About Me

Quarantine Life

After a weekend of rampant indulgence, it’s back to the grindstone . . .

So, the world is what it is. Duh.

When the internet started throwing around the phrase, ‘Social Distancing,’ I was the sort who said, “Lol, what’s the difference?” I’m pretty much a certified homebody, I avoid crowds, and it’s not like I have any friends that I hang out with anyway. I’ve been practicing “social distancing” for the last ten years, though I prefer call it things like, “introversion,” “homesteading,” and “homeschooling.”

As it would turn out, there is a difference.

My plans to pickle beets were totally dashed when all the nearby grocery stores sold out of white vinegar. Bummer.

And I take a great deal of comfort in the fact that we have a healthy supply of fabric diaper wipes, in case our package of toilet paper runs out before the stores get restocked. Not that we’ve been fanatically checking, but should the need arise . . .

Positively speaking, I actually do appreciate that it’s gotten harder to slip into laziness — I feel obligated to make my own brownies, instead of using the “Meh, I’m tired,” excuse to buy chemically-laden, GMO-ridden, food substitutes that are vaguely chocolate flavored. I tend to do that too much.

Anyway.

I felt an irrational sense of umbrage when I saw a news article talking about how the latest Animal Crossing game is making a good distraction during the quarantine. I’ve been a huge fan of the series ever since the game first came out on the N64 clear back in 2001, and I’ve spent ages and ages counting down to the release date of New Horizons. Heck, I pre-ordered the game before this whole pandemic thing began. I am not some simple boredom buster — I AM A HARDCORE FAN.

And I feel like my nerdiness is going to get lost underneath the masses of people who can’t figure out how to have hobbies on their own.

Seriously.

About Me

Too Late?

Sometimes I worry that I decided to jump into the whole ‘author’ thing a bit too late. Blogs are, like, totally old hat by now, and everyone has literally switched over to YouTube. Most of ’em haven’t read anything since Fifty Shades of Grey anyway.

The funny thing is, I was planning on retreating for the first half of this year, given that I’m expecting our fifth baby (omg that’s a lot of kids). Instead, the characters in my head have gotten louder, to the point that it’s meaningless to argue that I’ve got my own major life events going on. So, here I am, writing another story.

And I wonder: is there going to be an audience for novelettes posted on some random person’s blog? Even if I put tons of effort into marketing in my own way, will it ever amount to anything? It’s been ages since blogs were the hot new shiny item, and as much as I love fantasizing about being a crazy trend-breaker, I’m not sure if anyone else wants to go along with it.

Am I too late?

In a way, it’s also exciting to discover who’s still out there.

Hello, we’re the weirdos who stubbornly do our own thing, irregardless of where the masses have gone.

About Me

YouTube Kids

I don’t let my kids watch YouTube.

I used to.

Once upon a time I had a three-year-old who liked to let herself out the front door and go on grand adventures down the street, until her panicked mom came running to find her. Those “baby proofing” door handles didn’t cut it, and I needed to keep her occupied so I could shower or wash the dishes. Enter YouTube.

I found a bunch of children’s music videos that I thought were cute, so I pulled them up whenever I needed turn my back for a few minutes. It didn’t take her very long to figure out how to navigate to other videos, and before I knew it “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” had turned into overly-hyper people playing Roblox.

I let it be for awhile. It wasn’t until the kids started finding Elsa x Spiderman videos that I started to feel uncomfortable, especially the ones that featured “pregnant Elsa.” Something about them really didn’t sit well with me, so I stepped in and put an end to it. I mandated that the kids were only allowed to watch YouTube as long as I was there with them, and they had to get my permission before they clicked on a video.

Shortly afterwards, I learned that a number of those Elsa x Spiderman videos were being used to imitate porn and other questionable activities. That further solidified my decision to never let them watch anything unsupervised. (See Elsagate)

Thankfully, by this point my daughter had stopped letting herself out of the house, so that little problem had become a non-issue and I could shower in peace.

However, the more I watched YouTube with them, the more intense my anxiety about it grew. To top it off, the kids were turning into materialistic little snots, and I was growing tired of constantly explaining to them why we were never going to buy them any of the toys they saw on YouTube. I felt that I was becoming a paranoid nervous wreck, so I eventually declared that the kids were only allowed to watch one channel.

As time went by, I realized that the children were much better behaved when they didn’t spend any time at all on YouTube. They slept better, fought less, and listened more. My husband and I decided to block YouTube entirely on our main computer, and our children settled down into manageable little monsters instead of psychotic tyrants.

I’m a crazy strict mom amongst my peers for it, but that decision has improved our lives. I strongly believe that it would benefit most families if they “unplugged” more and started interacting with each other and the real world instead of being constantly glued to the Internet. We need to teach our children how to fully engage with life, instead of dealing with parenting issues the easy way. I had to learn that through experience, but I’m glad I figured it out.