My Electronic Babysitter


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It’s Saturday night and we are going out for dinner as a family with our trusted Babysitter “The iPad”. We don’t go anywhere these days without our favorite nanny who can pull all kind of tricks to keep our baby entertained while we enjoy our weekend break for a couple of hours. Some people might not approve of this and smirk at us, but we are a part of the growing tribe in this modern era of nuclear families.

When my second baby was 6 months old, we were having lot of problems in getting a full time maid to reduce my workload to some extent. My very supportive husband, who understood the difficulties of a full time mother struggling between the regular household chores and the additional new mom role, extended his helping hand by buying a brand new gadget – “The iPad”. “There you go.. Now all your problems will be solved”, he said in a voice sounding much like a sage giving a lifesaving boon to a poor desperate housewife.

I had to be resourceful to see how I can train / use this young new recruit (The iPad) to make my life a little easier. I started my day by propping my baby in the high chair to feed milk by showing him some nursery rhymes. Wow!! The baby seemed to be fully enthralled by the animation and the catchy tunes of the songs. His cooing and giggling were reassuring enough for me that I screamed “You are hired” at the new recruit who has become an integral part of my family since then.

When I read articles about the smart phones / gadgets being harmful for babies and how even Steve Jobs doesn’t approve of his kids using iPad, I choose to look the other way as I have grown so dependent on this nifty gadget. It is amazing to see how the baby figured out all the features of the iPad quickly. At this age, the kids absorb things like sponge. The user friendly technology also makes everything so easy that even babies know the applications like the back of their hand.

When I have to finish the cooking, take a phone call or attend to guests, I shamelessly exploit the services of these electronic distractions to keep my baby busy. Am I a bad mom who is knowingly taking such shortcuts? Definitely not.. There are so many things that my 2 year old has learnt from the iPad than the average baby his age. He knows alphabets, numbers, animals, shapes and hundreds of nursery rhymes saving me the expenditure of tuition fees for the playschool. I am not advocating that this should be the only plaything for your child. If you are able to provide other physical activities like going to the park, running around and playing with other children, technology can be used as an electronic babysitter which will be efficient and effective.

“Amma, What is the number?” asks my 2 year old son when the screen gets locked and asks for the password. The visiting grandparents are fully impressed with the way this tiny toddler is handling what seems to be the most delicate and complicated gadget for them. The unassuming generous smiles on their faces show their brimming pride. “Thank you and I am eternally grateful to you, my little nanny” says my heart to the iPad while my face puts on the Cheshire cat look grinning from ear to ear. “Hail Technology!! Hail Internet!!

(Photo Courtesy – Internet)

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