iKid

The mantra for my mothering style is: don’t be an asshole. A solid rule for the kid, but also for me. Wouldn’t it be rad if all parents just agreed that the way we’re doing things isn’t necessarily right, but it’s the option we’re choosing to survive? Whether it’s breastfeeding, leashes, TV or the lack thereof, nutrition, sleeping and diapers - we just have to trust our guts, do what works safely for our kids and if our neighbour chooses to take a different approach, well, shrug, high five over a bathtub of wine and carry on. Perfect. I can stop feeling defensive about everything and finally get Stella’s septum pierced. (KIDDING, MOM. WAKE UP.)

(The Confession)
For real though, feeling defensive about parenting is the silent crippling disease that eats at the soul of every Mom. In a small step towards exorcising those piranha nibbles of doubt and loathing in my head, here’s my deal. Currently, every member of my family has an iPad. Except one person. If you guessed the three year old was the one lacking in technological toys, you would be wrong. The person whose bum I still wipe has an iPad and I do not. I know. I KNOW. Are we…ok? Can we still be friends?

(Where I try to Justify It)
First off, this sweet child of mine has NO peer competition. She is the only one. The chosen one. She is a princess who walks on portable red carpets and eats only name brand jelly beans because she may not know how to spell whipped, but she has her Aunts and Uncles and Grandmothers so terrifyingly at her beck and call and whim she is essentially the Anna Wintour of toddlers. The upside is her gratitude is so true and large and perfect. When she’s happy the world is sound and right and when YOU have made her happy it kind of makes you feel like you’re maybe 15% immortal. It’s a sweet sweet poison and she doles it out generously, especially when her Uncle who works at Apple buys her an iPad. How could I possibly intervene?

(In defense of the iPad {and Me})
Do you like peaceful public transportation jaunts? Me too. I take the skytrain twice a week with the kid. Ensuring she has something to entertain herself with when I need to move her from point A to point B keeps her mouth shut. I give her this vessel of distraction partially for YOU. I don’t want your eyes to roll out the back of your head when she spins off into a bored tantrum comprised of leftover Grandma visit sugar and tears in the fabric of reality. I don’t want you to have to turn your headphones up as I try to gently ply what is wrong out of essentially a howling bobcat, because you’ll see me struggling with the urge to just pull a Dexter-like syringe from my bag and let her sleep off the trip/next few days.

(Where I get Judgy)
I’m not allowed to do that, so the iPad is my answer. She learns sh-t. She doesn’t point out that “Moooom, that is not a man, that is a lady!” She doesn’t stare at someone’s fake leg, lady mustache, facial mole etc and more importantly doesn’t ask me about it loudly, because I would then have to pull the emergency brake on the skytrain and jump off because I don’t know what to do there. I really really don’t. So, oooooh, let’s see what Elmo has to say about your teeth, ok? WHAT? A teletubby has dirty knees – let’s hope it takes 12 minutes to solve this crime! By that time the Mom wrapped in linen and chives, breastfeeding her child while knitting bunting and doing core exercises will have left the train and I can give you a cookie. (Reverse judging! Sorry!)

(The thrilling Conclusion)
YouTube may be my co-pilot in parenting and I’m not necessarily proud of that, but after a long day of jumping, running, exploring, painting, eating, singing, dancing, kicking and questioning every aspect of life twice, it’s ok to slow it down on the couch with a blankie and her iPad. I get to cook dinner uninterrupted; she gets a warm light that glows off her face, Japanese cartoons and the wild wonder that is old Pee Wee’s Playhouse episodes. Yeah, I’m iOk with that.