I have an addictive personality.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a nail biter. Do I want ugly nails and the occasional sore from biting too far? No. Have I tried to stop? Yes. Yet, here I type, with no long nails getting in my way.
I have the same problem with chocolate. Chocolate and I go way back, starting with my love affair with Daffins chocolate (my hometown friends know the truth of which I speak). If I go a day without some kind of chocolate, I start to get the shakes.
Maybe this is why I am known for my chocolate chip cookies. Hmm.
I am extremely thankful that my addictive personality has never gone down the road of drugs and alcohol-I know that I am ridiculously lucky to not be one of those who struggle with such temptations. Because I understand the loss of willpower, I have compassion on those who continue to struggle with those demons.
Because of my personality, I really should not be surprised that my children have their own addictions. All three of them seem to have an addiction to electronics.
Okay, so they are probably like every other child their age in this culture, but I am noticing it more these days.
I blame the snow days.
Abby is not as bad as the boys, but the moment her ipod touch dings with a text or someone is trying to face time her, she feels the need to immediately run to it and answer her friends.
And why shouldn't she? I do the same thing with my phone, right?
The boys. Oh, the boys. Caleb not only asks EVERY DAY for his kindle (because he has to harvest his crops?), but it is also all about the Wii and PS3. I know that the second he walks up to me, gives me a little smile and says, "Hey Mom," he is about to ask to play one of those three items.
Because a seven-year old boy never just comes up to his mom to see how she is doing or offer to help with anything.
As for Noah-well, let me start by saying that he is currently "cut off" from any of the above mentioned electronics.
Normally, the only time we let Noah have control of the Kindle (Abby's Kindle, to be exact) is at his sibling's sporting events. As much time as we spend on the sidelines of soccer and basketball practices and games, I gladly let him play a few games.
(Okay, so it also helps me be able to actually sit and watch the games.)
Lately, though, he keeps asking to play it at home. Sometimes I give in (after all, I do work from home and I enjoy being able to make phone calls without the sound of whiny three-year old in the background), but usually I point to the ridiculous amount of toys in the house and remind him that I will start throwing them away if they do not get played with.
I have done it before-I admit it.
However, Mr. Noah decided to take things into his own hands this week. The other night, I went to check on the kids before going to sleep (am I the only parent who checks to make sure they are breathing every night?) and Noah was in his bed, playing his dad's ipad.
At 10:30 pm.
The look on his (tired) face was something I had never seen before. As he looked at us, he felt so much shame and started crying. Partly because he was caught, but mostly because he KNEW we were disappointed.
Even though he is cut off for awhile, he has STILL continued to sneak the ipad or Kindle. It simply is amazing to me. If I hear silence for more than a minute, I know that I have to seek him out and find what electronic device he is hiding.
As I took back the ipad for the third time today, it got me to thinking about WHY he is doing this. Yes, he is three years old and testing his boundaries and yes, he loves playing the games on it. But, I think there is more.
What does he see ME do every day? I work from home so even though I play with him all morning and attempt to work more in the afternoon, I do spend a decent amount of time on the laptop. And my phone. And he sees his dad on the computer (the beauty of the English teacher's job-always grading). And his brother on whatever game he talked me into that day. And his sister on her ipod touch.
There is no escaping the reality of the tech age we live in, but certainly I can control how much time I spend on such things when I am with my kids. Am I working/seeing what everyone else is doing on facebook while I am with my kids? Or am I being truly present for them? Can I go a whole hour without checking my phone?
As Noah is "cut off" for awhile, perhaps I should be limiting my addiction to electronics as well.
Why is it so hard to do?