This is not going to be a diatribe against screens. Don’t get me wrong, I fight a daily (losing) battle against screen time, but there are certain aspects of raising kids in the modern world that are both convenient and hilarious.
For instance, my sister and I have each purchased new laptops in the past six months. Both of our computers came with webcams. After she bought hers, she said excitedly, “We can Skype!” Now keep in mind that my sister is not half a country or even half a state away. She lives in the next county over, and we see each other at least two or three times a week.
Now, of course, she meant the kids can Skype. Which again, you would think is unnecessary until you see how much our kids love to talk to each other on the computer. This is especially great for my son, who has been slow to pick up language. So since much of his “conversation” consists of nodding or shaking his head, blowing kisses and waving, among other more conventional sign language, it’s great for him to be seen rather than (not) heard over a traditional phone call.
This worked especially well in my favor the other day when I was leaving my son with my mom for a bit late in the day so I could run a few errands. My son is having a resurgence in separation anxiety, so combine that with my leaving late in the day when he hadn’t had a nap, and a well-timed Skype call was the perfect way for me to slip out unnoticed.
When I got back an hour later, they were still on the computer together. They Skyped through my niece’s bath, my son’s haircut and subsequent bath, and then for some time after that. It was hilarious and ridiculous.
Yesterday we Skyped while I cooked dinner, while we ate dinner and then while I cleaned up. There’s a chance these kids are becoming a bit codependent, but it’s super adorable to watch them gaze at the screen and jump around and “play” together remotely.
If a well-timed Skype call makes them both happy for a little bit each day, then so be it.