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Toddlers and technology, part two

Toddlers and technology, part two

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When my phone rings at work from a number I don’t recognize, I cringe and hope it’s not the daycare center saying Cambria is sick. Little did I know that a phone call from the center last week would be much worse than news of a sick toddler.

“We have a situation here at the daycare center.”

Ohmygod, did she poop in the potty?! I thought. Because that’s pretty freaking amazing and the only thing I can think of that could really warrant a call at work saying there’s a situation involving my 2-year-old.

The woman on the phone continued. “Cambria brought an iPod to school.”

Crap. That sneaky little fox of a daughter found our hiding place. I thought for sure rolling it in her spare pants in the box at the bottom of her cubby behind other clothes was a genius hiding place. Wait, why is this a situation?

“It is our philosophy here at the center that 2-year-olds should not be exposed to media for extended periods of time. An iPod is unacceptable.”

Mmmkay, I know her teachers pretty well and would bet they didn’t watch Cambria pull the iPod out of our super secret hiding spot, give her a high five for cracking the code and let her sit in the back of the room and watch videos for the rest of the afternoon. In fact, since we’re having this (painful) discussion right now, I’m guessing they followed your protocol.

And let me just also point out that your tone and that statement are starting to sound a lot like judging. I don’t judge the way you run your daycare center, so how about you don’t judge my parenting? For example, I think it’s pretty ridiculous that you hold fundraisers for a daycare center where I pay a hefty tuition, but I keep that to myself. I also am not completely in agreement of how you handle staffing, but again, the teachers Cambria has had are phenomenal, so I let it slide.

I also think if there were parenting discussions to be had, there are parents who do a lot worse than let their 2-year-old watch videos on the iPod for the 30-minute drive to and from daycare everyday instead of listening to, “Book! Milk! Color! New book! New color!” on loop. For 30 minutes.

So, we let her watch Dora and Elmo. She only gets the iPod in the car, so if you call 30 minutes “extended periods of time,” then I’m guilty. But I’d like you to tell me the difference between that and kids who watch DVDs in the car because I’m seriously missing the disconnect there.

“She is not allowed to bring it to the center again. Do you understand?”

Well, let me just reassure you that we will be bringing the iPod to the center again – probably daily. Because my husband drops her off and I pick her up and, call me whatever you want, but the drive home is much, much more peaceful with the iPod involved. So, if you want me to leave it at the front desk with you or in some other area, I’d be happy to do it.

Listen, I’m sorry Cambria found our hiding spot and disrupted class. I’m also sorry you had to be brought in to resolve this situation. But I’m not sorry she watches an iPod. And I’m not a bad parent for doing so. So, where would you like me to keep the iPod during the day to ensure we don’t have to have this conversation again?

Because the next time you call about a “situation,” I am really wanting it to be about how she just pooped in the potty.

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