So flying back from Michigan a few days ago, I succumbed.
I'd packed little new toys and activities for Julia, but the truth was, I was exhausted, and even the energy entertaining her or reading to her for the ride home seemed like too much.
But we got on the flight, and voila! Individual entertainment centers.
I scanned the menu, and saw it: Little Einsteins episodes, $1 each.
$1 was not to much to pay for thirty minutes (or ten even) of quiet.
I inserted my credit card in the slot ,and sat back, and got out my headphones, and...
Did not get even one minute of relaxation.
What was I thinking? Earbuds for a toddler? Of course she was putting them in her mouth after thirty seconds. The screen couldn't hold her attention if the headphones were out, and couldn't hold her attention without sound, either. She really wanted to press buttons, and not watch the screen, and after a minute fighting her, I realized:
I'd been had. By my own desire to check out.
I put away the earbuds and my expectations of hands-free parenting. I got out the first of the little baggies of fun, and I interacted. And of course it was a lot less taxing than I'd made it out to be. Two hours passed (relatively) quickly, and she finally nodded off to sleep with hardly a protest ("Apple!" She said. "Apple. Apple. apple...app--")
And then I wondered why we all believe that a credit card and a video will solve all of our problems.