Life in General

Is it video time yet?

The kids woke up early on Tuesday.

They looked at their mommy and said, “Is it video time yet?”

“Not yet,” said mommy, sipping her coffee while holding the baby and serving breakfast. “We didn’t even eat breakfast yet!”

So all the kids eat breakfast and spill breakfast and make a mess of breakfast and finally finish eating breakfast.

“Is it video time yet?” ask the kids.

“Of course not!” says mommy as she cleans up the kitchen table. “We need to daven!”

Everyone goes to daven; some finish in one minute, some in 10 and some haven’t started.

“Let’s go outside!” says mommy.

“It’s boring!” answer the kids.

“Is it video time yet?”

“Not yet,” says mommy, proud of herself for sticking to her guns. “We need outdoor time.”

So mommy and the kids go outside in the backyard and everyone gets busy with a game of cops and robbers. It seems every cop needs many branches-turned-to-guns. Mommy pretends not to see.

“Is it video time yet?” ask the kids.

“Not yet,” says mommy. “We are ready for lunch!”

After a noisy and hectic lunch, mommy just wants to plop on the couch and zone out for a while.

“Is it video time yet?” ask the kids

Mommy takes a deep breath. She remembers all the articles she’s read and podcasts she’s listened to about the big bad SCREENTIME. She will not be one of those mothers.

But the temptation is real.

“Not yet,” says mommy, with a little quiver in her voice.

“Let’s do a craft!”

Mommy is proud of herself for not giving in. Dinner is at 5:00; she will stick to her decision of video time not being before 3:00. She will not be one of those mothers.

Crafts, scissors, glue, mess and more mess follows.

In the end, there is no craft- just a heap of supplies and mess, because mommy really needed to just sit and catch her breath so she did not micro manage the activity.

Mommy hopes this will not impact her children’s future.

“Now is it video time?!” ask the kids.

Mommy falters. 

It’s 2:00. Just one hour early … how bad can it be…

But no. Mommy knows the dangers of SCREENTIME and will not make the same mistake that those mothers make.

“Not yet,” mommy says, a little less convincing and a little less cheerful than earlier. “Let’s have a snack!”

After snack mommy finds herself cleaning up once again and mommy is tired.

And the baby is crying and needs to be fed. 

And it’s still not 3:00, the designated video time.

Mommy falters for a moment; should we start video time early?

You can do it, mommy tells herself. Just wait until 3:00.

Everyone seems to be busy with Lego or clicks or magna tiles or something or other.

But still they ask, “Is it video time yet?”

Is it really ruining them? mommy wonders.

I will not ruin my kids with too much video time, mommy tells herself, but with less conviction and more doubt.

2:57. Mommy can do it. She will wait. She will wait!

“Is it video time yet?” ask the kids.

“Yes!“ says mommy, trying to hide just how excited she is. “It’s 3:00!”

Everyone squeals with delight and heads to the couch, and they set up the laptop.

Toveedo to the rescue. 

They’re all Jewish videos, mommy says to herself as she feels a wave of guilt wash over her. They’re full of meaning and lessons.

Mommy hears rising voices from the other room.

“No, not Agent Emes! It’s so stupid!”

“Bella bracha!”

“Nooooo!”

Mommy practices her deep breathing.

“Mitzvah Boulevard!”

“Skull of a Genius!”

And then mommy hears it.

“Mommy!”

“Mommy!”

“Moooooommmmmmy!!!!”

“Work it out!” Mommy calls from her place on the couch in the other room. “Figure out how to make everyone happy or we can’t watch anything!” And mommy silently hopes that she does not have to carry through on that one…

And then mommy hears the video playing.

And some chatting.

And mommy is thinking that despite what they say, screentime isn’t all that evil. There’s so much that kids can learn through screen time.

There’s sharpening all their conflict resolution skills.

There’s discussion.

There’s negotiating.

There’s persuasion.

There’s camaraderie as they giggle together while they watch.

And chit chat as they talk about what’s going on.

And they’re all sitting so tightly together on the couch, in close proximity of each other and enjoying themselves. Feeling safe and secure in the presence of each other.

As mommy allows herself to finally zone out and just relax, she can’t help but think that maybe she should even let them start video time before 3:00 tomorrow ….

3 thoughts on “Is it video time yet?”

  1. Just wonderful story; and even this many years later I remember those days. However, I couldn’t hold out to 3pm.

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