The Home Screen

Somewhere between dawn and 6:30 a.m., Dubsie bounds out of her bed. She rattles her cage — that’s what we call her baby gate — and stirs me from slumber.  I stumble to her room, change her diaper, and carry her back to our room, where I deposit her in our bed. I then put my head back on the pillow, with the fervent but absurd idea that she will go back to sleep.

Dubsie thinks that is amusing. She immediately climbs out of bed and wanders the room, while we lie like corpses, not yet ready to be parents. She enjoys unplugging and using my phone, which she can manage to disable while also taking screenshots:
iphone screenshot


We try to keep Dubsie away from electronics. She will probably (like us) spend too much of her adult life staring at glowing rectangles, so for now, we enmesh her as much as possible in the analog world of dolls and crayons. We don’t own a television and try to resist her constant campaign to swipe through our photo feeds. We snatch the device away when we see her getting too transfixed.
Now the two-year-old is turning the tables on me.

Dubsie with ipad

Dubsie enjoys a victorious moment with the iPad.

8 p.m. is when Dubsie starts down the road down to sleep. In her room, after helping her go to the toilet, after squeezing her into jammies and brushing her teeth, after singing her her easy-listening songs (Away in a Manger, All the Pretty Little Horses, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, the money chant from The Wolf of Wall Street), after I’ve finally lulled her into lying corpselike in bed, I pull out my phone. It’s the only time I give myself the treat of checking Facebook.
She somehow detects the ghostly glow from under her eyelids. “Stop checking your phone, Daddy,” she says.
Tonight I elected to ignore her. Deal with It, Little One. It’s been a long day and I am supposed to be in charge here. Dubsie fell back to sleep. I had become engrossed in a skateboarding video when I noticed that she had gotten out of bed and was standing by my knee. “Stop checking your phone, Daddy.”
Oh, all RIGHT. Fine. I stick the phone in my pocket and she climbed up into my lap. A creature not three feet tall, making me walk the walk.



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