because life doesn’t fit in a file folder

A Chat with my 7th Grade Android

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Recently, Tech Support has become much more private. About everything. Where my 12-year old son used to willingly spill all the beans at once, now he doles them out in microscopic handfuls. And even then, I get a little morsel only after extensive prodding and threats of punishment. Picture a skinny 7th grader with freckles and a pre-recorded robot voice. Because basically, that’s what I’ve got goin’ on these days.

This is how most our after-school conversations sound:

Me: How was school? Tell me something cool that happened today.

TS: I do not like to talk about my academic life.

Me: Well, your father and I think it is important that we know what you do during the day.

TS: Cheese.

Me: Tech Support, it’s not like I’m asking you to reveal our nation’s secrets. If you don’t tell me something about your day, there will be a consequence.

a pixelart from an iPod touch
Image via Wikipedia

TS: Will this consequence involve my iPod Touch?

Me: It might.

TS: I had a very good day.

Me: That’s a little vague. Can you be more specific?

TS: I do not like to talk about my personal life.

Me: Can you tell me who sat with you during lunch?

TS: I do not remember.

Me: How is that possible?

TS: *shrugs*

Me: Okay, what about that girl from last year. Do you still see her?

TS: I do not like to talk about my social life.

Me: If you don’t give me something, there will be a consequence.

TS: Will this consequence involve my iPod Touch?

Me: It might.

TS: She still likes me. I know because she still emails me once in a while and talks to me in the hall. But she doesn’t like like me.

Me: How are you doing in your classes?

TS: I don’t like to talk about my grades.

Me: Are you kidding?

TS: If I don’t answer you, will I lose my iPod Touch?

Me: You are heading in that direction.

TS: Then I am doing very well. Very well, indeed. I have A pluses in all my classes. I have found a way to stop the United States dependency on foreign oil. I did this in science with my lab partner. I have written many long essays in English. My gym teacher loves me.

Me: Are you messing with me?

TS: Indeed.

Me: Dude, you are exhausting.

TS: *smiling* Will that be all?

Me: May I ask one more question?

TS: If I do not answer, will I lose my iPod Touch?

Me: That joke is wearing thin.

TS: Fine. *glaring* What?

Me: How is the Bar-Mitzvah preparation going?

TS: Very well. When I get up to read from the Torah, I plan to bust out into a rap. Or sing like Operaman. It will be excellent. Everyone will love it. They will think I am awesome and tell me I should be a rock-star when I grow up.

Me: If you do that . . .

TS: . . . will it involve my iPod Touch?

Me: No. *not smiling* It will involve this . . .

And then I jump on him. I tackle my snarky little son who suddenly knows all the answers to everything. He is longer than I remember. And stronger. We are laughing as our fingers intertwine.

Tech Support and I notice at the same moment that our hands are the same size.

TS: That’s weird. When did that happen?

I think about his question. I remember his tiny fingers wrapped over the edge of his blanket, how he used to clumsily grab magic markers and paintbrushes. I think about the way he used to build with LEGOs and K’Nex and how he still loves to make magnetic creations with those super tiny Bucky Balls. I consider how gracefully he holds his sabre before each bout.

My son interrupts my thoughts.

TS: I think I know when it happened.

I tilt my head, lean in, and give all my attention to him.

TS: Probably while I was on my iPod Touch.

*weep*

What physical and/or emotional changes do you remember people commenting on as you grew up? Or what did/do you notice changing about your child/ren? How did your parents punish you? Do you ever take away your kid’s iPod Touch?

Can you imagine if my kid does a Hebrew version of this on his Bar Mitzvah? Oy!

50 thoughts on “A Chat with my 7th Grade Android

  1. Ha! You’ve got years ahead of you yet. You may have to learn to stop fretting about it. Did you enjoy recounting your day to your parents? No, thought not. And as for an iPod Touch. What’s that? It’s odd to think my younger daughter is only 10 years older than Tech Support, yet back then, mobiles barely existed, certainly not as a must-have for 12 year olds. Now, my 6 year old twin grandsons want one (each).

    Oops. You call them ‘cell phones’, don’t you?

    1. Hi Margaret:

      I’m not really fretting about it because he spills everything at bedtime. In the dark. And also in the car. But during the day, I get nothing. My son doesn’t have a mobile phone yet — nor does he text — he just loves YouTube videos. That is enough! 😉

  2. This. made. my. heart. melt. There is such a sweetness between mother and son. Even in the difficult years. Enjoy your time with your Man-Child, because someday, he’ll be in college and he’ll forget to call you…

    1. Hi KD!

      I am soooo enjoying my Man-Child. He is a hoot. I can’t imagine not talking him for long periods. That would suck.

