The boy is currently grounded from the internet. I took his iPod and hid the darn thing until further notice and as you can surmise, he’s not at all happy about (probably going through withdrawals). “You isolate yourself from us, all you do is spend your life looking down at that dumb 5″ screen forcing your shoulders to roll forward…” I said and then added, “do something different, read a book..” “But I would isolate myself when reading a book in my bedroom anyhow, so what’s the difference?” He argued. “The difference being, you’ll actually use your brain to R-E-A-D and disseminate information other than listening to garbage all day. You know what they say bay, garbage in, garbage out”
When I arrived home from work Tuesday, I found him trying to connect via my laptop. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Just trying out my new earbuds…” He replied. “Sorry, but I need the laptop bay,” I said, unplugging the earbuds and walking away with the computer. Later he asked, “Have you ever seen the movie Blazing Saddles? I’m going to watch that tonight”. “How?” I asked. “Via Netflix…” He replied. “Bay…that’s internet….” I informed. “No, it’s connected to the television…” He tried. “Streaming service via the internet…” I said. “Mom, this isn’t fair!” He returned in a harsh voice.”Yes, it sucks to be you right now, I agree. But you are trying to replace the internet with television. That doesn’t work. I’m limiting the amount of time you spend in front of electronic devices altogether. If your father and I choose to watch something this evening, then you may watch as well. But not otherwise” I explained to an unhappy little man.
Looking over to his sister he complained, “Why haven’t you taken her iPod away from her?” “Hey! Leave me out of this…” the doll shouted back. “Because she’s been reading books…more time than going online. In addition, most of her online content is facetime or talking with her friends–like a telephone call. Not spending her entire existence plugged into youtube”.
Needless to say, this has been a very difficult week for him. I relented a bit on the use of the iPod, as he’s been working at his high school and asked if he could use it strictly for music. On Wednesday night, Stephanie spent the night so the girls could watch the Alternative Press music awards. Feeling bad for his lack of evening choices I offered him the device saying, “You can watch this until 10:30 pm then off and lights out okay?” Happy to be getting the device back, he readily agreed. When I returned at 11:00 pm, I found him sitting in bed watching a program. “Bay, I said 10:30 turn off…” “But you didn’t come in at 10:30” He replied. “So what you’re telling me is that you cannot be trusted…” I said reaching out for the iPod. “No, that’s not at all…” He began to argue back. “Okay then tell me what it does mean? I gave you one rule to follow and you broke it. The right choice would have been to disconnect at 10:30 and put the iPod in the kitchen for me to find. Yet here you are…” I replied. ‘Your expectations for me are too high…” He said and then smiled. “Bay, you’re sixteen. At some point, you need to start growing up and acting like a responsible kid. But seeing as you don’t want that to be now, you’re also telling me you’re not ready to have the iPod returned permanently.
“I’m sorry I broke the rule…” He sheepishly said. “You should be bay, you only screwed yourself,” I said before exiting the room.