staying away

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well, it is not like I really want to stay away from the blog. We are detoxing Ollie from “technology”. Slowly but surely.

During the trip, he had a lot of 1-on-1 time with the phone, and the iPad, purely for our sanity’s sake. So we were offering him videos on the phone at a lot of instances when we were shopping. Which is of course terrible. =( I don’t think I ever felt so bad or guilty about doing so. Upon our return, I was determined to cut down the amount of exposure Ollie has to these videos. It worked a couple of weeks; we went out, we did stuff, he walked more rather than spending it in the stroller.

And then I got bored. He got bored of his toys. And the videos came back, especially when I needed him to be still so I could have a conversation with someone, or needed him to remain still whilst we were in the cab. Which of course, is again terrible. Argh. I couldn’t take it anymore. He would place the phone so close to his face when he was watching the videos in the carrier, he would not interact when he was glued to it, and nothing was negotiable any more when he had the phone. I could no longer sit at the computer to do anything because he would whinge and whinge for a video.

Then yesterday, when I was out with a friend for lunch, in order to even get some words with my friend, I, of course, again offered Ollie the phone so he could watch some videos whilst I had a chat with a friend. At some point, he got bored of the videos and wanted to get off the seat to have a walk. I alternated between offering him a different video, to being stern with him, to offering him a snack. In my head, I was thinking “omfg, this is driving me nuts.” A while later, my friend left to nurse her baby, and I was left alone with Ollie. Ollie climbed onto my lap for a cuddle, and we had a chat about the video he was watching.

For that 15 minutes or so, he sat quietly on my lap, occasionally looking up to give me a glance or a cheeky smile. I would ask him a question, and he would point. He would hold my arm. We played a little, he hugged me, twiddled with my ear and twirled my hair. It was all nice and quiet and just us. In my head, I was thinking “omfg, I am so in love with this little fella”.

That was when I decided enough was enough, and I’m gonna have to cut this whole video thing by A LOT and spend more time interacting with him. We decided to place him on a more severe detox today, going cold turkey. Absolutely no videos at all, which meant Donald and I could only sneakily check our phones for messages. I brought a book out for Ollie as entertainment as we left the house.

In the middle of the journey, Ollie was whinging for the iPhone to watch a video. We said “no” and handed him our train passes. He was entertained by it. He would alternate fiddling with one and handing the other back to us. Lunch time, we offered him his book, and he was contented. We allowed him to walk more, we played catch with him in areas less crowded, he played with other kids in the wide open areas. We allowed him to take control of the stroller whilst guiding him. When things got a little out of hand, we would tell him sternly why he is not allowed to do certain things. He would sulk, there would be tears, but taking him away from the scene almost always seemed to work as a distraction. He was also a lot happier and was mostly compliant with our requests. It was also our first time taking him out without precooking his meals and letting him try our food in its entirety.

And we had fun. A lot of it. Ollie was game to entertain us, putting up with our requests for “angry face” and a “smile”. He wanted to self-feed more (i.e., take pieces of bread from the bowl on his own instead of us offering to him), he would point to the food he wanted more of, he learnt a new word and attempted to say it almost immediately (he did get it right on first try!). We got to know him a little more and know the extent of his capabilities more.

Sounds like the detox was a good thing. Welp, technology sure has it advantages but being away from it seems to have even more benefits! =P

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