The Hammer is not even two weeks old and he’s already disrupting our lives.
We love having him around, of course (he’s adorable, and all he does is sleep! What’s not to love?) but the reality of living with an infant is that whatever routine you had – and we had one that worked for close to five years – is immediately thrown in the shredder.
The new baby has changed the way we sleep, changed the way eat, changed the way live, and changed the way we treat each other (sorry, that was Tupac). But perhaps nothing has changed more than how we parent our five-year-old.
Mom and Buried and I used to be pretty strict with the amount of screen time our five-year-old gets. Then we had a baby.
We’re only a week in, but Detective Munch is clearly smitten with his little brother. We’d been warning him in advance that the baby was going to be pretty boring for a while (say, the next ten-to-twenty months), and that it will be a good couple of years before they can really play together (if the seven-year-old is even interested at that point), and none of that has fazed him thus far.
Which isn’t to say there haven’t been some issues.
He wants our attention all the time, as always. He’s defiant and stubborn, as always. He’s hyper as fuck every afternoon and evening, as usual. Which is to say: he’s five. The problem is, with the baby needing constant supervision, we don’t have as much attention to give anymore. And Mom and Buried and I are getting much less sleep than usual, so we don’t have as much patience anymore.
Detective Munch wants to play with us. But the Hammer wants to sleep, and the Hammer wants to eat, and the Hammer wants to not sleep when we need to sleep, and we need to sleep. So our Detective Munch Adventure Time is limited. Therefore, screen time is not.
Not only does my son LOVE watching TV, these days, we need him to watch it. And we’re going to need him to watch it for a while. So we’ve eased up on our restrictions and have been letting him throw on Netflix pretty much at will. While we feed the baby and change the baby and burp the baby and try to sleep when the baby sleeps, Detective Munch is having a field day, pretending to be his favorite Avengers while watching “Superhero Squad” and repeatedly transforming into a truck or a helicopter like the “RescueBots” or acting like a caveman as if he were one of “The Croods”. (Which unfortunately isn’t much of a stretch.)
Don’t judge me! It’s only a short-term solution… until he gets older and gets to choose to watch all the TV he wants on his own. Besides, he has to learn about binge watching sometime! It’s practically a way of life these days, and for once, the way Netflix helpfully-slash-diabolically queues up the next episode of your show immediately after the last one ends really cuts down on my need to get out of bed and press a button.
And with the heartening news that watching “Sesame Street” is the equivalent of going to preschool, it’s not much of a leap to assume that watching a few episodes of “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” is like a few months of college. Or at least that one weekend you did mushrooms.
Except for the ones Mom and Buried provides for me.