Is today Saturday?

“Is today Saturday?”

That’s the question Umar Khalif has been asking everyday for the past week as he looked out of the window after he wakes up.

We introduced some screen time to his routine not very long ago. However, the rule is screen time for 1-2 hours every Saturday and Sunday. It is not limited to educational shows as I do allow him to watch soccer matches; provided hubby promised to talk about the game while watching with him. What is a corner kick? Why was he given a free kick? Why are they passing the ball to each other? Why are people from the same team wearing the same colored jersey? But that’s not the point of this entry.

For the past few weeks I have not been in the best of health. There were times where I don’t even have the energy to read him a book. So I allowed some unofficial screen time while I slumped on the sofa beside him, making dinner time easier for both of us. Recently, I had my health back, Alhamdulillah! So I did not need the screen to help me babysit my child.

Last Monday, he asked to watch some television. I told him I am well so we can do lots of things today, other than watching televison. Of course, he could not take no as an answer. He threw himself to the ground and kept saying “I don’t want ummi!!” repeatedly. I let him be for a couple of minutes and once he realized there was no reaction from me, he started to purposely knock his head on the wooden platform and wailed even louder to get some attention. I picked him up and nursed him. As I nursed him, he wailed in between and said “I want to watch (insert programme’s name).” I just kept saying, “no. I told him the initial agreement was that he could only watch television on Saturday and Sunday. I had to repeat it a few times before it actually sank into him that I would not budge. He closed his eyes, refused to look at me and kept silent.

So that was how the question started. He will wake up, climb onto his red chair to look out of the window and ask.

“Is today Saturday?”

I get to tell him what day it was and teach him about the days in the week. Once he knows it is not Saturday, he will take his books for me to read, an average of ten books per day. I have no complaints as I am feeling very blessed indeed to have the energy to read to him.

And so three days ago was Saturday. It thrilled him knowing it was Saturday (and that the next day is Sunday!) “Yay!! Umar can watch soccer!!” But it is not the television that he asked me to switch on; he took two of his favorite books and asked me to read to him instead. “Ummi, please read!”

I just need to be more regular in changing his books now.

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