Oh, no, it’s starting already: My 6 month old baby wants to get an iPhone. Or a Droid Eris. Or basically any gadgets with touch screens and/or keyboards. I think she would settle for a Palm Treo if necessary. All I know is that whenever a smart phone is near, she lunges for it, touches it and watches as the colors move around while random friends are dialed and important emails are deleted. Once maximum damage has been done, she puts it in her mouth.
Mike and I tried to do what we could to avoid this scenario. Months ago, when a friend of ours mailed us a toy that looked kind of like a real iPhone, I said, “I don’t know how I feel about this.” I imagined Hazel becoming a cell phone addict by age 2, calling her tech-savvy baby friends and inviting them over for cyber-pablum. Now I’m thinking it will be an accomplishment if we’re not forced to add her to our “friends and family plan” by her first birthday.
We got rid of that first toy phone. But later, when we got an Elmo’s World baby toy cell phone, we kept it. Something about the bright blue plastic and the cartoon voice saying “La-la la-la! La-la la-la! Elmo’s world!” seemed far enough from the real thing that we wouldn’t risk raising a gadget junkie. We were so, so wrong.
I don’t know if its Elmo’s fault or just mine and Mike’s for sometimes using our phones in front of her, but Hazel loves anything with a screen: Whether it’s the plastic Elmo toy, the iPhone, the Droid, the computer screen, the TV—you name it, she will try to get her hands all over it.
Is there any way to avoid this in 2011? How do you raise a tech-free baby? Or should we just give in and try to limit her text messages to four “gagas” a day?