Jasper, as I have noted previously in this space, loves the iPad. Like, loves loves it. He loves it with a passion that is rivaled only by his passion for trains. Which means, of course, that he usually brings the two together, in some cases for a little multimedia train play (set iPad on train table, queue Thomas tribute videos on YouTube, commence play), in others for a little interactive reading. Yes, reading. He’s only three, but he’s gotten pretty good at working the virtual storybook apps. The ones that feature trains, especially.
Kyle and I discuss Jasper’s ‘reading’ habits quite a bit, because we worry, sometimes, about whether Jasper spends too much time with the iPad, and then we worry about the worrying. Because, really, should we worry? He doesn’t watch television, like, at all, unless it’s Thomas on Netflix, and even then, he much prefers Thomas mash-ups and tribute videos on YouTube and Thomas games and Thomas stories. The iPad, in Jasper’s hands, is truly an interactive device: he lines up his trains next to it and works them alongside the story and adds to that story with his own exclamations and proclamations and variations on plot. He flips through the pages of a storybook app and really just gets into it.
You know what’s an interesting experiment? Making a list of all the things your kids have destroyed or defaced. Although, really, you probably need to narrow it down to valuable things that your kids have destroyed, because if you included things like coffee mugs and white shirts and sofa cushions and lipsticks (to say nothing of white shirts and sofa cushions and lipsticks together), the list would become overwhelming. I’m going to further narrow down my list to technological devices that my children have destroyed, because if I kept it as broad as ‘valuable’ I’d have to go into things like furniture and Tiffany jewelry and the piano and some of the structural elements of our house, and at some point that just becomes discouraging.
So. Some technological devices that my children have destroyed or defaced or just dented up really badly:
Here are some things that Jasper and Emilia love: crayons, art paper, paints, marshmallows, bubble wrap, trains, books, the iPhone, the iPad, video cameras, regular cameras, Toady, me, Kyle, the cats, skateboards, anything Disney, Scotch tape, cardboard boxes, stickers, the piano, and cookies. Only cookies with chocolate, though. They know their baked goods.
Why they love these things, I don’t know. I’ve never really thought to ask that question, except in regards to Toady, who is so unusual (and whose continued existence Kyle interrogates daily: ‘can we get rid of him, PLEASE?‘) that his very presence demands that variations on that question – why are you here? what need or want are you fulfilling? – be asked of him, constantly. (Notice that I fall so naturally into calling Toady a ‘him.’ This is disturbing.) The presence of, and my children’s preference for, all those other things goes unquestioned, I suppose because those preferences don’t read as unusual. Who doesn’t love the iPhone? Crayons? Cookies? I mean, really? So, no, I never asked.