Sunday, March 25, 2018

Our Screen Time: Paper

I've seen a lot of discussions about how much screen time is healthy for kids lately, and to be frank, I kinda drew a blank for each and every one of them.  For historical reasons--we were grad students when each of the gang was born--we couldn't afford 'screens'. It wasn't a hardship, it just never even occurred to us that we needed them.  So, the gang here doesn't really use screens to speak of.  Seven year old No. 1 can read and write, so she occasionally asks to make addenda to texts to Mom-person, or our Director of Tactical Ops, but that's about it.

So, I found myself wondering, "What do the kids do when we go to talks or other occasions where they might eventually lose interest?"  This morning, while looking for contact info for some of our museum docent friends we haven't seen in awhile, the answer flashed before my eyes, literally.  The gang uses paper in place of screens!

I haul around little 3x5 notebooks in my back pocket because they have a low boot time compared to smart phones.  The smart phone is still my preferred method of writing because: typing (via the Bluetooth keyboard) and again with the boot time compared to laptops.  In any event, I wind up with things like contact info for the folks we meet out and about in a small compendium of small, tattered old notebooks.

As I was flipping through my old notebooks this morning, I didn't find the contact info I was looking for, but I did finally find the answer to what the gang does for screen time, they draw and write in the notebooks!  My memory was jogged specifically by some of 1's early Batmite sketches circa 2016.  You might ask how I know it's Batmite.  Ahem, it's the one cocked ear, of course!
Corin Howell's Batmite

Part of the reason I didn't remember what the gang does to kill time, is because then five year-old No. 1, like any unschooled kid would, solved the problem herself.  As I was hastily taking notes on my keyboard during one of the writers' lunches No. 1 and I attended, I heard, "Psss....  Psssttt...." I looked over; 1 caught my attention and whispered, "Can I have your little notebook and a pen?"

"Sure!" I said as I handed over the requested items.   And that was it.  No. 1 invented her own 'screen' time, and a really nice reminder for me of the things we do together all in one fell swoop.

You might also ask how I know 1's drawings are from 2016.  That's easy!  There were other artifacts left in the old notebook, like this old bus transfer, now a San Francisco MUNI antiquity since the bus transfer system was upgraded this year.

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