Screen Time (in rhyme)

I’m sound asleep, the room is dim,

When suddenly he bounces in.

Stuffed cow in hand, he leaps aboard

My bed and tells me that he’s bored.

“What time is it?” I wince and groan.

My chance at sleeping in is blown.

“It’s just past six!” he says with joy.

He’s full of energy, this boy.

He knows I’m weak. He says to me,

“Can I play iPad? Watch TV?”

I hesitate. I know it’s wrong.

He ought to dance and sing a song

Or read or write a book himself,

Or rearrange a cluttered shelf,

Or learn times-tables backwards quick,

Or sit and watch the clock hands tick,

Or knit a scarf or practice French,

Or build a project with a wrench,

Or juggle beanbags, draw a map,

Perhaps find birthday gifts to wrap,

Or clean his backpack, pack his lunch,

And seek organic grapes to munch,

Do sit-ups, push-ups, and the like,

Or polish up his rusty bike.

Or find a kitchen floor to sweep…

But all this mother wants is sleep.

His sparkling brown eyes gaze at mine.

I hesitate, then whisper, “Fine.”

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Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.