We’re three-quarters of an hour into a three to four hour journey and I’m quickly munching through my data allowance whilst awkwardly holding a tiny screen in front of my seven month old, and telling my husband and mother-in-law in the front of the car that we really, really NEED an in car DVD player.
She’s sat, wide-mouthed, watching Tombliboo Ooo drink his stolen Pinky Ponk juice and I’m trying to justify my decision to let her have screen time to myself.
She doesn’t watch too much TV: just in the car and when I want to eat breakfast.
Ok. Sometimes she watches it during the day too, but only when I really need to get things done.
Well, sometimes when I’m tired too, but we do other things!
We arrived in the North East at 12:35am on Monday morning, dealt with a sleepy but not willing to sleep baby, a funeral, another night of little sleep and were twenty minutes from the next services. Why should I feel guilty about letting her watch something to distract her? I tried playing, and singing and pulling funny faces and she wasn’t having any of it.
But I did feel guilty. A little voice in the back of my head giving warnings about her eye sight, her attention span, her development, and that little voice was mine.
Long, long before Pip was around, before she was even thought of, I looked in disapproval at parents who sat their children in front of the television. Parents who, when their child cried or was grumpy, got out the screen and put on some brightly coloured, baby-talking monstrosity and left their child to it. If they just interacted with their child then maybe their child would behave better, said pre-child judgey me, it is such a shame for the poor little one.
Frankly, I was a bit of a dick. And so far up my own arse I’m surprised I could see the screen. What business is it of mine anyway? Why should I even care what other parents do?
I’ve made good friends with Iggle Piggle, Pat Clifton and even Justin make a regular appearence over breakfast. Episodes of Bing Bunny are in my favourites, just in case of a car or pram meltdown. We do other things I hasten to add, we stack blocks, we play peekaboo, we talk and sing together we go out for walks, but I would much, much rather have her watching Robert the Robot dusting than cry her little heart out between services because she hates being in her car seat. Or pram. Or because I’m exhausted. Or heck, because she actually LIKES In The Night Garden.