Juggling Modern Life.

I, like many mothers with small children, have often commented on how ‘bad’ it is to see kids spending all of their time on iPads. I have also reflected on my own behaviour and been concerned that I’m giving Ollie the impression that all we ever do is ‘play’ on our phones.

As you know, I am Momma Boss… Literally. One of my work kids updated her status recently commenting on how bad it is that adults criticise children for not knowing what certain retro things are.

As if they ‘don’t know they’re born’ because they’ve never heard of a cassette and haven’t got a clue what it does, then adults go on to criticise them for knowing how to operate an iPod. Gadgets gadgets gadgets taking over their lives!  Tut tut let’s all whinge and criticise kids… Oh and don’t forget to insult the parents who clearly spend no time with them.  If they are 2 and know how to operate an iPhone and Netflix the only logical explanation is that their parents go out on the piss and leave Paw Patrol to babysit. Wrong!

Read the status anyway…

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“Accept change and improve.”

I am the first to say I love my vinyls.  I honestly prefer the crackly sound of a record over the digital crispness of iTunes.  Because it’s my nostalgia. When I play a vinyl I imagine being a small child listening to ‘Suspicion’ by Elvis and ‘She Used To Be My Girl’ by the O’Jays.

If in a few years Ollie says “Eurgh that’s crap and why do we have to turn it over? Why has it stopped? Why can’t I airplay it to the TV?” Is he a little ungrateful twat for preferring a current usable item in the modern world over something that generally lives in lofts or charity shops?

There is nothing wrong with a child of this generation using an iPod. Just like there was nothing wrong with me playing my mom and dads 7″ singles back in the early 90’s.  (I was always a retro twat, listening to 70’s music in the 90’s…What’s that about?)

Now is what is happening and now is what is normal.

We can’t keep referring to our childhood as the norm.  To me, normal was picking a VHS video to watch on a Sunday night after a bath, chilling out for a couple of hours and then going to bed.  Think about it, someone must have frowned upon that and thought that 80s moms were lazy bastards. We just didn’t have social media to slag each other off.

Anyone that was in their 30’s in the 1980’s would have been born in the 1950’s. TVs were only just going into households then.  You were rich if you had a TV. In the 80’s you were rich if you had a VHS and a CD player. Now it is entirely normal to have a phone each for parent and older kids and at least one iPad per family. Adults of the 80s must have had conversations along the lines of, “Parenting has gone to shit these days, sitting your kids in front of a video while you get some washing done (in your twin tub machine) whatever happened to playing outside and watching the TV as a family!”

I keep telling you I’m an over thinker… All this from a status update.

So in conclusion, I don’t think it’s bad if kids as young as 2 know how to use an iPad and I don’t think the parents are shit because their kids have observed them using a phone and figured out how they work. Just like 2 year old me wasn’t bad for knowing what a Fisher Price Chatter phone was.

Is this bad?
Is this bad?

Parents using phones have a really bad stigma attached, as if all we do is gormlessly scroll through social media, doing nothing productive and abandoning our children. (Admittedly, some do, not everyone!)

This is an average day using my phone.

News. Nobody slagged my dad off for reading a paper in front of me.

Emails and work related website maintenance. Nobody criticised my mom when she worked from home in her little waxing cupboard.

Social media. Nobody frowned upon my mom stopping in the street to catch up with a mate that she bumped into while I just stood there waiting.

Fitbit. My mom used to have aerobic workouts on vinyl with instruction pictures on the inside and workout music.  Baby weight isn’t a new thing that moms of the 2010’s have created.

Banking. My dad used to leave cash out for my mom to go shopping and money to pay certain bills, were they bad parents? No, well then we’re not bad for clicking an app and paying our bills.

Shopping. I personally used to love going shopping with my mom but to most kids it was annoying. Imagine if you could’ve just stayed in playing while your mom clicked a few buttons and then it turned up on your doorstep! No helping carry the pop that weighs 12 stone to an 8 year old.

Camera. It’s not bad to capture special moments.  If your phone is glued to your hand because you don’t want to miss a single thing, that’s ok! I remember my aunt always had a camera in her bag, nobody called her a stupid 35mm camera person.

Phones and Tablets are multi purpose devices for us and for kids.  Ollie likes looking at photos on iPads, he recognises his cousins and smiles. He doesn’t just watch Paw Patrol.

I’m sure there are still some people that aren’t convinced and think iPhone moms are gormless twats so I’d like to ask you this, if Ollie could juggle by the age of 3 would you find it impressive? I mean 3 club, circus style juggling. That would be pretty cool right?

Well, he’s not far off to be honest! Haha, I think he’ll be able to juggle by the time he goes to school. He understands that 3 things can be thrown into the air together. He can pick something up in one hand, then something in the other hand, then pick up a third item whilst still holding the other two without dropping them.  He also knows to pick up 3 similar things, mostly 3 balls or 3 clubs.

Ollie's travelling circus, the greatest show in town! Here to entertain you, come see the funny clown! (If you get that you watch too much kids TV!)
Ollie’s travelling circus, the greatest show in town! Here to entertain you, come see the funny clown! (If you get that you watch too much kids TV!)

He’s also really good at throwing and almost catching.  That’s pretty cute isn’t it? He’s 19 months old and he has excellent co-ordination.

Why?

Because he watches his dad juggle and throw bottles around for flair. Nobody would say you’ve neglected him because he can juggle and he thinks all his dad ever does is gormlessly throw stuff around instead of watching Ollie.

If you’re thinking, that’s not a fair comparison because juggling is a skill, well not so long ago being able to use a computer was considered a skill too. It is either no longer a skill, it’s just the norm so it’s not a big deal if you can use a tablet aged 2, or it is a skill and well… then isn’t that still impressive that a kid has a skill that some adults do not have?

Kids learn what is current, they can’t learn our childhood!

Don’t slag them off if they read e-books on an iPad instead of going to the library.