Last Thursday the oldest Muppet pulled out a slip of paper for me to sign quickly before he went to class. Between signing daily planners, homework reports and behavioral check in’s that kid could give me anything and I would sign my life away. I quickly glanced at the sheet and noticed that it was a contract to stay screen free for the whole weekend. Last year they did the screen free thing for one day and it was hard enough on me, so the thought of not having screens for the whole weekend made me cringe. I reluctantly signed the paper and encouraged him to take the other challenge of decreasing screen time and sent him on his way.
On Friday morning I was woken up at 6 o’clock by the youngest Muppet, he crawled in to my bed and whispered in my ear “Mama can I play on electronics?” I groaned yes from under the covers and hoped that it would buy me another hour of sleep. Five minutes later the yelling started, the oldest was fighting with the youngest about being screen free for the weekend. I reluctantly rolled out of bed and made my way to where the screaming match was happening. I calmed down the oldest Muppet who was feeling incredibly passionate about his views on how this weekend was going to go.
I explained to him that we would have to make a compromise with the younger Muppet’s and possibly go the decreased amount of screen time route with them. The oldest Muppet and I came to a compromise that there would be an hour of screen time allowed for the morning and then screens would be put away for the day. The youngest Muppet was not impressed with this decision and I knew that the middle guy wouldn’t be either but for the moment I had put out one fire.
The oldest Muppet sat on the couch reading while the youngest and I made pancakes, once breakfast was done the youngest started asking when he could go to a friends house. It was 7 o’clock in the morning and I explained that we still had two hours before it was an appropriate time to be ringing door bells. By 7:30am the two of them were bored out of their trees and I hadn’t even finished my coffee. I read them a story, played hockey, drew pictures, played play doh, built Lego and even gave them a bath. At 8:30am I was about ready to send them out in to the world and deal with disgruntled neighbors later. Finally 9 o’clock rolled around and I kicked the youngest Muppet outside and told him to go bother some one else.
The rest of the day was fine, we enjoyed the Thia Culture Day and lazed by the pool for the remainder of the afternoon. The next day I could not keep track of who was on what electronic at what time. The oldest Muppet continued his ban on electronics even forsaking his NHL network for the weekend. On Saturday night he came to me and asked if he could play on his iPad for an hour. He told me that he had read 2 big books over the weekend and really enjoyed it. I told him that I was proud that he made it through the weekend screen free. He smiled proudly and said “You know Mum I think I will read more books now and play less on my iPad, try and balance it out” I gave him a hug and told him that that is what the screen free weekend was all about, realizing how much we rely on screens for work, school, entertainment and fun.