Although the numbers of grandparents and other family members who help with childcare...read more
If you have children of different ages you can chart just how fast technology has taken over the world.
It’s been Valentine’s Day and the lead-up has been very painful in our house. People are sitting on beds, staring at walls, surrounded by tissues, looking heartbroken. Breakfasts have been skipped. Lugubrious songs played. Moods have swung from total devastation to seering anger. Meanwhile, daughter three has continued her silent protest against no school uniform day.
The only upbeat note has been only son’s acquiescence to a Valentine’s Day red t-shirt and boxers. He is also feeling cock a hoop because he managed to get a non-speaking part in the school play. It wasn’t his favoured role of T-rex – which went to his best friend – but he came out of school full of the joys of Spring. “I am going to be a trog,” he announced. Cue slight consternation on the part of his mother. What is a trog and what on Earth kind of costume does it wear? Surely it couldn’t be as bad as a T-rex? I looked it up. It said “a person regarded as contemptible or socially inferior”. I thought it was possibly best not to mention this to only son. On Google images it suggested a trog looked like a cave man. Great, I can just spike only son’s hair and dress him in a rug. Job done.
Only son has been doing extra homework. He has written a short book in the form of a diary entry about life in 3032. ‘Dad’ plays a big role, but not a very positive one. I have yet to show it to only son’s dad. It begins with the diary writer saying they told Dad that they could be a great firework maker. “But as usual,” wrote only son, “I got shut down by Dad…I was so agitated that I just went to bed with a frown.” Oh dear. The next day in the story was Christmas Day. He wrote: “I got an iPhone 19 with a phone case and a sim card [and a charger and a plug, he had added in green edit pen]. I immediately charged it so I can download IOS 25 and transfer my progress from my iphone 16s max. I also got a hoverboard 1020 xxxs xxxl edition so I charged that as well.”
Only son is completely obsessed with knowing the different versions of Apple products and is not afraid to walk up to poor, unsuspecting assistants in shops and engage them in extended conversations about the 2008 macbook aluminum, etc. I am afraid that I just phase out at the first mention of macbook and mumble on about reading a good book.
At the moment only son uses one of my old phones to play games, but he hasn’t got a sim card which is something he totally craves because it will put him on an equal footing with his sisters. However, they only got their sim cards when they started secondary school so they could ring home in emergencies.
You can chart how fast technology has taken hold by comparing daughter one and only son, or even daughter three and only son. Daughter one is a digital native, as they say, but not nearly to the extent of only son. She can take it or leave it and prefers to read long philosophy books and watch films. Daughter two likes films too, but spends a lot of her time of late on snapchat being heartbroken or advising heartbroken friends. She does like a good book on myths or meadows, though.
Daughter three hardly reads at all and is heavily into inordinately long Netflix series. Only son drives everyone mad by either watching something called Morgz which seems to involve people screaming a lot and doing pointless challenges or some tech guy who has lots of Apple products. However, he does that while playing Geometry Dash, breaking off to do dance routines and writing books.
His book ended with him getting “super and I mean super mad” with Dad for snatching away a “pick your job early certificate”. However, he calmed down. “My heart stopped and I think I actually missed a beat and I nearly fainted and my mood meter went to okay.” Phew. He decided to go on a quest and it went really quickly because he had a hoverboard and “entertainment technology and internet because there are plug sockets so I can plug in my bright box and my chargers for my mac and iphone and ipad”. Thank goodness for that.
In real life only son spends a lot of his time on ‘quests’ to pick up her sisters and I think he finds telling me about the high and low points of his day makes the journey drag a little. He has taken a proactive approach, installing books, duvets, teddy bears, drinks, etc in the morning just for the after school pick-up run. Half the house is now in the car.