she feels!)

And then in June we put Toy Story 3 on there, and she learned that she could watch her boyfriend Woody basically wherever, whenever, and instead of putting up a fight, I would just let her. She spent an entire 6 hour drive back from Syracuse with the iPad on her lap, watching TS3 over and over. I didn't care, she seemed happy and she was quiet...but little did I know that I was feeding the hungry monster growing inside of her. I then put on a few of her favorite TV show episodes (Sid the Science Kid, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street) so she knew she could have those "on demand" as well...big mistake.

My husband and I got in the habit of bringing it with us out to dinner to use as a worst case scenario form of entertainment, which of course was immediate because at this point she had iPad-dar and was able to spot it at 100 yards...in a closed bag...in the car. I think she might actually be able to smell the iPad from afar.

This morning's behavior has brought me to a breaking point though. I had to go to the docs early, with M in tow, so I got myself ready and put the iPad outside her room on the railing so that I remembered to grab it on the way down. I dress M, pick her up and start to bring her into my bedroom to say goodbye to Dada. She spots the iPad out of the corner of her eye and starts with the usual "iPad! iPad Mama!" and I say no and bring her into the bedroom. Queue the drama...

Hands flailing, whining, fake crying, screams of iPad!! iPad now! And this was after being out of her crib for a total of 5 minutes, tops. She wouldn't even give my husband a hug and kiss goodbye until I had to bribe her with talks of watching the iPad in the car in 5 minutes.

Of course I gave her the iPad in the car, because I can't stand the drama (don't save it for your mama please...I hate that saying), but then when I took it away from her to let the valet take the car, the hysterics began...and this time with that crazy high pitched scream that I detest. The poor valet guy was just staring at her as I struggled to get her out of the carseat and said "is she ok?"

"Yes, she has just become a spoiled brat that can't be without her $700 electronic device, that was actually intended for me, but I don't even get to use it until she is asleep anymore, and there is hardly any room on it for anything I want to do, as I have spent a small fortune paying for applications that I wanted her to use to broaden her language skills, but she just wants to watch movies and TV shows on it now and it drives me crazy, but the alternative is a screaming hysterical child, so I just give in and let her use it 10 times more than I would like her to use it, and now I don't know what to do because I hate that I have become one of those parents who sticks their kids in front of an electronic device for peace and quiet, but I totally have, and I hate the looks that I get from people when I am pushing her in the stroller and she has this expensive device on her lap like she is a teenager and not a 20 month old, and I totally feel like I am being judged by everyone around me, so I am thinking about not letting her use it anymore, but then there will be so much screaming and yelling, and sometimes she uses it for good things, like to read books, and do puzzles, but most of the time it is just to watch the same 5 episodes over and over, and if I hear the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song one more time I swear to God...oh here are my keys. "

Ok, so I didn't say all of that...

But I have begun Operation iPad Out of Sight, so wish me luck. I will probably cave by lunch.



16 comments:

  1. You can do it Mama J!!! Just remember that everything is black and white for kids her age. If she can use the ipad sometimes, of course she wants to use it all the time. She's not bad or spoiled, even, she's just a toddler. I'd recommend if you want to break the habit just keep the ipad away from her all together. It will be easier in the long run.

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  2. Can you drain the battery and tell her that it is broken?

    I always feel guilty about how much time my husband (lawyer) and me (researcher) are on our respective devices. Our pseudo rules are 1) no electronic devices at the table during meal time and 2) YGG length maximum once/day only when I am trying to get dinner on the table or get ready for work etc.

    The thing that makes it easiest I think for us to avoid the dreaded "screen time", is the fact that she is in a center daycare/preschool program part-time, so knows that she can't always get what she wants. You can cry sometimes, but the end result is the same. No iPad!

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  3. I was smiling and nodding reading your entire post. We have the same situation at our house, an iPad addicted toddler. We "hide" ours as well and say that it's broken, or it went bye-bye. She too "can smell the iPad from afar." It is very hard to say no, easier to just give it to them and stop the screaming. I look forward to an update on how this goes with M and maybe I can use some of your strategies at our house as well.

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  4. come on im 10and i got a phone so let her have one to play for an ahour if she refuses slap her and swear at her say you fucking bitch ill let you play with my boobs

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