Earlier this week I visited the Apple Store to order the full version of Tozzle, one of the iPhone games I’ve found that is like baby crack to the toddler set. Zizi is enticed to sit on the potty with either a book, watching Dora, or one of the toddler iPhone games like Tozzle, Peekaboo Barn, First Words: Animals, Wheels on the Bus (more interactive book than game) or Adam’s Game. Hey, Dr. Karp recommends using whatever you can to bribe them encourage them to spend time on the potty. So there you have it.
So back to the Apple Store. In reading the reviews for Tozzle, one parent wrote, “I installed this on my 2-year-old’s iPod touch and…” I have no memory of the remainder of the review. My brain came to a full stop with the words: my 2-year-old’s iPod touch. I could not get past the idea of a 2-year-old having an iPod touch of his/her own. No issue with a kid playing with a parent’s iPhone or iPod, but since when does a toddler need an adult piece of electronics like that?
I ran it by my partner in doctor-mommy parenting, Michelle, who was equally aghast. “Two-year-olds don’t need iPods!” she wholeheartedly agreed. We clucked and patted ourselves on the backs for being parents who would never be that indulgent. Nice shoes here and a pretty dress there, but not an iPod, we concluded.
Fast forward to yesterday evening. Zara decided that her burrito was more fun to play with than to eat. After the umpteenth black bean was launched from the high chair, she was excused from the table with a consequence of no Dora and a task of picking up all the no-longer-airborne food strwen about. Midway through the clean-up, she informed us that she had to go potty.
“Barn, pleasey Mommy?” she wheedled.
Hell, I’d give her a gin-and-tonic if it would get her to the potty. (OK, no I wouldn’t, but you get my drift.) I pulled down pants, wrestled off the diaper and settled her on her potty. I then handed her my iPhone with Peekaboo Barn open on the screen.
“No, no, barn!” she cried with toddler fickleness.
“You just said you wanted Barn! Why did you change your mind?” I asked stupidly. (Somehow I insist on asking her this type of ridiculous question. Honestly I think it’s because her behavior is so similar to my dear AdoringHusband’s that I get them confused easily.)
“No barn!” was her only reply.
“How about Tozzle?” I ventured.
“Yes, Tozzle! Pleasey Mommy!”
I handed her the iPhone and let her Tozzle her little heart out. I returned to finish my burrito with AdoringHusband.
“So what do you think about getting her an iPod touch?” AdoringHusband said while I was in mid-chew.
I must have looked at him as if he had suddenly sprouted 10 heads, because he quickly followed up with, “Wow, I guess you think that’s a bad idea.”
“What’s she need an iPod for? She’s 2-years-old! I’m not raising some indulged, bratty kid who gets an iPod at 2 and a BMW at 16! Oh no! Think again,” I huffed.
“First of all, it’s not like she asked for it. She’s too young to ask for things and doesn’t even know enough to be entitled. Remember, she still gets upset because she can’t pull a real balloon out of the ballon pictures in her books. Second, she loves those games she plays on our phones, but what if she decides to spike our phones on the floor, or better yet, give them a float test in the toilet while we’re not looking? It might be safer for her to have her own.”
“But it’s ridiculous for a 2-year-old to have a piece of electronics like that. It’s expensive…”
“More expensive that some of her dresses and shoes?” he cut in.
“That’s different!” I shot back.
“Well everyone has clothes and shoes. That’s universal. Yet you as a parent can decide to tweak up or down your kid’s wardrobe as you see fit when they are that age. She doesn’t know what she’s wearing, but I like the quality of her clothes, and she looks so cute!”
“Calm down,” he soothed, “I love how she looks too. But I just don’t see this as being any different. Or at least any different from her other toys.”
“Hrumph,” I grumbled, at a loss for how to explain what seemed perfectly clear to me. “I still think spending over $200 for her to play her games is a little much.”
“Wait a minute. They cost over $200? I thought they were like $75. I mean, the iPhones are $199 so these should be cheaper. Oh hell no. Forget it,” he concluded the discussion.
Yet somehow I still feel that even at $75, a 2-year-old shouldn’t have an iPod touch. I’m just not able to explain it in a way that makes sense to my concrete rationalist husband.
What do you guys think? Take my poll and give me more feedback in the comments.