For Mothers Day I got an iPad2.
It's one of my kid's favorite things. They play(ed) on it everyday. But last week "it" happened. "it" was probably unavoidable albeit still unpleasant. They dropped the beloved iPad onto the tile floor and the screen cracked.
I was not there at the time. It happened to be date night and my husband and I were in the first minutes of Crazy Stupid Love. My phone buzzed. Of course it was on. No parent turns their phone completely off during a movie, sheesh.
I hustled out of the theater to hear a frantic and hyperventilating daughter on the phone saying, "please come home". We calmed her down over the phone and then went home. Sidebar: Did you know that at least at our AMC theater they very generously gave us vouchers to come back when we told them what happened? Apparently we werent the first parents pulled out of a movie by a call from home.
When we got home we learned that the panic attack had been set off by the iPad droppage event.
First my husband and I had some trouble getting the true story out of the kiddos of what happened. But after a few minutes employing advanced interrogation techniques the truth came out. Disclosure, no children were harmed during the interrogation :-) There had been a squabble over who's turn it was to play Spongebob Marbles and the tug of war resulted in the iPad hitting the floor.
A bitter pill to swallow
I'll admit I was really upset. I know it was just an accident but this accident ended with "my" iPad breaking. I always tell my kids that when you share you have to be ready for your things to break and not be upset. I tell my kids if something is too important for you to not get upset you need to put it away and not share it. I have told them this since they were tiny. Now this was a dose of my own medicine for me. It's not always easy McGee.
I then enforced a truly unreasonable amount of consequences. I removed privileges and said I was canceling play dates for the week. I may have also suggested that the kiddos pay for the repair out of their piggy banks. My husband, in a moment of clarity did not tell me I was being too harsh. I probably would have grounded him too if he spoke up. The kids went to sleep and opened a cold beer and I googled cracked iPad screen.
What do you know? There is a place right down the street that would fix it. It is even called UBreakIfix. I felt lucky.
Things are almost always better in the morning
The next morning the kids and I had a heart-to-heart conversation about how important it is to take care of things, especially when they aren't your own things. This last point was a bit of a challenge for them until I clarified that the iPad was mine not theirs. They didn't want that to be true. I guess since I was being liberal letting them play with it they got the wrong idea. During this part of the conversation my husband may or may not have been looking at me with "I told you so" in his eyes. Then I removed some of the unreasonable consequences I had sentenced them to the night before. Basically they lost all "screen time" for a week. No iPad, iPhone, wii, tv or computer. They were bummed. But I think it was a reasonable punishment that would keep the event in their minds. But I didn't cancel their play dates and I didn't make them pay for the repair.
After dropping my daughter off for gym, my son and I went to go get the screen fixed. And now it's back. My kids have resumed their screens except the iPad until it has a protective case.
We live - we learn.
What have I learned from this episode? Well, clearly no good can come of Spongebob. Just kidding. Lots of things. I keep the iPad now in a spot where they have to ask permission. If I can't take it if somebody else breaks it - I shouldn't share it. Also, it's not really made for kids and it's not a toy, really - well partly I mean what else does it do, email, Facebook? Okay maybe it's a toy but for adults who can pay for it. Also, I'm lucky to have an iPad. A broken iPad is a good problem to have. Things could be much worse. Oh, and I ordered a case. Because I like to share my things with my kids and I know that they are going to forget to ask to play with it sometimes and I'm going to forget to enforce it. So, in the idea of better safe than sorry I will swath the iPad with hard plastic and try to remember to enforce the rules and hope for the best.
Later - A