Cellular Device, Thou Art the Devil and I Love Thee!!

Mar 2, 2013 by

We’ve all done it, reviled the evil cellular devices ever present in our purses, palms and pockets.  We worry our children will grow up plugged into some Matrix-like hive of technology in a way that will dehumanize and enslave them.  Okay, maybe I’m overstating here, but there is an undeniable trend to loosen the stranglehold technology has on our lives.  And frankly, every time I read an article or watch a video about how someone has freed themselves from their tethered lives, I take a moment to really consider how my and my children’s lives might be improved by going unplugged.  Then, when I decide I just can’t do it, I promptly slide down the tech-addict shame spiral.

But that was yesterday.  Today my iPhone is my hero-in-a-dress.  My Heroine.

Let me set the scene: our daily post-pre-school playdate done, I pack my daughter, Elsie, and her pal, Cole, in the minivan to take Cole home.  I was in a bit of a rush.  Not crazy yelling “get-in-the-car-now!” hurry, but I had just enough time to give Elsie a quality nap before we had to get her brother.

Due to the afore mentioned rush, and hoping to stave off the usual attempts by Elsie and Cole to run straight into his house (where there are sleeping babies). I decided it’d be best if Elsie stayed in the car while I walked Cole up to his front door.  After pleasantries on the porch with Cole’s dad, including handing off of artwork and collected rocks, I returned to my car to find my little curly haired, four-and-a-half-year-old angel in a hysterical state.  She is  WAAAAAILING, “I didn’t get to tell Cole goodbye and that I love him!”.

Now might be the time to tell you, if you don’t already know, that my sweetheart has a flair for the dramatic.  Which I often appreciate.  But today I felt like I was driving Stanley from Streetcar in my backseat as she called across the courtyard to her love, Cole.

It was a bit much, and as I said, I was in a hurry.

So, I’m pulling out of the driveway now, and heading down the street.  I remind her, “It’s okay Elsie, you’ll see him tomorrow”

Elsie, “but I didn’t get to tell him goodbye and I looooooooooooooooove him”

We go back and forth like this all the way home.  I surprise even myself and maintain an impressive Zen-like mamma facade throughout.   At some point realization dawns that she’s not going to buy into my pathetic pacifications, and we currently have a fastpass onto the merry-go-round of despair.  You know the one. Mommy comes up with a solution, wrapped in a cheery voice, punctuated by a hopeful question mark?  “Elsie, how about if we write Cole a letter when we get home?”  “I know, let’s draw Cole a picture?”  “Ooooooh, how about if we do a rain dance in his honor?”  All Mommy’s suggestions fall flat to the ground as darling girl twists herself up, up, up into cries of the persecuted ingenue. Up and down, round and round.  This is not going to end well.

Now for those of you who are grumbling for me to just take the kid back over there and let her say goodbye.  No. That’s not happening.  Over there are sleeping babies, and I have a weepy, dramatic, hand grenade in the back of my car.  That is not the solution.

You know what is?  That’s right, my evil iPhone!!  A palm-sized piece of 21st century technology is about to come to my rescue.  In a rare moment of parental clarity, I know I have come up with THE solution which will mollify my little girl.  I turn to Elsie and suggest (in aforementioned cheery voice), “Elsie, let’s make a little movie for Cole.  You can say goodbye and tell him you love him, then I’ll e-mail it to his mommy and daddy and they’ll show it to him!!”  Forget mollified, the kid is downright delighted by my offer.  We take a whole 10 seconds to record it on my iPhone, I shoot it off as a text and only minutes later we get rewarded with a sweet video of Cole’s response.

Problem solved. (insert self satisfied fist pump here)

…until Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…. when she conveniently “forgets” to say goodbye in order to make the sequels.  Ah well, at least I have the weekend to bask in the glory of my clever parenting.


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