Woke up sicker today than the past week combined. Made for a tricky “Mommy” experience. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, one of those perfect mommies that sets up a craft each day, makes perfectly organic meals, and takes a million adorable photographs in perfect lighting of all the wholesome fun we have each day. But neither am I the mom who bitches comedically about all the crap my kids do, all the chores I ignore, and how uptight we've all become whilst sipping on wine. Not that I don't enjoy reading their blogs. I do. I'm just not them. I'm somewhere deep in the middle camp. Or actually, if I'm honest with myself, I'm off some haphazard trail I've beaten out of the brush…I'm different. My middle name.
I digress… So anyway, our days are not full of schedules and predictability on a good day, but there is usually some kind of method to my madness. But not on sick days. I'm just out of commission(which happens more often due to having dysautonomia & an autoimmune condition). But The Cute has to eat. And he deserves love, attention, and cuddles. So I developed “Bed Days”. Whole days devoted to media, popsicles, cold drinks, hot tea, and books. My son loves those days(which is why the sick “no!” day flopped). We take turns picking out cartoons and documentaries to watch. We have “picnics” on the ground in front of the Tv. We take breaks to read books and play iPad games(mostly educational but fun). We cuddle the day away and talk about everything we see. It's just fun. And today was a great bed day.
I can feel judgemental eyes on me as I write that… But I really don't understand why. Just as I don't understand the guilt I feel. That I ignore. I chalk it up to social pressure because who doesn't want to eat popsicles and watch Tv when they're sick? Who doesn't want to play iPad games and cuddle in the covers? I don't get the fear over media and children. I love computers and Tv. And I parleyed them into my work. I'm an illustrator who uses Illustrator….along with Photoshop. As well as acrylic, watercolor, clay, colored pencil….you name it, I embrace it. I love my iPad and work on that too. So why should I deprive my son of all the fun? I also have a degree in psychology and nowhere in my many child development classes did I find anything to compel me to fear early media exposure. Except maybe content.
And that's why we don't have cable. I didn't want our family dealing with all the fucking commercials. I hate being sold to every goddamn minute. I also don't like being hooked on programs that force me to wait week after week as they unfold. I watch seasons in marathons over a few days if I like it. At times that are convenient. I don't want to be tempted to watch inappropriate crap in front of The Cute. I love Netflix for that. He has never watched glorified violence or sexual innuendo. He doesn't know the latest brands of cereal or toy. He only watches Tv in front of me(or my husband)so that I can talk with him about it, explain it, and ask his views. And with the iPad i have even more control. He knows I mostly read blogs and books on my iPad and he does too. We carefully choose the most amazing educational fare for him to play and limit his time a bit with pure platformers. And all I can say is that with our child, I see only benefits. He problem solves like a pro, can keep up with my husband in the Lego games, and can find his way around a computer like a 12 year old. He's only just turned four. We embrace it.
Of course, we embrace real life just as much…but then why do I feel like I have to say that? It's so interesting being a parent in a world made small by the internet. I feel so lucky to be able to look up a thousand solutions to any problem, a thousand activity suggestions at my fingertips in seconds. So lucky to be able to get a glimpse into other people's lives across the globe and learn from there parenting fiascos and successes. But there's the flip side…there's more pressure to be perfect. To be blog worthy.
And I don't know if I am, but that's not the parent I care about being. I just want my little boy to embrace life without the need to justify. I want him to love a kindle for the awesome innovation and convenience while still appreciating a book for the simple beauty of sliding his fingers on the smooth decadence of paper. I want him to love all genres of movies, books, and music without feeling the need to negate anything. I want him to look at life and take all the best bits and pieces regardless of new or old. I want him to question everything, appreciate and learn from the past, all the while enjoying, thoroughly, the present and future.
So my rambling point is that, although we never left the bed, we seized the day. As one should always do. Of course when we aren't sick around here, that means embracing the sunshine, learning gymnastics, and pretending to sail the seven seas. But on crappy days…sick days…I want him to learn that you can make the best of it too. Sure, you may have a leaky faucet for a nose, a sinus headache, and a sore throat….but that's just the perfect day for abject decadence. Hell, that's how all adversity should be faced,in my opinion…with fun, cuddles, and a fizzy, cold, chocolate soda…oh, and a massive amount of cartoons.