Saturday, August 3, 2013


First of all...

I'm telling you. This baby.

Anyway. So, remember a few weeks ago when I was telling you what a cool mom I was for buying my kids a Wii? Yeah, about that. Turns out Jack is a hardcore video game addict. I kid you not. That guy has a serious problem. I'm not sure if it's our fault for depriving him of technology and popular culture during these critical formative years, or if this is just a precursor to a lifetime of addiction, but it did not take long for us to realize the error of our ways and box that thing up.

It was shocking to me (SHOCKING!) how quickly the Wii became the focus of my kids' lives. I tried to regulate the use, half an hour here, do some chores and play a game there. Earn time on the Wii by reading or playing outside or helping with dinner but it quickly became ALL THEY COULD TALK ABOUT. First thing in the morning "How can we earn some time on the Wii?" last thing before bedtime "Can we play on the Wii tomorrow?" and so on.

For a minute I entertained the possibility of letting them binge on it and eventually the novelty would wear off, right? They couldn't be like this forever, right? Right?

But after my week in California where Sawyer cracked out on my cousin's iPad and the mini DVD player and Jack stayed home and convinced Brent to give him full access to the Wii, I knew we had a big problem. The kids were becoming total technology fiends, stealing my phone, whining about the computer, begging for TV shows, and then flopping around the house claiming they were bored when we said no.

The worst was a 90 degree day when no one wanted to go to the pool. "I wish it was winter already," Jack whined. "Then we could just stay inside all day."

And so I made the decision to go cold turkey. No more screens. It was ugly.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Jack actually went through some withdrawals. It was just as pathetic as it sounds. It took him a good three or four days to remember how to play again. By the end of a week they were building Legos and riding their bikes again. I got them back on their summer workbooks and we went to the library. We've been to the pool and had playdates with our friends. My kids can have conversations that do not involve Super Mario Brothers. I think we are making real progress here.

And we went to the county fair for the first time.

It was crazy hot and super expensive. The kids ran in a sweaty pack and begged to go on almost every ride they saw. It was loud and bright and trashy and magical all at the same time. We loved it.

I especially liked the exhibit halls where we saw quilts and portraits, tables of candies and cookies, preserves and Lego creations. Jack and Sawyer are already planning their entries for next year.

And so fun to see a friend's entry with a first place ribbon!

I recently had a meal with some really awesome ladies. Some really awesome ladies who have raised some really awesome kids (Hi Jacie! Hi Nancy! Hi Kathy! And hi Emily- your awesome kids are coming!). The topic of technology came up and I was left thinking that I'm on the right track with this cold turkey thing. Nothing like a panel of mothers to validate your intuition and keep your spirits high- thanks y'all!

So even though I am not cool enough to give my kids a Wii, I am cool enough to take my kids to the fair. To coordinate playdates and spend my afternoons at the pool. To read books and find missing Lego pieces. To listen. To give my time.

It took about two weeks for the kids to stop asking about the Wii. Maybe it will come out again briefly in the dead of winter, for a special occasion.

Then again, there's a lot of fun to be had in the winter. So maybe it won't.


  1. Loved reading this post Cassadie - words and photos! Cold turkey on technology sounds like a pretty good idea for a good swathe of adults too!

    Best wishes from the Alps,

  2. Dear Cassadie,

    Thanks for the vote! (I can't see it through yet, but I'm quite sure that you're savvy enough to have picked up the instant confirmation email that the voting site sends and to have clicked the confirmation link!)

    I was tickled pink to have seen your comment. It's outstanding fun to make friends with other bloggers, and to be able to support each other in little ways, without meeting!

    Wishing you a very happy Sunday

  3. Hello again,

    Thanks for trying to vote. I think their system had a bug - on the last day! Voting is closed now, Mike is ahead by a good margin, and we'll wait to see what happens next.

    As I've come back to your blog three times now to comment (and once to send the URL to my sister), I'm struck every time by the gorgeousness of your little baby. What a cutie! I bet she doesn't suffer for lack of kisses!

    Already looking forward to your next post!

    (PS alison dot rosier at gmail dot com ... may be easier when there's a back-n-forth message string :-) )

  4. Such a great post! I have two little screen addicts too (or three, if you count their father...) but luckily they can still be diverted in all kinds of ways.

    Your little one is absolutely adorable. Such a cutie!

  5. Those fair pictures make me wish I was there right now, I love me a good county fair filled with greasy food. As for the Wii, damn kids and their technology!! Maybe when they are a bit older it won't be such an issue (maybe they'll be able to regulate better??...) but for now sound like you nipped it in the bud. I don't think it's ever a bad idea to listen to your gut and respond as you see fit!

  6. Oh my goodness I don't know what to do about my kids and their xBox! I planned to do something starting August 1st but haven't followed through but my kids are the same way, it's scary. Love your pics!