With the thousands of hours of screens Elijah watches, it’s difficult to monitor everything he sees. Luckily, I’ve put age limits on his Youtube content, which enrages him. But he figured out all he has to do is watch on Diana’s devices to unlock all the disgusting contraband the internet has to offer.
He also likes to linger in the kitchen while Diana and I watch movies or TV, in the hopes he’ll see something off limits. I’ve never seen a kid take longer with popsicle wrapper. We have to physically remove him when “The Handmaid’s Tale” gets too juicy.
But he’s recently found a loophole: me.
A few nights a week, Eli waits patiently in his room after lights out until he’s sure Diana’s asleep. He then creeps into my room and taps me on the shoulder saying, “Do you want to watch TV?”
You bet I do.
We quietly retire to our TV room and watch late night, semi off limits movies and shows. We watched the Wes Anderson masterpiece “Rushmore,” the disappointing “Ready Player One,” my favorite show of all time, “Rick and Morty” and countless hours of “The Office.” These have all been pre-vetted by me to make sure he isn’t exposed to anything too scarring. But they do give him enough naughtiness to feel like he’s getting away with something.
The real entertainment for me is how scared Eli is of getting busted. I do lay it on a little thick, saying things like, “If mom catches us you won’t be able to play Fortnite for a month.” If Grover pads into the room, we both freeze, not even daring to breathe. “It’s HER!”
The truth is, Diana knows we do this. She’s no dummy. Besides, Diana takes her hearing aids out when she sleeps so we could be starting a punk band in the basement and she wouldn’t notice. She also does us the favor of clomping to the bathroom every half hour right above us, which adds to the drama.
Eli’s white whale is the animated show “Family Guy,” the crass, one time funny “Simpsons” rip off that made Seth McFarland and FOX millions. Eli believed this must be the funniest show in the history of the world because I wouldn’t let him watch it.
But like all banned things in our house, like gun video games and Coke and rules about wearing underwear, Eli eventually broke me down and I allowed him to watch one episode.
There was a rape joke within the first five minutes. Best dad ever.