A few months ago (late last year) I was getting quite fed-up of Vinay watching the *same* Wheels on the Bus DVDs over and over and over and over again. We have one version on a Baby TV Nursery Rhymes DVD and one on a Baby Genius Favourite Children’s Songs DVD. I think we watched each one about a million times a day.
Anyway, so I (clearly not thinking straight) decided to show Vinay a few different ones on You Tube on my iPad. He was very happy and we watched a few every day and he was fine.
While we were in Dubai over Christmas and New Year, he would sit with my mum every morning and watch a few You Tube videos. Not just Wheels on the Bus, but alphabet songs and animal songs too. But he always wanted Wheels on the Bus.
It came to a point that each time he saw an iPad or laptop, he would start demanding to watch Wheels on the Bus. And he knew how to get his way. He would snuggle up to my sister, kiss her face, stroke her hair, make her feel loved (he does love her, by the way) and then BAM! He would start moving his arms from side to side indicating Wheels on the Bus (he didn’t know how to move his arms round and round).
Once we got back to Lagos I decided that enough was enough and I kept the iPad out of his way. He eventually stopped asking for Wheels on the Bus and was happy to watch a couple of new DVDs that I’d bought for him in Dubai. Please don’t think he watches TV all day long, though!
A couple of weeks ago I was able to bring the iPad out and use it myself while he was around and he didn’t think anything of it, or ask to watch anything.
Me, being as dumb as I am, downloaded a few apps for him. Flashcards where you have a choice of four animals and they tell you to touch the correct one (he loves that), different coloured ladybugs walking across the screen and you have to touch the red or blue or green ones (he likes that, but clearly doesn’t know his colours yet) and various other (educational) apps.
But it always came down to Wheels on the Bus. I even downloaded an app where the song plays and you can touch various things and make them move.
We have reached a point where he wakes up in the middle of the night and shouts ‘MAMA’ and starts moving his arms round and round, because he wants to watch Wheels on the Bus. Again. In the middle of the night.
He cries during the day if he can’t watch it. He stamps his feet. He won’t do anything else.
He is addicted to the iPad. Or to Wheels on the Bus. And I fed his addiction.
I don’t think he’s old enough to understand, ‘Just one time.’ Or ‘After your bath.’ And if he *does* understand, he’s making a good show of not understanding!
So now… The iPads have been put away again, only to be brought out when he’s asleep. He’s been asking for Wheels on the Bus all day today, but we have stood our ground and distracted him with books, toys and Gymboree!
It’s going to be a tough few days (for all of us), but we are going to persevere.
Wish us luck!