Nopeflix

Netflix is the best investment our family has made in years because my kids have now officially jumped on the binge-watching bandwagon.

The girls have found a Disney channel show that they watch over and over and over, and Dude is a big fan of anything featuring minjas or dwagons. If I want them to do anything — homework, chores, eat their veggies, and FOR THE LOVE, stop blowing that whistle — I use Netflix privileges as a reward or consequence. It has truly been a magical parenting tool.

The bad news is that I’m going to have to ban my rugrats from watching. Aside from its value as a motivational tool, it has really caused some strife in the Holt house. The main issue is my kids’ selective hearing.

During the week, they have little to no electronic device time. We watch a show or two on TV if we are home in the evenings, but otherwise we’re occupied. On the weekends, Hubby and I are very strategic with the device time. On Friday nights, we let the kids stay up late with no devices. Then before we go to bed, we plug up all the devices so that they have a full charge on Saturday morning.

When our kids wake up and run to us to be entertained, we point them to their tablets and we stay in bed as long as they’ll let us. (Go ahead and add this to that list of poor parenting choices that I’m admitting to weekly. Also? You’re welcome for the protip.) Listen, those punks have deprived us of sleep for over eight years now. I don’t know how much more we’re supposed endure before we have a mental breakdown. You know sleep deprivation is a form of torture right?

I tell you that so that you know that when these kids get their hands on a screen, they are single-minded in their focus on it. I make them wear headphones because I value my sanity. The problem is that my little monsters will demand food, drinks, blankets or pillows while still wearing the headphones. They never hear our answers or lack thereof. So even though they’ve asked, and we have answered, they keep yelling louder and louder for us.

I have instated a rule that I will positively not respond to any person who is wearing headphones or yelling at me from a different room, but you know what happens when their shows come on? All the rules fly out the window. I know, I know — get control of your kids, woman.

My other problem is that my oldest, Lu, is learning how to describe people’s roles in their families. In the sitcom she watches, she can identify the lazy butler, the protective nanny, the fashionable kid, the smart kid, and so on. She’s begun trying out labels for our family members as well.

Last week, she broke down our family roles as follows: Dude is the crazy one, Bug is the silly one, she (Lu) is the smart one, Hubby is the strong one and I am the mean one. When I asked what else she might call me, she said lazy. Thank you for that, kiddo.

You’ve probably heard me say before that I take pride in being called the “meanest mom in the world.” I really do believe that means I’m doing my job well. That pride is specific to the times that I am doing the hard, thankless work of parenting and telling my kids no or correcting bad behavior. It was a little shocking to be pigeonholed as mean while we were all just chilling on the couch together, getting along just fine. It probably would have also been okay had she not followed it up with “lazy.”

This is obviously Netflix’s fault for introducing my child to one-dimensional characters in Disney shows. It couldn’t possibly be because I am either of those things. It also definitely has nothing to do with Lu being sassy and owning an absurd number of whistles.

Overheard at the salon: “Is it rude to comment on her Facebook exercise posts with eye roll emojis?”