Monday, May 30, 2016

Screen Time!!

   Guys, you know how pretty much everyone recommends that kids have somewhere between 0 and 20 minutes of screen time per day? Well, I'm such a good dad that I've basically quintupled those numbers. That's right: 0 to 100 minutes of screen time per hour for my kids.

You'll have to forgive the upcoming blurriness. For some reason my iPad refuses to take good pictures anymore. But you get the idea.

   It's hard being so effective as a parent all the time. When compared to recommended daily values, I went ahead and triple the amounts of sugar, sodium, and chicken nuggets they consume. But what's most challenging is probably knowing what the boys should be watching during their unlimited, healthy screen time. Wyatt watched 42 episodes of Beyblade Let it Rip!! in what I think was four days, drastically increasing his knowledge of ripcords and tired anime tropes. (Theme song: "Beyblade beyblade let it rip! Beyblade beyblade let it rip! Beyblade beyblade let it rip!" Repeat x13). Lincoln has hacked  the password for my iPad and can now watch PBS kids, but I usually funnel his attention to Pokemon to make sure he's not falling behind other kids his age when it comes to catching them all.

   Cara and I work opposite schedules. I am usually at school from 7:30 - 3:30, and she's often at the Pharmacy from 3:00 - 9:00. This timing is a lifesaver for our marriage, because spending time with me is the worst, but has always made it hard for us to get our little ones on good sleep schedules. It's usually not until summer time, when I am off work, that I a) get the kids outside, running and playing, every day, and b) can be in sole control of naps and bedtimes. Right now, Link almost always takes a nap around 3:00 (transition time between parents), and thus is up until about 1:00am. How do I handle him being up so late? NETFLIX.

   AKA screen time.

   Now, don't think that screen time is ALL we do at the Gil residence. Here's proof that my children shouldn't be taken from me:

   That's right!! Rock climbing!! The volunteers were super impressed with how brave he was, climbing above his head, but even more so that he was easily willing to let go of the wall and hang down by the rope. He's only four! And I know some 30-year-old handsome blogging math teachers who would be afraid to do that.

   Also, here's proof that Luncoln once had this one time he wasn't watching something
Ok, yeah, I'm not actually sure what this proves. That... than Link can grade tests? Or eat pen caps. Either way, those things are definitely on the list of "Not Screen Time" and therefore count as evidence towards my good parenting.

   In the glorious summers, our screen time will plummet to nearly zero. So will Link's education. He won't learn anything about superheros or bad sitcoms or even trains that can talk. I think it's worth it. But for about three more weeks, we'll be awful parents (Cara's definitely the worst) and our kids will get their fill of television.

   Ahh, summer. It's like a dream that's realized every year. It's waiting like waiting on a prophecy while remembering that it already came to pass. Teachers sleep in, kids play outside, breezes blow through the house, books are read, video games are played, and hammocks are filled.

   I asked Cara what her goals were for this summer. It's usually things like "build a fire pit," "build a deck," "just build a planter box or something for crying out load," and other pipe dreams that are impossible. This time she said "I want Wyatt to learn to swim and learn to read. What are yours?"
   "I want him to learn to ride a bike, to throw and catch really well, and to add and subtract."
   This means we are either really great parents or super lame adults, I'm not sure. You'll note there were no Lincoln goals in there. Why? Because if he can just say "up" and go to bed before tomorrow, I think we're happy.

My mood: eyes hurt from screen time
Wy and Link's mood: eyes are ever-improving due to screen time
Cara's mood: sleepy
Listening to: Beyblade in my head incessantly.