Before I had you, life was very, very different. I was much more relaxed. I was able to enjoy a quiet dinner without tending to you. I could sit in the doctor’s office waiting room and enjoy a magazine – or better yet, relax. I was able to sit at a stop light without fidgeting with you. I was able to enjoy my friends’ company and stories. I could curl up in my bed and catch up with the DVR. That all changed six months ago when I got you – my sweet, sweet iPhone.
Now, I can’t enjoy the simple silences that life offers without grabbing you. I am occupied with you day and night. I can’t even sit at a stop light without reaching for you. And, if, God forbid, I leave you at home, I must turn around and get you. I can’t live without you. My iPhone has turned me into an addict.
It’s not even that I need to check my phone that much. I don’t need to stay connected to work emails or anything important. But, I NEED to check Facebook, Twitter, text messages, Perez Hilton, the weather – you know, the really important things in life. And, when I’m all caught up on those things, then I NEED to play Solitaire, Sudoku or a ridiculous toddler game called Sneezies that I am so addicted to it’s creepy.
I hate to admit this, but the other day I came so close to getting into an accident because I was on my phone while driving. Yes, I have turned into the SUV mom on her cell phone that all people hate. Since then, I have cut out the phone during drive time. I went cold turkey. But I still long for my baby.
My friends see me pull out my phone and roll their eyes. My husband, also an iPhone owner, can put his down. Why can’t I? I have honestly thought about going back to a phone without Internet access or hundreds of thousands of free apps to entice me. My husband, the CFO of our family, tells me we have invested way too much money on my phone and service plan to drop it after six short months. So, my New Year’s resolution is to break my addiction. Which gives me one more week to beat my own highest score in Sneezies!
Until then, here are my recommendations for best iPhone toddler apps:
-Peekaboo Barn: Shows your toddler farm animals, then makes the noise and says the name of the animal. When Cambria sees my phone out, she points and says, “barn.” ($1.99 for full version; does have a free, Lite version)
-I Hear Ewe: The same kind of concept as Peekaboo Barn, but you touch an animal’s face and it makes the noise. Includes non-farm animals as well, though the ability to have a toddler focus their pointing to a particular animal is a bit tough and sometimes discouraging. (free)
-Gumbo?: A very simple app that looks for a lost dog. The “Lite” (read: free) version only has about 4-5 different screens, but somehow holds her attention time after time. ($1.99 for full version)
-Kids Paint: A very simple but cool concept. It gives you a simple black screen, but each time you touch the screen, it changes the color and width of the paint brush (your finger). You can also save the drawing or email it after your child is done. ($0.99)
-Wheels on the Bus: This app sings the kid song while letting you touch items on the screen to make them move. ($0.99)
-Sneezies: Little bubbles float around the screen. You must touch to set off a “sneeze” and burst the bubbles. Much more fun than it sounds. ($0.99 for full version; does have a free, Lite version)
Melissa Cruickshank is married with one child. She works full-time.