We do not have monitors in our house!
No video monitor, no sound monitor, or the Angelcare mattress monitor to ensure your kid is breathing or lying in their crib have ever graced our nursery. We've never had any, never registered for one, and never felt the need to purchase one even when we moved into our home. I've seen them listed in the mama to be books and read reviews on the merits of the video vs. the sound. It was something we initially figured we would pick up later, when we needed it. "Later" came and went I suppose, as Moira is over three and still no monitor.
I will say our girls survived (so far) and have pretty kick ass sleeping habits to boot!
I never really realized it was something odd until quite recently, when responding to a post about whether one needs a monitor on my favorite message board, I discovered of the 40 plus responses, I was the only one who did not have a recommendation, and was the only one who admitted to not using one.
Upon further introspection, I realized there are quite a few things that we, as parents seem to do that goes against popular opinion as what is a necessity today.
I have discussed my recent conversion to minivan lover but our new living room on wheels is missing one of the things I have heard many parents claim as a necessity.
My minivan does not have a DVD player!
I don't think Mo even knows that it is possible to watch a video in the car, and the plan is to keep it that way! To be completely forthcoming, I don't think my kids or Bry and I are missing anything. We listen to the radio, cds from music class or sometimes, it's just silence and I often see them staring out the window alone with their thoughts. Maybe if we were doing a long distance trip I'd be singing a different tune, but a trip under three hours does not warrant it, at least in my book.
On the side of technology in the car, we don't have a navigation system either. We do have a rather awesome and well loved bound book of maps of the different states of the United States. It has come in handy as we've navigated to the Outer Banks pre-children taking some scenic routes and sits ready for action in the pocket behind the drivers seat. I've also been groomed by Bry to research my destination ahead of time which has helped my navigation skills immensely.
Finally, perhaps due to my years as an early elementary teacher, I have a passion for children's book and emergent literacy. We have a rather expansive collection of books: board, picture, early readers, etc.. that have taken over many of the nooks of our house and car. Is it because of this I have never exposed my girls to interacting with the computer or digital reader or ipad?
I rarely use my cell phone and often get chastised by Bry for not having it close enough to hear when I'm out. I just starting texting last year after my parents harassed me. It's never been a big thing for me. I wouldn't know what to do with an iphone or ipad. As I hear of people asking for apps for their children, I am at a loss. I wouldn't know where to be begin, and I consider that a good thing!
I know that technology is a very useful tool in education and expect once the girls begin school daily computer usage will be the norm. Until then, however, I will continue to push books, paper, pencils, and their imaginary play.
Parenthood is an interesting adventure, with no directions or right path to follow. For us, I feel we're navigating it pretty well so far, even if some of our choices are a bit old school in thought and practice.