photo by thetechbuzz @ flickr.com
A few entries back, I wrote about how I got my son through a mini-freak out session when he thought he lost a 544 page hardcover public library book. I explained how I had pulled out all the stops and used my best parenting skills to talk him off the proverbial ledge and to teach him perspective.
Last week, something happened to my stupid iPhone which resulted in the voice activation feature to accidentally turn on. I don’t have a clue as to what series of keys I may have pressed, and I’d like to know so I never do it again, because suddenly this computer generated female voice – let’s call her iJill – is shouting all kinds of commands at me in her terrible and very unstoppable voice: “Settings. General. Settings. Settings. Settings. On. Settings. iPod. Email. Settings…”
I fiddled with my phone, which made iJill furious and the screen locked up on me. I tried turning the phone off and doing a soft return. It was all for naught, when the phone turned on again, iJill was still shouting at me, my screen would not move and, I started to lose it. Here, I’d just come home from a fabulous vacation where I’d seen elk and bats and fox and lizards and butterflies; I’d climbed rocks and ridden horses; I’d flown in a 6 person airplane over the Colorado River and then floated down the Colorado River on a pontoon raft. Suddenly all that serenity disappeared because there was unpacking to be done, groceries to be purchased, laundry to be cleaned – and, frankly, I just needed my phone to stop shouting at me.
I started losing my mind. I think I was actually pulling my hair and screaming at the phone to shut up.
“Mom…” my son said placing a hand on my arm.
“Not now, Cal…” I said, pretty emphatically.
“Mom…” he continued relentlessly. “…I’m going to give you the worst case scenario…”
I looked up. Because, honestly, how could I not look up? He was using my lesson against me!
“Mom,” he said, “Your cell phone is broken.”
Oh. My. God.
“You have food and clothes. We have cars that work and air conditioning to keep us cool. Plus, we just took a great vacation and no one is sick or dying. And a lot of people love you. We have other phones, and you always say that you didn’t even get a cell phone until you were 32 years old…”
Ooh. Snap! He got me. He played every card. Basic needs. Check. Health. Check. Luxury items. Check. Love. Check. He even played the cell-phone card.
And honestly, I had to giggle a little because iJill was still babbling nonsense on the table, “iPod, iPod, Accessories. Settings. General. Settings. General. Settings. Settings…” and the world just seemed a little bit funnier. My son grinned at me, his freckled-face tilted to the side. Sometimes the student is the teacher, and my li’l guy continues to teach me near daily.
(NOTE: Child also reminded me that I have the Apple Protection Plan on my iPhone and that the Apple Care people are there to help me 24/7. And he was right again. So after one quick phone call, within 10 minutes, iJill was silenced and all was right in the world again.)
What are the best mini-lessons you’ve learned from a child/children?