I am on a phone share scheme. It’s not intentional and it’s only in non-office hours. I’m sharing my phone with a seven year old Geometry Dash fan. Only son has got all his apps on my phone. The trouble is that he uses the phone and then puts it down somewhere and goes on to do other things. That means I spend a good portion of my time trying to track it down. Due to only son’s propensity to live entirely in the here and now and hence his inability to accurately remember his steps even five minutes after he has made them, this can prove challenging. My phone can be down his bed, down the back of the sofa, in the washing, under the car seat, etc. Generally he has used up most of the battery by the time he has finished with it because he has disconnected it when it was only a quarter of the way through recharging so there is no way you can ring it.
So tracking it requires an in-depth knowledge of only son’s psychology. So far I have not lost it for long, but I have found him showing a somewhat worrying interest in my Whatsapp of late. He has been sending out messages on the school Whatsapp in my name. Mainly it is just responding to requests for information. Only son has taken it upon himself to not only supply the required information, but embellish it. For instance, he informed the school parents’ group that not only was he doing his maths timetables, but he had done ALL the timetables, including the 13s. Fortunately, he did not respond to the message from school on Friday apologising for a typo over the farmers’ costume in the German village play he is in in March. Headed ‘an apology’, the message read: “the requirements for the role of farmer should have read ‘wellies’”…
This caused endless mirth in our house. However, I have noticed a few recent messages to his sisters. “I hate you” was posted to daughter one the other night followed by lots of grim-faced angry emoticons. This was during one of the sisters’ Netflix bingefests. It was followed three minutes later by “I love you” and scores of different coloured hearts and an “I love you too” from daughter one. Daughter one adores her brother and doesn’t let an “I hate you” lie festering for long. Daughter two, however, is a different kettle of fish. Only son’s “I hate you” message was left hanging. Daughter three got “daughter three and her gadgets sitting in a tree”. Only son has taken it upon himself to be the moral guardian of the family and regularly tells daughter three off for being on her phone too much and for not playing football enough with him. This would be a more effective message if only son lived by his own rules. Daughter three fired back: “Only son and minecraft sitting in a tree k.i.s.s.i.n.g.”
“Why don’t you put a password on your phone?” asked one mum. I do have a password on it. The trouble is he knows what it is. I don’t want to change it to anything more complicated in case I forget it and am locked out of my phone forever.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.