We've been slightly neglectful parents in that we kind of let the wee lad have the rule of the roost. He's four now and even though the terrible twos are far behind us, he's the most belligerent, the most vocal, the most opinionated and the most adorable of the lot. So rather than wage a lengthy, logical tug-of-war with this cute little menace, we allow too much leeway in the area of Wii games and videos. And we have paid a hefty price.
And, of course, it's Easter Holidays around here, which means instead of the week-long spring break we used to say was "way too short," we now endure the two-week Easter Break which is "way too long." So to keep all three from melting their brains during this hiatus from school, we start things off right with Screen-Free Sunday.
"Screen-Free Sunday" is actually code for "make Asher so upset that he cries himself to sleep and takes a good long nap and the rest of us can breathe easy and do things like clean or read or also nap until he wakes up an angelic and well-rested version of his former self."
We sorta, kinda try to make this an actual weekly habit. Some Sundays are better than others. Some Sundays bring us sun and long walks in Phoenix Park and some Sundays bring us scattered showers and back-to-back showings of Shark Boy & Lava Girl. Today was both, but due to a manic cold infecting the younger two, and the aforementioned wailing and gnashing of teeth over our screen-free delusions, mandatory naps were had by all. Ash - who was up for several hours last night cheerfully coughing and blowing his nose - finally gave in, climbing next to me in bed. His sticky, snotty fingers pulled the quilt up over his chest, dug down deep in Daddy's pillow, and so quickly and silently fell asleep I had to check to make sure he was still breathing.
Three hours later, I pull all these arms and legs out of bed. Ash first, then Ella. Jack reads to himself in the armchair, The Horse and His Boy plays on the stereo. Matt is in the back garden victoriously organizing a new-to-us garden shed, and I open the laptop to write for the first time in weeks.
Screen-Free Sundays aren't so bad, and I have eventual long-term hopes we'll get pretty good at them. But like everything else, we wait it out and power through, until we finagle some peace on the other side.