      I think I’ll go call my parents. {weep}

  3. I have seen my future with my son and I am weeping. Sigh! He’s only 9 and already he gives one word answers to all my questions. And he’s almost my height! When did this happen?!

    1. “And he’s almost my height!”

      Remember that you said that! I’ve got a little something on THAT coming up in the New Year! 😉

  4. Tell Tech Support I’ve got $20 for him if he goes Operaman. If others pitch in, I think we can make it a pretty attractive option for him regardless of the potential consequences doled out by his mom.

    1. Chase! His father and I offered him $100 if he would really do Operaman! He said that is just for practice, but that it would not be respectful in the temple.

      Gah!

      It might not be respectful, but it would be an affair to remember! 😉

      1. If Operaman’s on the table I’m going to become a Bar Mitzvah Crasher.

        1. Dude, we might have to have a Bloggers’ Table. 😉

  5. All this time I thought Tech Support was going to be an engineer. Now I’m thinking lawyer.

    I’ll match Chase’s $20 on the Operaman bar mitzvah. That would be awesome! 🙂

    1. Larisa! As you can see, Hubby and I are all over that.

      He won’t do it.

      If I can get audio of him practicing, I’m totally posting it. It’s HIL-A-RIOUS! 😉

  6. The biggest punishment that my daughter uses is to take away my granddaughters’ phones. Since texting is their lives, this is a terrible punishment indeed. I hope the Bar Mitzvah goes well.

    1. Hi Maire:

      My son doesn’t have a phone per se, but he does love that iPod Touch. He watches videos and checks his email. He puts on headphones and just laughs. I actually hate to take it away from him; he’s so stinkin’ serious, and I love to hear him really belly laugh.

      But I do take it away.

      I just don’t love all this withholding. {weep}

  7. Try having a 12 year old GIRL. Much worse. I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear “NOOOOOO” in a whiny (frankly quite bitchy) voice. My favorite reply: “Would you hurry up and have your period already? This PMSing bologna is really bugging me.” Oh does that ever get on her nerves.

    We take away her computer for punishment. She’s very capable of losing her Ipod all by herself, she doesn’t need us taking it away. I will be taking away her phone soon enough I’m sure, and if she gets a tablet for Christmas like she has asked, I’m sure I’ll be taking that away at some point also.

    1. Oh Eric:

      I feel for you. Everyone knows girls are waaaay worse than boys. All those hormones. I once threw a fork at my mother. I swear, I wasn’t thinking I just released it. I. Was. Awful.

      She’ll grow out of it though.

      You know, when she’s around 40. 😉

  8. He uses the word “indeed?” Hahaha. He sure knows how to have fun with you. My son went through the same thing, only I would play 20 questions with him everyday. Once I asked the right question, he would open up. Now I can only get him to open up when he is at my kitchen counter so I am looking forward to catching up over the holidays~
    Great post!

    1. Are you kidding me? He uses “indeed” all the time. Also “weenus” because he learned it is a body part, so it is now legit to complain about his aching weenus. Oooh, he’s testing me that one is!

  9. $20 from me too IF we get video of his Operaman.

    Also, this made me want to sob. I noticed last night as I lined up all our shoes by the back door (just the pairs we wear day after day) and Bug’s shoes were a hair’s width smaller than mine.

    Sucker punch indeed.

    1. As I said above, I can’t get video — but I MIGHT be able to get audio. He has on;y allowed his image to be posted once and that was because I begged him to let me use it for a post for a contest, which I ended up winning by the way.

      Meanwhile how do they get so big? Does it happen when they are sleeping? Wait until you read my New Year’s post about what just happened. It feels so New Yearsy! You’ll just have to wait for it.

      Plus I haven’t typed it yet! 😉

  10. No iPad time is our preferred consequence.

    1. That would work. He doesn’t have one of those.

      But, I have to say, the little critter has become inventive. He does jump from laptop to desktop. It’s getting hard to find a great punishment, especially when he needs to use the computer for school.

  11. Urgh. I’m five feet tall and my 8 year old, who used to run up and ram his head into my crotch not too long ago, is almost as tall as me now.

    1. It happens so quickly. It’s incredible. I have a post coming out on that height thing in the New Year. You might want to bop back.

  12. I really want to go to Tech Support’s Bar Mitzvah.

    I wouldn’t even bring my iPod touch.

    1. Oh Julie! That would be a hoot!

      Can you imagine? The bloggers table? 😉

      Best seats in the house.

      I would so leave my table to sit with y’all.

      1. *Raises hand!* Julie, do you need a date? I wanna come too! I’ve never been to a bar mitzvah. I need to attend one…you know…for blogging research purposes…..

