Okay, so I just bumped into this other mom from my daughter’s school and we started chatting. Hmmmm, what should I call her, lemme seeeee, how about Muffy McPerfectpants? Anyways, Muffy and I are chatting (she’s going on and on and on about the homemade gingerbread houses they made last night and I’m going on and on and on about how I can’t stop drinking eggnog straight from the container) when she politely asks me what we are doing for the holidays.
ME: Enh, not much. Just wearing my fat pants all day long and letting the kids have as much iPad as humanly possible so we don’t go insane.
MUFFY: Oh. (big pause) My kids only play on the iPad two hours a week. They don’t really like screen time.
(in my head: Bwhahahahahahahahahahaha, you don’t REALLY believe that, do you?!)
MUFFY: I do believe that.
Whoops, guess I accidentally said my thoughts out loud.
ME: Yeah, but it’s a vacation so why not let them have a little extra screen time, right?
MUFFY: I’d rather them use their imaginations.
ME: Like imagine what to do with a couple of Sharpies and your leather sofa?
MUFFY: (fake laughter) Ha ha, you’re too funny. No, I’d just rather them do something else. Like bake or draw or read quietly or put on a play or practice the piano.
ME: Or hold onto your legs while you’re trying to cook the holiday dinner until you accidentally spill hot boiling water all over their head? No thank you.
MUFFY: (blank stare)
ME: Screen time helps me get through the holidays.
MUFFY: Screen time is a way for moms to be lazy.
FYI, I’m not sure this was the whole conversation verbatim, but between her words and her patronizing looks, I knew that’s exactly what she was saying.
Back when I was in my 20’s, I probably would have argued with her for hours about the benefits of screen time, but now that I’m older and wiser and no longer like to waste my precious spare time on pointless debates with Muffy McPerfectpantsers, I quickly looked at my invisible watch and said I was late to my organic scrapbooking class.
Did she make me feel a little guilty about how much screen time I’m gonna give my rugrats this holiday break? Yes. For about point two seconds. Because then I remembered alllllll of the reasons why screen time is awesome. Correction, why it is a necessity.
When the last school bell rings and my kids are officially on vacation, they will have 360 hours of unstructured time at home. THREE-HUNDRED AND SIXTY HOURSSSS. And yes, I used my calculator to figure that out, and yes, there was literally sweat coming out of every single pore in my body when I saw that number. Even out of my eyeballs. Or maybe those are tears.
Anyways, screen time is what’s going to keep our house sane this holiday. It’s going to keep my kids from tearing each other apart. It’s going to keep them from literally dying of boredom. And it’s going to keep me from being hauled away in a straight jacket.
And besides, Muffy McPerfectpants, if you weren’t so petrified of iPads, maybe you would pick one up once in while to see that it’s actually filled with lots of AWESOME stuff. Apps that teach kids how to read, classic books, games that teach them math, apps that teach them other languages, even apps that encourage kiddos to use their imaginations.
Speaking of imaginative apps, I just found out about one that totally kicks ass. It’s called Thomas & Friends Read & Play and when they reached out to me, I was like hmmm, I don’t know, I don’t usually blog about apps. But then I tried it. And it is AWESOME. And yes, in case you’re wondering, this post is sponsored but just so I can keep entertaining you every day and still put food on my table. If you want to be annoyed that I’m doing a sponsored post, please leave me a nasty comment and mail me some money.
Anyways, I don’t know about you, but I never know which apps to get my kids. And then I end up filling my iPad with a lot of crappy ones we never use. So when I found this one, I was like holy moly!! It has a ton of creative stuff to do in it. Like it reads stories out loud and makes sound effects when your kiddo touches the screen, and all of the stories have an age on it, so it works for years and for multiple siblings.
And it’s not just about Thomas stories. It has spot-the-difference games, counting games, even an art section for iPad users where kids can do use stickers and typing and doodling with their finger to make art (see Holden’s masterpiece below!!).
It’s one of those apps that’s FREE for iOS users (coming soon for Android), but if you subscribe you get even more awesome stuff and there’s even new material every week so your kid won’t ever get bored. Seriously, Holden has been playing with it nonstop since we got it.
You’d be crazy not to try it out. Get it in the app store or just click on this link!!
And the next time you run into your own Muffy McPerfectpants, you can brag all about how screen time has made your kids smarter, more creative, more imaginative and how it has made you a better mom. And then look at your fake watch and run away before she has time to respond.
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