I looked at Sullivan yesterday and I felt like a failure. Not like a full-blown failure, but a mini-failure. He was zoned out watching YouTube videos of adults playing Minecraft. (What is up with that anyway?) He would be perfectly content to watch videos for hours and hours if left uninterrupted and, in fact, would not even notice if I left the house. And sometimes I think I allow too much electronics usage because it is easier than constantly finding other things to entertain them while I am busy with all my mom-jobs. So I made the painful decision to have an electronics-free Friday, myself included, but not until after 8:00 am because momma needs her coffee in relative peace. Mark pointed out the folly in my plan; that the kids would get up extra early to get in as much electronics time as possible, and he was right. Sullivan claimed that he was the only one that slept in when he awoke at 5:45 am, and in comparison to his brothers, who were up at 5:30 am, I guess he kind of did.
As soon as we were all up for the day, I reminded them that we were going unplugged at 8:00 am. They remembered. By 6:00 am, Brady was fashioning a slingshot out of a balloon and a milk jug cap, apparently deciding to go electronics-free extra early and not allow me to enjoy my coffee in peace after all. The early morning hours slipped away quickly and a few minutes before 8:00 am, we turned it all off and started cleaning the house. I did make a bit of an exception and we used my phone to pump music into each room that we cleaned. By “we,” I mean “me.” The kids sort of cleaned, but mostly they made x’s out of electrical tape on my rear end and shot the target with a licorice dart from Brady’s balloon slingshot.
I was saved by the bell when my friend called at the last minute to see if we could meet at the Michigan Science Center. Yes, yes! I am sure I sounded overly eager to escape my electronic-free, mostly clean home. I doled out a stack of clothes to each boy and was in and out of the shower in five minutes flat and we were on our way.
We had a wonderful time together, my friend having three boys almost the same age as mine. And now that the kids are getting older, we are actually able to finish MOST conversations that we have, though at least a few were interrupted by impatient children chanting “Mom,” on repeat. As our visit was coming to a close, the boys and I were all thoroughly exhausted, having been awake since before dawn. As I attempted to say goodbye to my friend and her kids, I had one child attached to my leg, sobbing because he fell and hurt his knee, and two children persistently asking for a drink from the vending machine, even though there were zero dollars in my wallet and a water fountain nearby. My friend said, under her breath, “Mommy needs a drink.” Truer words were never spoken.
The littles fell asleep on the car ride home and as soon as we walked in the door, I lifted the electronics ban. So we did survive most of the day relatively unscathed, though I am not entirely sure if my rear-end does or does not have the marks to prove it.