        Love, Catholic Belly

  13. LOL! Love this one, Renee. This sounds exactly like some of the conversations with my teen daughters, only there is more inflection and teary drama, but they still don’t say much.

    All the best there “mom”, stay strong!

    1. Thanks Gene! This is definitely a new stage for me. Mr. Chatty is turning into a clam. 😉

  14. AWESOME. I totally see myself and my son having the exact same conversation when he gets older. Only it will be the IPod Touch 3000 with 50G speed. 😉 Great blog!

    1. Hi darling! Yes, this day will come — but don’t rush it. And you are so funny with the iPod Touch 3K. Puh-leeze. By then they will all have chips in their heads.

      You know, to help tune us out. {more weeping}

  15. Sorry I got to this so late. One comment. Congratulations
    You have a very normal kid.

    1. Call me biased, but I think he is rather extraordinary. You know, for a normal kid. 😉

  16. I remember when my kids used to tell me everything…until they became teenagers. Now it’s like pulling teeth to find out anything (we usually rely on asking their siblings if we want to know who “Troy” is, and why Brianna has him on her cellphone)…sigh…

    My youngest (age 13) is within an inch of my height, and her feet are the same size!

    My oldest daughter started confiding in me again after she moved out…four more to go!

    Wendy

    1. Wendy! You are a super momma. It is definitely a change – all this secrecy. But I am enjoying the Monkey 2.0 version.

      Most of the time anyway.

      I mean Tech Support.

      {weep}

      Sent from RASJ’s iPhone

      Wanna read my blog? http://rasjacobson.com

  17. Love this story. I hear that so often from people how boys reach a certain age where they suddenly stop interacting with their parents. I guess I remember myself going through that stage. We have not yet seen that with our 14 year old daughter so I assume it’s just a boy thing, but I guess we’ll see. Not yet with the 11 year old boy yet either, but I imagine that will happen in middle school. Great post!

    1. Steve:

      You are blessed if neither child has pulled away. Enjoy them while you can as the pulling away is a natural age appropriate response.

      Still, we move back and forth with he. He wanting his independence, but then wanting to be snuggly. I’m cool with that.

      Sent from RASJ’s iPhone

      Wanna read my blog? http://rasjacobson.com

  18. Renee, this came at a good time as my 7 year old son never stops talking. I should remember to cherish it more. I DO know what the preteen and teen years will bring.

    1. Yes, gratitude for the little chatter box! 😉

  19. Those preteen/early teen years can be frustrating but if it’s any consolation “this too shall pass”. My 18 yr old son opened up again a couple yrs back and will talk about just about anything. The one question he won’t really answer is if he has a girl friend. I try to hint at the topic – and suspect he may have, but he doesn’t seem to want to share such personal info…yet. That’s fine. He is an adult now and when the time is right he will share that too (especially if he needs money ????).

    1. Ange: He is moving back and forth – in and out of his independence. I’m cool with it. Alas, my dude has more money than I do!

      Meanwhile, you crazy thing! Thank you for the Hanukkah cookies! I ate every single one. I didn’t ever share! Delicious. 😉

  20. Ha! Oh, Tech Support is a riot. I think he’s learned from you! This is a wonderful post.

    My parents were tired when they got to me (last child), so I got off sooooo easy. I MAYBE got sent to my room for a little while, but that’s it!

    1. Oh, trust me. He spends plenty of time in his room. In fact, he just saw A Christmas Carol for the first time, and when The Ghost of Christmas Future pointed one bony finger, Tech Support commented that it looked like me when I want him to go to his room.

      That might be our new schtick.

      “Mom, can I have cereal?”

      *points the bony finger to the cupboard* 😉

  21. That was an amazing story! It was fun to hear you guys just going one for one…very tech supportish…!

  22. I had to chuckle while reading this earlier, as I could totally picture my son and I having exactly the same conversation! Beautifully written, and I love how I was able to relate. I admire your relationship with your son, and the time & effort that you both put into it, especially in the new age of technology and I can only hope as mine continues to age we keep the lines of communication open as you seem to have.

    1. Thanks Cecile! Good to know there are other Android mommies out there.

  23. […] Renée – Lessons From Teachers and Twits […]

  24. […] A Chat With My 7th Grade Android by Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson […]

  25. Daughter #1 was so uncommunicative and now she calls every day several times a day from thousands of miles away. A few weeks ago, she even said “I think you’re my new bf.” Really? And around Halloween, she posted on fb, “I’ve turned in to my mother”

  26. I think this is just about the sweetest conversation ever. I love it. And will now print it and hang it on my fridge for reference…

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