There is this wonderful Friends episode where Freddie Prinze, Jr., as a nanny, introduces these two puppet characters: Mr. Wigglemunch and the Grumpus. Mr. Wigglemunch seems to be a friendly sort who speaks in a high pitched voice and espouses knowledge. “What’s the only boat that will never sink? A friendSHIP.” While our friend the Grumpus is just as his name suggests, an eternal grump for whom nothing will ever suffice. And I’m afraid Lexi has a kinship with the Grumpus, more so lately.
Me: You’re done with your screen time for today. You’ve had more than enough.
Lexi: NO I haven’t! I’m going to watch more.
Me: No you’re not. You’re going to turn that iPad off and find something constructive to do.
Lexi: Can’t I do my educational app instead?
Me: Uh, no. You’re going to turn the iPad off.
Lexi: Well, do I get more screen time later?
Me: You’ve had enough for the day.
Lexi: BUT IT’S NOT FAIR!
Me: You know what’s really not fair? That I have to argue with you about this.
Lexi: But I’ve only had an hour today, and I’m supposed to get two.
Me: No, your limit is two hours. That doesn’t mean you need or deserve those two hours every day. You need to find other ways to stimulate your brain.
Lexi: I’m not going to do anything then.
Lexi: I mean it. I’m just going to sit here on the couch and do nothing.
Me: What? Are you protesting? Is this Occupy Living Room?
Lexi: I don’t know what that means, but I’m not moving or doing anything else.
Me: Fine by me. Just be quiet doing your nothing.
Lexi: DADDY! I don’t want to do nothing.
Me: But you said you were going to.
Lexi: That’s only because I’m mad that I don’t get my iPad!
Me: Being mad and sitting there aren’t going to make me change my mind.
Me: Watch it, Alexa. You might be headed to your room with that attitude.
Lexi: But there’s a ghost in my room!
Me: Oh boy. That’s a whole other issue. Just stop being grumpy.
Lexi: I will when I get my iPad back.
Me: Then you’ll stop tomorrow.
Lexi: I’m not happpy.
Me: That makes two of us.