I’m trying to get only son off screens, in particular my phone screen. He has downloaded all manner of things onto my phone – I deleted 1,000 Minecraft pictures which he “accidentally” downloaded in September – which he swears are absolutely vital. Most of them seem to be versions of something called Geometry Dash. At first I thought it might be educational, given the name, but I’ve watched it for a short while and I can’t see any point to it whatsoever except perhaps to mesmerise you into some sort of hypnotic state where you can shut out the problems of the world. Which could be a good thing, except it would also block out all the good things in the world, of which, despite everything, there are many.
So I have tried to wean only son to a midway point between Geometry Dash and full immersion in the world around him by getting him interested in National Geographic Channel. I got him to watch something on fish the other day, but he complained after 10 minutes that he would have preferred Octonauts ie cartoon fish. My heart sank. Surely a real fish is more interesting than a cartoon one? Anyway, I persevered and we went on YouTube to watch a documentary about tiger sharks. In the documentary the sharks were being fed at the bottom of the sea and then being “flipped” by the divers. Even when the divers had no food the sharks kept coming back to be flipped. They were in fact playing. I was intrigued. “This has made me look at tiger sharks in a whole different light,” I said turning to only son. He was captivated too. Success. Then Youtube froze.
Anyway, we told daughters one, two and three about the tiger sharks on the school run. We got into a discussion about why they didn’t eat the humans feeding them. I said perhaps humans were not very tasty and sharks only ate them when they mistook them for seals. “Humans are perhaps the beetroot of the carnivore world,” I suggested. Daughter two said that she enjoyed beetroot and that animals only don’t eat people because people kill them first. She has a point. There then followed a long discussion of the history of the world and the role of guns in the rise of the West. All that out of one Youtube video.
We also found a bath bomb making recipe and are waiting for our blue glitter creations to dry out in the next 24 hours. I have lined up a whole series of arts and crafts and swimming-based activities for the next few weeks. By the end of the year I am slightly more confident that I will be able to wipe Geometry Dash from my phone.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.