We are mere weeks away from summer and I am loving the thought of spending fun, carefree days at the beach. The only part I remotely dread is when it’s time to apply sunscreen to my kids. They moan and groan the entire time and if you didn’t know better, you would think I was torturing them or asking them to do something truly horrible.
“Raising A Rukus” is a first-of-its-kind series in virtual reality (VR) and it’s awesome! The 12-minute computer-animated film is packed with beautiful, colorful imagery and heart-warming adventure into different worlds. It felt like I was in a vibrantly colored piece of art. Even more, it was good, quick, clean, family fun.
Despite known concerns about children using technology, ranging from developmental implications and online bullying to addiction, a lot of parents don’t think about technology use before it’s been introduced.
For some, devices replaced the old role of television as babysitter to jump in the shower, make dinner, or have peace and quiet while sitting in traffic. Or use began innocently in school as part of the curriculum and before you know it, your child had homework that required surfing online. For others, it started off as a means to stay connected with distant relatives or so that a child could be reached when needed. Whatever the case, latitude in use often increased without careful thought first and as a result, many of us find ourselves trying to catch up to the technology, provide some guidance, and set limits well after our children are already engaged.
The other day at DryBar, the eight-year-old noticed a gift card with “Lucky Bi*ch” inscribed on the front. “That’s weird,” she said with a confused expression. She knows the “B” word isn’t a nice word. I was silent. I should have told her that sometimes adults use bad words in unique and affectionate ways, and that we still don’t use those words, but I froze. I was speechless. The thought of her coming home one day and telling me her friend was a lucky bi*ch is all I could think about and that was too much. So, I forced a smiled and nodded. Just when I thought I was past the bad word phase with G, it resurfaced and I wasn’t prepared. I never considered, until this moment, that I would also have to teach her about bad words used in a certain context.
Truth is, I’ve been preoccupied lately with helping her little brother with the basic “bad words we don’t use 101.” He is proving to be a bit more of a challenge than she was at his age.
A year and a half ago, my little five-year-old started having potty mouth. Like most little boys, he fell in love with anything poo and boo-boo related. Then, his fascination grew to anything booty related. “Booty butt” this and “booty butt” that. “Stinky butt-cha” this and “stinky butt-cha” that. That last one became his go-to phrase whenever he wanted to put his older sister in her place — “You can’t tell me what to do you stinky butt-cha!”
I vividly remember my kids needing late-night car rides to help them sleep as babies. Fortunately, my husband was a trooper. Andre, barely awake, would throw on sweats and a hoodie, wrap up the baby, grab his keys and head out for the night.
The hum and vibration of the car always did the job, night after night. But inevitably, my husband would return home with a baby that was wide awake. You see, our babies would sleep in the car, as long as it was on and moving. They would awaken, however, the minute you removed them from the car. By awake, I mean wide, let’s play or have a bottle and shoot the breeze awake. The walk between the car and the crib always proved a delicate challenge that we would fail despite nightly attempts to figure out the trick to keeping them asleep. We would try to walk just the right way or prop open all doors in advance so as not to have to slow down to get inside. I even tried playing low traffic sounds on my iPhone, while transporting from car to crib, to mimic the soothing noise that might have encouraged sleep. Whatever we tried, it rarely worked and we started the process all over once inside.