September 20, 2007

Unfit Parent, Part 3

Seriously, this makes part 1 and part 2 look like nothing . . .

I had to go to the Internet Ministry Conference this week. In fact, I'm sitting in a session right now. I'll write more about the conference later.

Anyway, because I'm nursing, Jack had to come with me. Which means Kyle had to come too to watch Jack while I'm in sessions.

Background information: I'm not sure if I've mentioned this in previous posts, but Jack has developed a dislike for riding in the car over the last few weeks. "Dislike" probably isn't an adequate word to describe his reaction to the carseat. "Burning hatred" is probably more accurate.

I can't say that I totally blame him. First, he has to sit in a rear-facing car seat. Who would want to stare at the backrest on the bench in our explorer? Second, until Thursday, he was in his small infant carseat/carrier. He's still under the weight limit for that (I think) but he's a big kid and was getting a little smooshed.

In preparation for this trip, we bought this big boy carseat this week (which can be rear facing until he's 1 and the forward facing until he's over 50 lbs . . . which at this rate will probably be by the time he's 2). We gave it a test spin on Thursday night and he smiled and talked for the first 10 minutes. He cried and screamed the entire way home.

I'm giving all of this background information for a couple of reasons. First, it helps you understand why I did what I did. Second, it delays me actually having to tell you what I did. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to handle the crying for the !TWO HOUR! trip to Grand Rapids. So, we borrowed a portable DVD player. You can see where I'm going with this, and my head is hanging in shame.

We strapped the DVD player to the back of the bench in the explorer and put a Baby Einstein video in. About 30 minutes into the trip, he got fussy and I turned it on. He watched it without making a peep for 45 minutes before falling asleep. He cried both times I tried to turn it off while he was still awake.

At home, whenever the tv is on, he starts stretching his head around trying to figure out where the big magic box with the moving pictures on it. Afterall, he his his mother's son. As a result, the television stays off most of the time he's awake. I do this because I've read all about the research that says television is harmful to the development babies under the age of 2. However, I chose to trade the healthy mental development of my 3-month old for my sanity for 2 hours.

I, once again, feel like an unfit parent. My child isn't even old enough to sit in a front-facing carseat and I had him watching a movie to keep him quiet in the car. I know that child services won't be removing him from my home or anything, but I still feel awful.

The saddest part . . . I still haven't decided whether or not I'll use it on the way home. I realize that Jack will not be scarred for life, so I not fishing for e-mail from everyone telling me what a great mom I am. I just need a little time to get over the fact that I couldn't come up with a better solution.

1 comment:

Kristy said...

Just remember, Sesame Street and Soaps made you who you are today. Just kidding. It was a great idea and better than drugging your kid. Videos are not a bad tool as most parents have to have an arsenal of pacifying activities for all occasions. You just have to balance the video time with other activities and monitor the content. I think Jack's fascination with technology says something about what makes him "tick" internally. You should see it as giving you insight to his personality. You can almost see the wheels of his mind moving when he fixes on objects in motion, including videos/TV.