It's only a matter of time before the machines rise up against us and become our overlords, right? We rely on our gadgets and devices for everything and would plummet into chaos without them. Some of you might feel the only course of action is to destroy all technology and revert to a pre-tech way of life, but I say we need to ingratiate ourselves to the machines. One way we can do that is let them raise our children. My kids' iPad is a better mom than me anyway, so I don't think this will go too badly.
Before you jump to conclusions or feel the need to defend me, I'm not really being self-deprecating here. I think I'm a pretty good mom, if I do say so myself, but I'm also pragmatic and willing to look at myself critically. When I do, I see that there are areas in which the iPad has definitely one-upped me. Rather than take it personally, I just see it as a sign of the impending Robopocalypse and use it as a way to plan for the future.
The best part, of course, is that I think my children, and especially my kindergartener, is going to be totally down with this plan, because he loves the iPad like a mother already. I mean, why shouldn't he?
iPad Can Do The Same Thing Over & Over Without Going Insane
One of my daughter's favorite games is "Go To School." Here's how it's played: I pretend to be my 3-year-old daughter, she pretends to be me.
Her: Time to go to school!
Her: I buckle you in the car! *pretends to put me in car seat* Now I drive! OK! We're here at school! I take you out now! *"unbuckles"* Let's say hi to your friends and Miss Alyssa!
Me: Hi everyone!
Her: OK, I have to go now! I have to go to work. I love you, baby girl! Bye!
Me: Bye mommy!
Her: *walks out the door then promptly walks back in* Look! Mommy's back! Time to go home!
And repeat and repeat and repeat until the end of time.
Is it adorable that she re-enacts this part of our day as a game? Of course. Do you know how many times it's adorable? Maybe three times. After that it gets old and I seriously just can't and it sucks to tell your child, "OK, let's do something else" when they just want to be adorable and spend time with you. I don't like rejecting my children's ideas, to be sure, but sometimes their ideas are annoying. I've never once heard our iPad complain about playing the same Polynesian dance video on YouTube for 30 minutes straight, though.
iPad Has Kid-Friendly Settings
The iPad knows what is OK for child consumption and what isn't. The iPad has never accidentally sworn in front of a child or allowed content with mature language slip past the YouTube filters. The iPad isn't the one who showed my toddler Princess Mononoke, completely forgetting the scene where some dude's arm gets ripped off in a spray of blood. No. The iPad keeps it proper and appropriate at all times.
iPad Knows When It Has To Recharge
The iPad lets you know exactly how much energy she can expend upon you before she needs to recharge. The little battery life icon even gives you a three-stage warning: green, yellow, and finally red. The iPad insists upon its recharge, because it knows what it needs in order to keep performing. It's assertive and matter-of-fact.
Moms, on the other hand, are expected to do everything for everyone except themselves until they break down from the pressure and someone inevitably tells them, "You really need to take some time just for you!" OMG, really?! Because that's not what I was hearing when you were pressuring me into joining yet another PTA subcommittee.
We could learn something from these machines, you guys. Demand your recharges on a regular basis.
iPad Is Very Organized
Thanks to Apple's user-friendly interface, everything is pretty easily located on an iPad. Case and point: babies can use it. I, on the other hand, am a hot mess. Rather than have all important paperwork in one place, I have it in about three different places throughout my apartment. Why? Reasons. I had reasons when I established the system, but those reasons have since been forgotten, along with wherever the hell I keep our 2015 W2s for tax purposes.
iPad Functions Just Fine At 5 A.M.
My partner and I try to keep screen time limited, but we do not include any screens viewed before 7 A.M. as part of that limit. Why? Because we are night owls and physically incapable of parenting effectively before that time. That time belongs to the screens: the children are in their domain and under their care. I imagine I should probably feel bad about that, but I don't and I can't be made to. I know my limitations and I know that, before sunrise, iPad mama is far more capable than I.
iPad Can Get Child To Sit Still
Both of my children are pretty well behaved, but they're still children. And, like many children, they cannot sit still for sh*t. I believe my son has some sort of agreement with God that he will only ever have one butt cheek on a chair at any given point unless he has an iPad with him. Then he sits centered on his seat, straight and tall and polite, no matter where he is: at a restaurant, on a plane, you name it. It is truly a thing of beauty. I don't know how you do it, iPad, but I salute you.
iPad Can Entertain Two Children Just As Easily As One
Now I can entertain both my children at once, but it takes extra energy and, often, I will find myself mediating at some point (the usual: who had the toy cat first, when will it be the other person's time to have said cat, who was looking at whom, how, and was that OK or not). iPad is like, "Psh. I got this. Come here kids!" and they both just plop down and watch. Even if the older one is playing a one-player game, the little one will just sit, watch, and be entertained. iPad does not have to exert any extra energy to do this: it just does.
iPad Is Very Educational
OK, in this regard I would say I probably tie with the iPad. I'm pretty educational, too. The iPad isn't entirely educational, either — there's nothing remotely enriching about watching Kinder Egg videos — but it has the ability to teach children lots of useful things, depending on the apps you have or the videos they watch, so I have to give credit where credit's due.
Dearest iPad: my children know what a rhombus is because of you, not me.
Child Always Does Whatever iPad Tells Them To
My kids are down with whatever the iPad wants them to do as long as it is in the name of of a game.
"Touch the blue button!"
"Touch the red button!"
"Count the fireflys!"
"Find the letter G!"
"There it is."
Meanwhile, I'm like, "Hey guys! Can you find your shoes so we can go to the playground like you requested?" and they're all "F*ck you, mom!"
(They don't actually say that, but they may as well because they do not give a sh*t about my requests, and then they cry if I tell them we're not going.)
iPad Can Be Replaced
It's wonderful to know that I am irreplaceable. My children adore me and I am unique and special to them. That's lot of pressure, though. In fact, and frankly, it's exhausting. Sometimes it would be nice to go to the Jamie store and get an extra Jamie to be like, "I'm out. I'm off. Here's an exact replica of me and she is going to be the mommy for a bit."
Setting aside the very real logistics of cost, an iPad can be switched out for just about any other iPad out there. Put all the same apps on there your kid isn't going to know or care about the difference between one and another. This is a tremendous asset for anyone or anything to have.
So well done, iPad. It's very obvious you know what's up, you're working your strengths, and you're making me look bad.