It's so much harder than it seems... Unplugging. Turning off the TV, ceasing the incessant need to check the phone; for messages, phone calls, Instagram notifications, emails...I know I have a problem. It is far too easy to become distracted from what is really important in my life. Even Graeme has a constant want to stand in front of the TV in a trance, watching movies. He grabs the remote & points it at the TV demanding it to turn his movie on. It's humorous, but worrisome at the same time. How in the world did something so unnecessary become something we're so obsessed with? I'm ashamed that we've gotten to this point. Obviously, it's time for that to change. Time to unplug, turn off, set to vibrate... and spend time with my family.
Day 1, Graeme is standing in front of the TV yelling at it again (or wait, scratch that... He's yelling at me!). Pointing at the remote that I have intentionally kept out of his reach. He wants a movie. He grabs the stack of movies next to the TV: Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, Cars, The Junglebook & Madagascar. He shrieks & hands me Monsters Inc. I pause & tell him no. Not right now. He cries. He pouts, he screams at the TV & remote for what seems to be forever. Then I cave, a movie it is - ugh I've unknowingly created a monster of my own.
What is the best solution to break this toddler movie marathon!? Go OUTSIDE! I literally tore my child from his tenth time watching Monsters Inc., dressed him in a full body snowsuit, boots, gloves & hat. I wanted to pull Graeme on the sled... That we didn't have... so I improvised & grabbed a clothes basket. I tied hemp rope to it & pulled him down some hills, Ruby chased close beside him. He seemed to enjoy himself. Until I made a hard stop and over he went lol. But, no harm done just a little snow on the face. We made snow balls, ate snow & tried to make a snowman, but to no aviel the snow was just too wet. He tolerated this snow play with mama for about a total of 45 minutes. At that point he began screaming at me, throwing his arms in the air. Done-zo mama... & in we went to watch Cars (at least it wasn't Monsters Inc. again..)
Now, for day 2... How about a play mama & babe date? We went to our friend's house where Graeme played with his twin buddies Kate & Cole. At least this was a win win, mama gets some time too! It was so nice to see Graeme exploring the new surroundings, babbling at goldfish, sharing toys & snacks (sippy cups & pacis too..) He's independent, it made my heart happy to see him cruising around the house seemingly unaware of where mama was... He played gently with the younger babes, chased after his twin 18 month old buds & a new 2 year old friend, he even shared his snacks with Aiden the giant yellow lab... OH & then, the best part of the day... Kate decided she couldn't let Graeme leave without laying one on him! The cutest first kiss I ever did see. We had a great time playing with everyone. He did so well, & it was nice to sit and chat with some mamas too.
Day 3, I didn't feel like going anywhere, typical homebody over here!! So what could we do at home? I grabbed a super large garbage bag, cleared an area on the floor in the dining room and taped the bag down to the floor. I set out three plastic plates with Crayola Finger Paints, paint brushes, a large canvas & a baby in a diaper. Boom... Mini Picasso arose from within Graeme. He painted for probably an hour or so. Started on the canvas & ended up on his hands & feet, then he had a taste testing...in which he did not approve! We ended the painting with a bubble bath & some naked time running around with the the pup. We still watched a movie... But, at least we had some one on one attention & a fun creative outlet. I still feel like I conquered the day!
So, here I am, saying to those that may feel like they are floating into the danger zone with the world of electronic devices & social media... You aren't alone! Take this challenge with me. To unplug.To pull away from the unnecessary & focus on the now. The now that is slipping through our fingers as I type this! If I can keep Graeme occupied for an hour without the use of a Disney Movie & keep my fingers off my phone at the same time, than I have succeeded- right?
Peace, Love & Tie Dye