We took a break from potty training today. Soren still seemed interested (and at one point had a complete meltdown begging to "Go pee potty! Go pee *sob* big boy *sob* potty!"...of course I relented, but he really just wanted down from his high chair and was using whatever tactics he could think of to accomplish this), and maybe I was the one who needed a break from the every-fifteen-minutes potty schedule. And yes, I know consistency is important, and he'll never learn if we don't keep practicing and blah blah blah (stop imaginary hectoring me!), but after yesterday I felt like a day or two off were in order.
Slate has another series of articles I'm currently following. (You may recall that I wrote about this other series before.) Anyway, comic writer James Sturm is quitting the internet for 4 months and writing about it. Obviously, he's either faxing or snail mailing his posts to Slate, which is a little chuckle-worthy, but really beside the point. I was particularly struck by this:
"It all goes by so fast," is one of the those clichés you hear throughout your life, but now, when another parent says it as we discuss the joys and sorrows of child rearing, it sounds like the most poignant thing I've ever heard. The question I've been wrestling with lately is whether it's all going by so fast because that's just the reality of middle age or because of the way I've been living my life. Specifically, I've started to wonder whether that feeling might be connected to all the time I spend online. Too often I sit down to dash off a quick e-mail and before I know it an hour or more has gone by.Dude.
Now, I'm not a complete internet addict. We get out, we do things, my kids get fed and read to and played with (by me) during the day. But I really can relate to that whole "sit down to dash off an email and...an hour or more has gone by" thing. And because Soren is frequently so good about entertaining himself and Eleri is such a good napper, I will confess that I end up spending more time in front of the computer some days (many days, even) than I feel good about.
Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I imagined that it might be a struggle not to watch TV during the day, since that's quite often what we end up doing on the weekend. But aside from the occasional Dora episode, our weekday TV consumption is pretty much zero. I'm not counting evenings, here, though even that is usually limited to an hour or so at dinner time. But again I am veering from my main point, which is: reducing my personal internet usage would probably not be ultimately all that difficult or inconvenient. I wouldn't dare attempt a full hiatus (my postage bill would immediately go through the roof snail mailing updated kid photos to everyone, for one thing) but I thought about a few different options.
1. Go offline for a week.
This would require some advanced planning on my part. Usually I wait until the night before to check where playgroup is meeting the next day, so I'd have to be sure and check ahead, write down where I'm supposed to be and when, and then not lose the paper on which I'd written that down. More troublesome, though, I'd end up with a backlog of stuff to read and post, and it seems like it'd kind of defeat the purpose of taking an internet break if I'm going to have to spend 4 hours typing and uploading immediately after the break is over. I'm not sure what that would accomplish except to prove to myself that I don't need constant internet access, though I did just fine without it for the ten days we were in Mexico on our honeymoon, so I'm again not sure that such additional proof is even required.
2. Restrict weekday internet usage to time when the kids are asleep. So, mostly nighttime.
This idea has some promise. I do like being able to touch base with Tom via email throughout the day (What can I say? I kind of like the guy.), but I could probably restrict myself to the occasional text message, which he could receive when he went outside for a break or somesuch. Anything else could wait until the evening, and an exception would have to be made for Friday Skype time with my parents (speaking of which, Johnson grandfolks, if you want in on the weekly Skype action, let me know).
3. Pretend I have a "real" job again.
Which is to say, limit internet time to my "lunch break" and a couple of 15-minute periods. This is probably the most reasonable option, except that I'm not sure I have the discipline to stick to it. Fifteen minutes could turn into an hour really easily (which is, after all, the original conundrum). So, reasonable - yes. Realistic - probably not.
All that said, I'm not even sure that taking measures to significantly cut back on internet time is strictly necessary, but it's at least worth thinking about. And do give the Slate article series a read.
Soren was fever-free all day today, but he still sounds pretty bad (frog in the throat, drippy nose, intermittent cough). And he's still (evidenced by the "Go pee potty" meltdown) pretty easily wound up over little things - more so even than I've come to expect just from general toddlerness. Poor kid. I'm a little amazed Eleri hasn't caught this bug, though I suppose incubation periods vary, and her turn could arrive yet.
The lad did rather a lot of whining today. I can understand; I certainly feel like whining when I'm sick. But he especially wanted to go outside and play at the park, which wasn't going to happen, so in an attempt to find him some fun indoor distractions, I covered the coffee table with butcher paper and let him go to town with a box of chalk. He seemed to think that was pretty fun for a little while, at least. He also got to sit on his trike on the balcony a bit and spent some time playing with Eleri on the floor. I managed to get him to nap - again - in the afternoon, but it wasn't quite as easy as it's been the last couple of days. Which is good, I guess, if it means he's on the mend, but I would sure love for him to be feeling better and still napping for an hour a day. I know, it's probably too much to hope for. ;)
Late in the afternoon we were treated to a very sudden and very intense summer thunderstorm. Thunder, lightning, downpour, 80 degrees. Really quite impressive.
I think that's all I've got for today. But that's probably enough, right?