Monday, May 2, 2016

Adventure Unplugged or Don't Tell Her I Was Here or Little Man's Lament

Selfies by Sweet Girl
Photo 1
Sweet Girl's school is "celebrating" Screen Free Week.  It started today and is supposed to last until, well, you get it, next Monday.  I received all the notices via email and in Sweet Girl's take home folder.  I read the information and then I put it aside assuming that we wouldn't participate because we are dependent upon our screens here in this house.  That's the truth.  We like screens; all of them.  And some of us need screens to help us regulate.  With all of that in mind, I gave it the obligatory "That's a great idea!  We should really try to do that sometime." thought and carried on with life never intending for that "sometime" to be now.  Then Sweet Girl brought it up last Friday in the form of an anxiety-laden (perhaps-perhaps-overly dramatic) wail: "I will miss my iPad!" fake sob, fake sob, dramatic throw of face to folded arms, end scene Oh! We're going to try this? Mmmmkay.  Any thought I had that this would go away were dashed as she continually brought the idea up over the weekend.  In the same exact manner.  She is nothing if not consistent in her theatrics.  Looks like we're trying to go screen-free this week!

Selfies by Sweet Girl
Photo 2
Now mind you, it's only day one of this unplugged adventure but Sweet Girl has taken to this like Percy Weasley to prefecting.  What's the verb form of doing prefect things?  Anyone? Let me know.  Regardless, she has taken to this as any young person with a definitive sense of justice takes to overextending their modicum of power and control does.  This morning I had to assuage a forlorn Little Man because he had the nerve to suggest he might search for something on YouTube.  Sweet Girl all but wrote him a formal violation while reminding him that It. Is. SCREEN. FREE. WEEK!  Tears ensued and Screen Free Week (or Screen Freek as an emotional Little Man proclaimed) was determined to be "unfair!" and "not nice!".....all before breakfast.  After that, I was too scared to check the weather on my phone and incidentally found myself walking Little Man into his school building in the pouring rain sans umbrella.  I found myself sneaking screen time at lunch to quickly text Sean the expectations of this week: No screens! No surrender!  Later, the incomparable Ms. C. was informed that watching television is verboten during this week.  And once Ms. C. had been released from this screen free prison, Sweet Girl's speech pathologist had to re-work her entire lesson on the fly as she was informed- in no uncertain terms - that Sweet Girl couldn't play the computer game with her because (say it with me!) It. Is. SCREEN. FREE. WEEK!  I've got to hand it to her the girl knows how to sell a program to the somewhat reluctant.

Selfies by Sweet Girl
Photo 3
Here's the real rub though, I think I was the one who was most reluctant.  Sweet Girl probably spends more time on Apple products than The Woz himself, but I was the one who thought we wouldn't be able to do this.  {Side note: I reserve the right to call this a success only if we make it through this day.  I am positive that there is a calendar somewhere in the world - lunar, Gregorian, Julian, Mayan, something - which considers this elapsed time to be a week.}  Sweet Girl has used her iPad for many different things over the years.  She's grown her vocabulary; she's found control in a world of chaos; she's found laughter; she's developed literacy skills; she's found a million different toys that aren't actually sold in stores but are the only thing in the world that she has ever and will ever want to possess; she's sung me a million different beautiful melodies; pardon the cheesiness and sentiment, but she's found a faithful companion.  And I thought she needed that still.  I thought her 1.5 pound tablet was actually the crutch holding her almost nine year old frame upright and steady.  But I was wrong.  She's been doing that herself.  Screen Freek, indeed.  True, we still have six more days and at 7:45 pm Sweet Girl told me that she really, really misses her iPad.  True, I'm really nervous that I'll miss some very important and cute otter videos during this week.  Otterly disasterous!  True, I just realized that no screens might equal big trouble as I trace the rollie chair tracks across my carpet and notice that Sweet Girl has been trying to get to the top shelf in my closet where I keep all things she is not be trusted with.  True, I've had to hurriedly close my laptop twice, like someone caught looking at NSFW pictures at work, while I've been writing this because I think I hear one of the kids coming into my bedroom.  All true, but I'm already very proud of Sweet Girl and Little Man for showing me that they can walk through life without this particular crutch.  Even if it's just a day, this is a victory.  If you need me, send a carrier pigeon.  But whatever you do, just don't tell Sweet Girl I was here.