I meant to mention this before, but did not.
On our second trip to the IRLC Book Sale, I took my Ipod Touch. I’ve loaded that thing up with all sorts of free games for Wally. I usually have it with me (um, it’s got my knitting patterns on it), and it’s really small, and when all else fails, I pull it out and let him play games on it. It’s been GREAT for times when we are unexpectedly someplace super boring.
Such as when Mommy takes three hours at a used book sale and there aren’t any kids there to play with and you’ve already looked through all the books you want to.
So he was sitting quietly on our cart, playing. And this man (60?) walks up to him and says “all these books here and you’re TEXT MESSAGING?!?” Wally has no idea what text messaging is, so he just looked up at him for a minute, smiled, and went back to what he was doing. I was far enough away, I would have had to kind of shout to converse with the man, so I just let him shuffle off.
But it kinda bugged me.
I mean, I understand the thinking. I, too, get annoyed at how “plugged in” today’s kids are. Mobile game systems, cell phones, IPods, etc., and for younger and younger kids. (says the girl who bought her 5 year old a DS for his birthday, I know.) But the thing is, if the child could read, I’m sure he WOULD be reading the books. He asked me to read about 10,000 things to him while we were there. But, see, logically, that doesn’t work out. I still want to browse, and we were looking for something for him to do without me, so I could browse, right?
Frankly, if he was text messaging, at almost 5 years old, I would have been super impressed and probably have ENCOURAGED him to do it. (which is what I thought about telling the man, in a joking way, not in a snotty way.)
But I’m not sure what the man expected a 4 year old child to do on Hour Three of Mom Browsing the Books at This Boring Sale. I was really impressed with how well he was behaving, since I knew he was bored. He had browsed, he had played a bit, he had looked through books for a while, he and I played some verbal games for a while, but dang, he was bored. And if playing the games on the Ipod allowed him to get through the last of my browsing without starting to misbehave, um, I was all for it.
(Which is kind of how I plan to use the DS, as well. I’m sure he’ll over-use it here while it’s new, but then it’s planned to be a sort of long car trip/during class type of thing, like our mobile DVD player is. My rule for the DVD player is that it’s got to be a trip over 1 hour.)