I love my kids. I really do. They’re a riot when they’re not trying to end me. Or when they’re not forcing me to listen to songs I’ve learned to hate over and over again. They’re a complete hoot when I don’t step on their shit in the middle of the night.
This global pandemic though, I’m not sure my kids are cut out for it. Sure, they’re playing for the vast majority of their waking hours, which are now remarkably longer than they used to be, but I can see the cracks. They used to be in bed by 8:30 p.m. most nights, 9:00 p.m. at the latest. Now? True story: One night recently, I went upstairs at 1 a.m. to retire for the evening and my youngest—my 3-year-old—was wide awake watching cartoons, holding the remote, laughing hysterically at PJ Masks. He was in my bed, by the way, where my wife and his brother were knocked out. I went to sleep on the couch.
Kids, man. What was I talking about? Oh, right, the cracks due to the cabin fever spurred by this here global pandemic.
Look, I can’t prove that this pandemic is getting to my kids, but what just happened makes me think that I’m not wrong. My 3-year-old is a happy kid. This is the one who tried to kill me during his potty training phase. He’s a jovial chap, sometimes prone to extreme feelings, but hey, who isn’t?
My kids have iPads. I’d LOVE to tell you that they use them purely for educational purposes but that would be a lie. There’s learning on those things but the little ones have discovered the world of games and now they’re kicking my shins all day trying to get me to download some new game that they have no business playing. I had to set a password and all kinds of permissions and/or restrictions just to make sure they don’t run up my credit cards and put us out of house and home with creepy cat games that parrot everything you say.
There’s some weird shit out there.
Anyway, my son, this little spritely tyke, left his iPad on the top floor of my house, which is where I spend my days working. I heard him walking up the stairs, and he was already crying. I had to tell him to calm down a few times so I could understand what the problem was. It turns out he was an emotional wreck because his iPad wasn’t where he left it, but instead it had moved 10 feet, courtesy of his brother. He was very, very distraught about this chain of events and was inconsolable.
He asked me where it was and I told him to look down, since he was standing damn near literally on top of it. He saw it, picked it up and kept crying, which to me is just trolling. You have your damned iPad, kiddo; let the histrionics go. He stopped crying, though he was clearly still in his feelings as he started towards the stairs so he could go downstairs to his mother.
As soon as he was out of sight but still walking down the stairs, he started screaming at the top of his lungs that nobody likes him. And I mean, he was really giving it his all. He leveled up the yelling as soon as he saw his mother, who was understandably curious as to what in the hell just happened. He started yelling that nobody likes him and his mother said, “Who told you that?”
Him: “Daddy told me that nobody likes me!”
So let’s get the order of events together: He lost his iPad. Cried. I found it and told him where it was. He cried some more. I told him to stop. And not only was he still upset—even though the iPad that he couldn’t find was in his hands—he decided that me telling him to stop crying was really me telling him that nobody likes him. So much so that he THEN went to tell his mother that I told him that nobody likes him.
Yep. The pandemic is getting to our kids, folks.
For the record, I then went to confront him—yes, I confronted a 3-year-old about lying on my name—in front of his mother who’d managed to scoop him up into her bosom and hold her baby boy as if he’d actually been wronged; he doubled down. He looked me square in my eye and said that I told him that nobody liked him. I took his iPad.
He has it back now.
When is this shit over????