Thursday, September 06, 2007


I sometimes wonder if, despite my best of intentions, I am encouraging some very bad habits in the Boy.

A week or so ago, at a loss for something to do, and running out of my already-very-short pregnancy patience, I introduced the Boy to the website Peep and The Big Wide World. We tried out a couple of games and it was a nice way to spend some time together. I didn't really thing much about it. Now, it's all the Boy wants to do. I mean ALL he wants to do.

"I wanna play on the pooter!"

"Not till after dinner."

"I want to play on the pooter!!" (various snufflings and whinings)

"We can play on the computer, but not until you've eaten something."

On the bright side, I have gotten him to eat some surprisingly balanced meals simply by withholding computer rights until he eats a mouthful of some vegetable. Ideally, this is not how I would go about encouraging nutritious eating, but I'm not perfect, okay??

Shockingly, at just over 2 1/2 (or 32 months, not that I'm counting..anymore), he's quite good at these games. I work the mouse, but he tells me what to do. He can remember the hiding places of Peep and all his friends. He can remember a random object that Peep saw on his walk. He can choose the coloured fish that fills out the pattern. He has a really good memory, and an eye for colours and patterns! Not worthless skills, those.

I don't know whether to be extremely proud or slightly disturbed. I'm a huge proponent of getting outside and getting fresh air. Eventhough I don't think that screen time is the enemy, I do try to watch that it doesn't get out of control. But these days, more than most, I find myself treading the path of least resistance. If I haven't seen him all day, and this is what he wants to do, is it really so bad? It's not like he watched tv or played on the computer all day at daycare. And when I'm tired, sitting at the computer with the Boy sounds very...nice. I'm tired a lot. Maybe too much.

This feels rather like inadequate parenting. I'm not going for any Parenting Award (although gosh I'd like to win one someday...), but I really am trying to do my best by him. You should see the Boy salivate and bounce up and down when I say we can play one game of "Hide and Peep". You'd question my actions too. I think I've created a monster.


b*babbler said...

Isn't Pavlovian training wonderful? Think about it, soon when he starts salivating and asking for celery when he hears the windows start up sound, won't you feel accomplished?

Seriously though, I wouldn't worry about it too much. As long as you're teaching them balanced habits - computer and good nutrition and playtime outdoors - isn't that the best thing? All things in moderation.

kgirl said...

Nuh uh. When you're 7 months pregnant and you're in charge, you can do whatever you want. At the moment I'm looking at a perfectly nice evening outside - and Bee is watching Diego. My aching legs are thanking me, even if I feel a bit gross about it.

Beck said...

There are awards for PARENTING now?
I don't worry about a small amount of carefully guarded computer time for little ones, really. My munchkin and I played Wubbzy this afternoon for a few minutes and then moved on to something else. Not a big deal, really.

Alley Cat said...

Do what you have to do. Incidentally, my 2-year-old watches Finding Nemo EVERY DAY. The WHOLE THING. Not all in one sitting but still....

I no longer feel bad about these things. We live in a world of technology that cannot be avoided forever.

Lisa b said...

I was going to say what Kgirl said. You are doing a great job. Two jobs in fact.

Mad Hatter said...

Whoa! Check out the banner. Cool.

I'm falling into path of least resistance these days too. For the most part I am not alarmed but that damnable pair, Max and Ruby, bring the hell cat out in my child and then I begin to wonder about wtf I am doing on the longer journey.

I have come to believe that toddler's develop these overwhelming obsessions but then in a little while they pass. As long as you aren't out there scouring the internet for the fix you will provide when the shine wears off ole Peep, then I think you're fine.

Mimi said...

That's a tuffy. But of course, you do whatever you need to do to get through the END OF A PREGNANCY, FOR GOODNESS' SAKE.

I'm totally shocked by the stuff Munchkin just latches onto, too. Like crack: one bit and they're HOOKED. It's disconcerting.

At least he's eating his vegetables, and you're off your feet. I'm pretty sure that as long as you're worried about it, you're not overdoing it.

painted maypole said...

well you must be tired. Making clothing out of leaves is exhausting

(fun new header!)

Susanne said...

It is perfectly okay to do this. Trust me. (And I'm not even pregnant.) And you will do this and maybe something else when the new baby is born. And then life will shift again and you and him will go outside and the "pooter" will be forgotten for a while.

crazymumma said...

It's not inadequate parenting.

We were given an old PS2 player last year, plus the inlaws gave bigirl a gameboy, plus they have access to the computer and its games.

For the first week they played it alought, now they hardly ever ask for it.

Give in for a while as you will need a break when the baby comes.

He'll know how to use that computer better than you in a couple of months.

bren j. said...

If it makes you feel any better, I have a horrible feeling we're already fostering some sort of television addiction in the Little Goat. On Monday, she laid in her bouncy seat STARING at the tv watching the football game. On the other hand, at least it was football and not Fashion File.

Anonymous said...

K, if you're inadequate for letting your boy play "puter" games, I'm there too. I also wonder if I should be ashamed or proud that PB is so friggin good at it! Hmmm.... Peep, huh? We haven't checked out that website yet.

Have you tried these ones:

?????? ;)

Christine said...

it really is ok. as our kids grow our parenting grows and changes and that is ok. an overabundance of screen time isn't a good idea, but moderation(which certainly sounds like what your doing) is just fine. if i had a parenting award to pass out i'd definitely send you one!

ewe are here said...

We've started 'bribing' MF to eat his fully balanced dinners, too, when he balks at certain components. We use various things, depending on the evening: special ice cream treat; going for a bike ride with daddy; bubble bath with the baby... Maybe it is wrong, but it's working!

Rach the Bach said...

When you're expecting, you're entitled to relax...don't feel guilty about that! My little guy's the same age as yours and also loves computer games. But I'm with you, fresh air is a must. But a little pooter game here and there is okay. We like

LoryKC said...

My son discovered the computer at about the same age! I was not pregnant at the time but let him go at it. Unfortunately, I did not think to work out a vegetable deal in order for him to play! (He eats corn. Every other vegetable requires much coercion!)

Though I never let the kids play on it "all day," it has its place. My kids are in school now and learning typing and computer skills--it's good for them to have some skills already!

So, RELAX! (And from one preggo mom to another--anything that lets you put your feet up for a few minutes these days is justifiable, anyway!) ;)

Anonymous said...

My daughter is about the same age so I think we'll try that game tonight. It sounds like a nice way to spend some time together. Don't be so hard on yourself. b*babbler is right. All things in moderation.

Chantal said...

You are doing just fine. I distinctly remember being 8 months pregnant and I would come home from work, put on the TV for my 3 year old and nap while he watched. I was so tired I couldn't function! At least you are having quality time together! Good for you!

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

I've let my son try a few games too. I found one where there is a train with letters and you have to match them. He's mesmerized. Sits on the chair like a big's so cute.

But yes, I see the scariness in it. When we turned it off, we had hours of crying to play on the computer.