My Second Baby

I gave birth to an iPhone and didn’t even know it! This is a true statement in the fact that I treat my phone like it’s my second baby: coddling it, cradling it, all but wrapping it in a soft, fluffy blanket and rocking it to sleep while singing You Are My Sunshine. It’s shameful how much I’m on my phone and I’m even more embarrassed to admit this. I want the world to think that I’m a good mom who couldn’t be bothered with Words with Friends, Facebook, or What to Expect. Yet, I’m practically addicted to these apps.

The hubby and I upgraded to smart phones a few weeks after we had our daughter. I was attracted to a phone that could take clear pictures and video since I was all about documenting every second with our little girl. I could care less about the apps…until I realized how easy it was to keep current on everything without bothering with my laptop. Soon, we were just like all our other friends with smart phones —  constantly padding the screens with our fingertips and looking up random things that we just had to know the answers to right away — important things — like who that one guy from that one movie was. Critical stuff!

A week ago, I let my daughter play with my phone because there’s a baby piano app that she enjoys. (I’m so conflicted about letting her play with it anyway. It goes against everything I thought I stood for…but it makes her happy. Which scares me just the same because it leaves me wondering if I’m going to be one of those parents who lets their kid do whatever he wants just as long as he’s happy and quiet. “Now Timmy, be careful playing with that grenade…”) Anyway, there she was composing her next sonata when I didn’t even notice she went from playing to chewing and drooling all over it instead. Long story short, she drooled into the speakers, shorting them. I was distraught, worried that she ruined my phone for good. But three hours later, it dried and was fine. I felt so foolish for getting upset about my stupid phone. It is, after all, only a phone and not my second baby, or even a baby at all!

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The Olden Days

It dawned on me that my daughter will never know a world without cell phones, texting, sexting (god forbid), The Internet, and Facebook unless we move to the mountains of Appalachia and live amongst the Hill People. That’s never going to happen because her father and I love having indoor plumbing and 7-11’s on every corner.

When I was growing up we had one old IBM computer, a phone that plugged into the wall–a cordless one at tha t– and a Zenith TV you had to hit hard on the right side when the color went out. A far cry from today’s smart phones, laptops, and widescreen TVs.

I was nineteen or twenty when I got my first cell phone — a dinosaur by today’s standards. These days my daughter will have enough money saved up from the Tooth Fairy to buy her first phone by the time she’s seven. (This Tooth Fairy forks out a lot of dough, I hear.) Note to self: tell my daughter the Tooth Fairy retired.

I tried to imagine what my teenage years would have been like if we had cell phones, texting, and unlimited Internet. Cue the music from Aladdin because it woulda been A Whole New World! If I do break down and allow her to have a phone when she’s a teen I’ll have to take the good with the bad…just like The Facts of Life. Good: I’d be able to get a hold of her whenever. Bad: cyber-bullying and potential video-chatting with boys.

I guess I have to get over the fact that my daughter will grow up in a drastically different world than I did. Hopefully she’ll be an old soul and prefer how things were in the olden days — the days of Saved by the Bell Saturday mornings and when books were things on a shelf not in a Kindle. If not, guess we’re packing up and moving to Kentucky.