I’ve updated the events page.
I’ll also be on WNYT Newschannel 13’s Live at Noon today (Thursday) talking about weekend fun. In fact, I should probably be taking a shower right now. In a couple of minutes. I realizedÂ yesterday that I’ve been posting so infrequently that we have a LOT to catch up on.
So, one big deal: M finally has a phone. You might remember that she’s been asking for one for years, and she even made a phone out of cardboard last year in a desperate attempt to elicit a generous reaction from her parents:
Well, she was literally the last of her friends to get a phone when she finally received one for Easter. Even a couple of my mom friends who were hold-outs had caved. She was thrilled. She’s still thrilled. Sometimes she’ll just say, “Oh, let me get MY PHONE. Did you see that I have A PHONE?”
There were some tactical errors, I think. We had actually intended to get her a phone by her birthday this June, but the fact that she didn’t have one started to drive me crazy, too, honestly. I love the idea of her having independence and being able to walk with friends for pizza and things, but when she’d check in, it would be with a random friend’s phone. Also, her soccer team had a group message going that her “antiquated” iPod couldn’t access, so when all the girls were reminding each other what jerseys to wear, she’d miss it. At one team event they all discussed how no food was going to be served, and we missed it and sent her hungry. So by the time she did get a phone, I was feeling almost as desperate for it as she was. Nah. She was way more desperate.
But, in any case, we weren’t about to just randomly gift her with a phone. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they cost a lot of money, and I’m the master of turning things-I-need-to-buy-my-kids-anyway into gifts. That’s particularly true of the Easter Bunny. You may not believe this, but for the first several years of the girls’ lives, they would receive fluffy stuffed-animal bunnies or chicks that would mysteriously disappear over the summer and get recycled into Easter baskets later on. Then we moved on to bikes and scooters: if it was a spring must-have item, it was in the basket.
In this case, M’s desired phone (Apple iPhone 5c 16GB (Green) – Unlocked) literally cost twice as much as my new phone. So there were some negotiations in which she agreed that she’d chip in a considerable sum. This was discussed and agreed upon twice, but I should have gotten it in writing, because later M claimed no recollection of this agreement. M’s argument for years has been “Other people’s parents just buy them a phone,” and while I understand her frustration, she is stuck with this set of parents, who have their own special charms, even if she doesn’t recognize them. So when it comes to her outstanding balance, she keeps not bringing it up, hoping that I’ll forget, and I keep not bringing it up but silently docking her money that she normally would have received, like her first-ever paycheck for helping me table at KidsOutAndAbout as well as her allowance. This collection service is effective but dysfunctional.
So, I regret that I didn’t do an actual phone contract, like many conscientious parents do. Part of this was because it was a rush to get the damn thing, and then we were traveling over Easter. Also, I know–yes, I know–that J doesn’t really believe in the Easter Bunny anymore, but I didn’t want to make it completely obvious by having a parenting discussion about what was in the basket with chocolates. J’s in that “don’t ask, don’t tell” stage of belief where she pretty much knows but chooses not to know. And I don’t want to force disillusionment on anyone.
So far the whole phone thing has been. . . fine. We had one scare where we thought that the phone was lost when it was in fact in M’s backpack on her person, but besides that, we’re golden.
So, M’s thrilled, I’m more happy than not, and maybe we’ll do a better job of implementation with J. But not for years and years.