D

ay 4 (of detox from gadgets): Reality is way too real. He wakes up early to ask me if we can make a deal. With both of our personalities, me wanting him to agree to 10 things and him wanting to do none, deal quickly falls apart. 

I have been through this path before, many times. I keep my end of the bargain then I’m left high and dry. Well not anymore – I’d like my payments in advance – thank you. 

When I got home that night I found the to-do list on his dry-erase board completely erased. My insecurities kick in – what do I do if he says the next day that he doesn’t care about gadgets anymore, became vegan, and started meditation? What will I have left to get him to negotiate? I secretly hope for another chance to get back to the negotiation table.

And it happens – Minecraft cravings could be unforgiving, as it turns out. 

He asks if he can play with my phone for a little and bam! Without further a due – I whip out my usual asks in my handy baritone voice – “please change into pajamas and brush your teeth.” I try to push it a little further just like I have been pushed all these years by these little humans “but it’s also past your bed time – if you change and brush earlier tomorrow, you can use the phone.” But this part doesn’t land well so I let him play for 7 minutes. Seven minutes in 24 hours compared to a good 4 hours the week before – little extreme but not bad!

What I inevitably do maintain is our friendship. I’m doing my usual tucking into bed, back and head scratching duties to try to shift the blame to our common enemy – the glaring screens and addicting TV shows. I need to be there for him in his toughest times – which is NOW – the Screen-free days. Many times I am tempted to let him play to minimize his apparent pain but then I stop myself. Habits need to be broken and rebuilt, relationships need to be reassessed, the hand that we are dealt needs to be re-negotiated – one at a time.

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