May 06, 2016
This week, our elementary school challenged students to go screen-free for seven days. No TV, video games, phones/tablets, the whole shebang. Anyone who participates gets a certificate and an invitation to a special ice cream party at school.
ME: GUESS WHAT KIDS YOU'RE DOING THIS SHIT.
KIDS: AW HELLLLL NO.
ME: I AIN'T SORRY.
Each day they were to document what they did instead of screen time. And I tried very hard to fill the void with fun stuff. I relaxed the chore chart to give them even more free time to play. We went to the bookstore and got everybody new books for bedtime reading. We cooked together and had a living room dance party. They built epic Lego creations and drew comic books and took Beau for walks. We went out for a special mid-week dinner at a restaurant.
(And FINE. We did make one exception to watch Force Awakens as a family on May the 4th. Because we do not mess with the holy holidays, you guys.)
But if I were to be honest, I think their forms would technically look more like this:
Spent entire day arguing with parents about the inherent unfairness of this whole endeavor, attempting to beg and plead our way out of it, and basically firing off a warning shot of just how much whining we're capable of.
Hid under Mom's bed with a foam Minecraft sword while she showered, vowing creepy revenge.
Begged for one quick Google search on a phone to find out if it was possibly to die from a "broken heart" and/or Minecraft-related withdrawal.
Grudgingly accepted Fun Dad's offer for a Star Wars night, stayed up too late, lay face down on floor in rooms for awhile begging for the sweet relief of Sunday morning.
Complained to restaurant hostess, waitress, busboy and a bartender about school's Worst Rule In The Entire World That Is Literally Ruining Our Lives Right Now, Do You Not See We Are Sitting Here COLORING, Like On PAPER, Instead Of An Electronic Drawing App On A Phone, LIKE GOD INTENDED? Spent rest of the meal completely enraptured by insurance commercials playing on a TV on a wall 25 feet away.
Woke up to more rain, sighed deeply and told Mom that "this weather matches my life" before leaving for the bus stop.
Tomorrow is the last day, and I predict continued non-stop Minecraft whining, capped off by one final, hysterical shitstorm when I tell their babysitter about the challenge and offer up some alternative activities to their after-dinner movie.
Then on Sunday, they will wake up with screen time privileges restored, having made it through the longest week of their lives. Most certainly reflecting on the lessons they learned from this experience.
(Which are totally that: Our parents are mean garbage humans and the only things that matter in life are screens, preshus screens.)