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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

There's an app for that

-Or- how to entertain a 3-year-old during a quiet golf tournement

Believe it or not, golf is a very serious thing for a gaggle of testosterone-driven tweenagers.   (Or is it a bevvy?  A herd?  A clutch?  A pod?)  And with the exception of occasional and obligatory golf claps, it is quiet.  Which left this mama sweating.  Sweating bullets.  Knowing that in order to watch Patch play in his first big tournament, she'd have to have a noisy toddler in tow.

I remember my parenting days of yesteryear, circa 1993, when I declared that there would be no plastic toys in my home.  Oh yes I did.  Only wooden toys from sustainably-harvested wood using only environmentally friendly green methods.  Oh yes, those were the days I sterilized everything.  The 3 second rule wouldn't be recognized in our home for at least another 2 children.  These were the days before candy.  And bribery.  Much less employing both simultaneously.  

So if you're found a way to be a better parent than I've found possible, stop reading here and come back later this week for a post on a cheap easy way to decorate a lonely wall.  Over the years, I've decided perfection is not my objective.  I've decided to adopt the stance that no matter how many times the roadrunner severely mames the coyote, watching Looney Tunes won't make my child more violent.  {Jude already turns his carrot sticks into guns and shoots company.}  Plastic toys are fun too.  And the germs on the asphalt of the parking lot only help to strengthen my baby's immune system.  

Wow... that was a huge ol' bunny trail in the middle of the golf tourney!
I was asking Jude, who is usually really well behaved, to sit quietly for several hours.  
And some of my methods for toddler control worked well... albeit short lived.  
Like picking and blowing ginormous dandelions.
And riding around in the golf cart is inherently amusing.  
But as the hours passed, heavy ammunition was necessary.  You know there's an app for that!
I don't recommend using the electronic babysitter often.  But I do think there is a time and a place for it.  Specifically at 10:26am on the #13 tee box.
I discovered an app that I downloaded on my phone.  It's worthy of passing on.  Mama to mama, it's good stuff.  Zoodles Kid Mode.  Basically, I pick the games that I want included and set it up ahead of time.  There's even an option to customize it for more than 1 child.  When I open it, there are Tess and Jude's photo and Jude touches his pic to start.  I've decided to include only supposedly-educational games which for my 3-year-olds are things like matching games and shape, color, and letter recognition.  When an emergency strikes, all I need to do is click on the app and my toddler has a plethora of activities at his disposal.  Suddenly, I can watch the golf tourney without distracting the competitors.  
One thing I really like best about Kid Mode that other apps didn't have, is that Jude can't get out of it!  He can't click around and access my email or inadvertently call The Democratic Republic of Congo.  And another great thing about it, is that it's free.  Of course there are extra components available for purchase, but the free version has totally filled my needs.      

Jude made it through the whole 18 holes.  In fact, he asked if I'd take him out the next day for more golf.  And the next next day. And the next.  And the day after that.  In fact, he's been quite upset at me when I've told him Patch doesn't have another tournament for a couple weeks.  Cursed side effect of the electronic babysitter... electronic dependence.  

PS-Zoodles doesn't have a clue who I am.  This is not a sponsored endorsement.   It's just good stuff to pass on. 
Good golly I love those cheeks!


  1. Oh! I'll have to have my husband look that up for his iPod. We have a shape game S likes to play, but she is always exiting out and needing help getting back in. This sounds great!

    You held out longer on using some of the "organic" parenting techniques than I did--we started caving half way through the first year with the first child.

  2. I'm going to check that app out!!

    My son is 5 and we LOVE apps. I rarely let him on my iPhone. The reason is because I got an iPad last year and MY iPad quickly became HIS iPad. When I finally got an iPhone earlier this year I made it clear that only in RARE circumstances would he be allowed to play with it.

    Still, even though he's not allowed to use it often, I try to keep good apps on it for him so that when I do need the iPhone to rescue me (and distract him) it's there to do it's job. ;)

    Jackie @

  3. a) I love those cheeks, too!
    b) THANK YOU!! Jackson is always resigning my game or skipping my turn or calling someone or checking my email. I'm psyched

  4. Thank you!!! A great way to avoid letting my 4 year-old work his way through the Sponge Bob videos on You Tube when I need to buy myself a few minutes... (SpongeBob being one of my parenting battles lost, or more accurately "surrendered.")


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