I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


One of the 'features' of the kids' school is that they have one hell of a long bus ride both there and back. The bus is actually considered one of the integral experiences of SSOTH, because the bus is where romances start, business deals are made, allegiances are formed, and candy is sold for a ridiculous sum of money well above market value. The SSOTH is in the middle of nowhere-ville, and as such a vast majority of students take said bus to and from school every day. As these kids grow up, let me tell you, the microcosmic culture which is the SSOTH bus becomes as much a part of their education as anything else. There are plenty of lessons to be learned on the bus - and probably some I wish they didn't learn (hello sex, drugs, and rock n' roll).

My kids were lucky enough to end up on a bus full of what can only be described as PAINS IN THE ASS BULLIES. So all bloody year I've had to hear stories about what transpires on the bus ride - none of it good and all of it slightly disturbing. I'm not that shit of a mother that I didn't intervene when necessary. Now my kids bus lives are basically trouble free, and the stories have now become observations on what happens to the other kids as opposed to stories about the injustices heaped on MY kids.

Recently the discussion around the dinner table was all about how most of the kids on the bus spent their time plugged into various i-devices. Ipads, Iphones, Itunes, Idon'twantotalktoyou, Iwanttobeleftalone, Ineedashower, Iamantisocial, Iamincapableofconversationwithfellowhumans and so on. The kids were commenting about how they don't understand why people who own all these I-items are so anti-social - like when my son was watching someone play on their Nintendo DS, that kid lost the plot about being watched while playing and demanded that my son find a spot somewhere else.

The kids were a little perplexed by the reaction of the DS-playing kid, and wanted to know why these kids don't realise that bus time is for hanging out with your friends, talking about your day, finishing the homework you forgot you had, and so on. They just don't 'get' why their friends are basically tuning out at a time when they should be tuning IN to what is going on around them.

DH and I are not anti-games or anti I-devices, but we both feel pretty strongly that there is a time and a place for them, and that time is not ALL the time, nor is that place EVERY place. We have made a conscious choice not to give our kids all those things - and as much as he and I are married to our smartphones, even then we try to turn them off at night, not use them during family time, and so on. Both he and I (and now the trio to a degree) just think that we've gotten ourselves into such a connected world, we somehow have forgotten to interact with actual humans.

I find it quite sad that you can get onto the kids' bus and be amazed at just how quiet it is because the vast majority of kids' eyes are glued to an itty-bitty screen (except when all the bullies decide to fight with each other, and everyone looks up to watch.) What happened to all the stuff which is supposed to happen on the school bus? Where are the notes being passed, the lollies trading hands, the snogging in the back row? How sad that even on a 20 minute ride to school, these kids all feel they need to be entertained by something other than the people around them.

If you ask me, I think it's high time we need to teach our kids to get off their iPad, iTouch and iPhone and learn how to make some iFriends - because last I checked, no iPad will teach you the lesson that if get you a Chupa Chup on the bus for five bucks, it's a good deal.

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