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We’re on Day 7 of Screen-Free Torture, I mean, Vacation. Then this happened.

We’re on Day 7 of Screen-Free Torture, I mean, Vacation. Then this happened.

We decided (well, not exactly democratically) to go Screen Free for our holiday. We’re still alive.

We broke the news late in the game so we wouldn’t have to live through endless whining and debating and moaning about our decision. Nope, the day before we left we broke the news: no screens on vacation.

I’ll save you the feedback but for a visual, imagine throwing a hyena into a lion’s den and then turn up the volume.

For the record, there have been a few “emergency” Snapchat checks because we might connect with a friend of my oldest son’s next week. But other than that and a few “But I was just taking a photo!” uses of our phones, we’ve been pretty clean.

Tonight at dinner, they were playing cards and weren’t even ready to leave the restaurant when we were. At a museum yesterday, they even read the information plaques under the photos (it was a fascinating if gruesome museum). They’ve been talking and making eye contact with other humans (their friends). I know, I know, I’ll try to keep the news rolling in slowly so you don’t gag on your guava juice.

Railway ManBut then the killer that I thought I misunderstood. My oldest asked me tonight, “Pop, mag ik morgen mijn Kindle meenemen?” (Dad, may I bring my Kindle tomorrow?)

Yes, technically, a Kindle is a screen. But all you can do with it is read books. You know, those bricks made of all of those papers held together on one side with words on them? But this is a screen. It’s not only allowed this vacation, it’s encouraged.

Tomorrow we’re going on another jaunt where we’ll be in some sort of moving vehicle for hours with nothing to do but look out the window (when they have windows, lately, we’ve been riding in Songthaews which are like larger Tuk Tuks) or talk to your neighbor. But seriously, what fun is that when you have a screen to look at!?

So Kindles are more than welcome. He even asked if we could get this book on his Kindle and I bought it for him yesterday: Railway Man: A POW’s Searing Account of War, Brutality and Forgiveness. Probably not exactly light reading, but it’s about where we are right now (Kanchanaburi, Thailand) and the friends we’re traveling with had a grandfather who died while a POW building the railway, so hopefully he’ll get something out of the book it and get more into reading.

In Case You Missed It …

In the depths of parenting desperation, we resort to Whatever Works. Screens are not working. We want our kids to turn their heads away from their screens occasionally to experience that whole “life thing” a few select others are going through on a daily basis on the planet. We had to brutally and dictatorially remove the devices from their clinging grips in order that they might get something out of travel, but someday they’ll thank us. We’re not holding our breaths.

We’re only on Day 7. There could be a giant mutiny in the works. But the fact that my son asked for his Kindle has made it all worth it. If I don’t report back tomorrow because the mutiny succeeded, please check the sides of the road on the way to Erewan Falls.


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