iPad Addiction

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!


Jealous Toddler

I have a jealous toddler.

At first I thought it was quite cute.  If the dog is sitting in my lap and having a cuddle, Vinay usually comes running over, pushes him off and takes his place.  So cute, right?

A couple of months ago, I was helping a friend’s daughter up a step.  Vinay was holding one hand and the little girl my other hand.  Vinay pushed her.  I was quite mortified, but, I have to admit, secretly pleased.  

This morning, at playgroup, a little girl threw something which just missed my head.  Her mum immediately reprimanded her and made her apologise to me.  The girl apologised by rubbing her forehead against mine.  Awww!  Vinay was sitting in my lap at the time and got annoyed with her.

I think being jealous of other children is quite normal.  

What worries me is that he’s jealous of LagosDad as well!

Let me give you a couple of examples.

When V watches a DVD in our room, he pushes us both back so we’re lying down on our own sides of the bed and then sits between us or cuddles with me.  BUT, he will not allow LagosDad and I to touch each other.  We cannot hold hands, my elbow cannot be touching his elbow and we cannot kiss.  Not even a peck.

Last night we were sitting next to each other on the bed and I had one arm around LagosDad.  Vinay came along and moved my arm.  Then he saw that our legs were touching and he moved my leg.  And all the while he was shouting!

When we first realised that he got annoyed, we’d have a cuddle on purpose, just to see his reaction (is that mean?).

But now it’s getting to be a bit much!

Has anyone else experienced this?  Is it normal?  What should we do?

I Wonder…

There’s something that I’ve been thinking about lately.  And I can’t stop thinking about it.  

As you may know (and as I’ve mentioned many times before), I used to be a primary school teacher. 

When I started teaching in Lagos, the school was very new – it had only been open a year, and everyone was still finding their feet.  Over the years the infrastructure improved, there was more guidance and there were more ‘rules and regulations’.  I was not happy about this at first (I’m not good with change), but soon realised that these changes didn’t benefit only the children, but they were crucial to my own personal and professional development.

I always taught Year 1 (5-6 year olds) or Year 2 (6-7 year olds).  I loved teaching.  I loved the kids in my classes (most of the time) and I think I got on well with most of my colleagues.  I’ve met some of my closest friends through teaching.

However, what I didn’t like (and I’ve made no secret of this either) was the paperwork and politics.  AND, apart from that, dealing with some of the parents.  The parents pay a lot of money to send their children to a private international school and expect a lot from the teachers; which is fair.  But there were some parents that became “overly involved” in everything that goes on in their child’s classroom.  Sometimes I feel they have every right to do this.  Within reason.

As a member of staff, of course it was necessary to always be polite and professional and deal with issues as they arose.  

I always thought I was a good teacher.  I took the time to talk to my children, to listen to what they had to say and to deal with their ongoing friendship problems (amongst many other things).  Any teacher would do that.  That’s what good teachers do, right?

But something’s changed now.  

I’m a parent.

I’m a parent and I can’t help but wonder if my interaction with parents of children in any of my classes would have been different if I’d *known* what it was like to be a parent before.  

Does that make any sense?

I wonder if I would have been as quick to placate a mum who had concerns about her child’s behaviour or progress (when there was no need to be concerned).  

I wonder if I would have been that little bit more sympathetic to the child that was upset because he didn’t like what was in his snack box.

I wonder if I would have been a little more patient with the five year old that was still crying every day when he arrived in school three months later.

All my ‘wonders’ are like this, and it’s made me question whether I did the best I could.