One of the greatest things about being a parent is hearing your child’s take on the world. How they see things, what they internalize, and how they express themselves is not only amazing, but also so different from the way we saw the world as children.
Over the past five years, I’ve reveled in the strange, hilarious, and unexpected things my son has said. I’m not talking about telling me that the Saturn V took off from Florida (although I definitely did not know that when I was a kid), but things that show he has a real, profound, new take on the world. Of course, most of it has to do with technology. Technology hasn’t just changed since I was a child, but has radically defined the way we live our daily lives. Here are some phrases in his vocabulary that, no matter how commonplace, continue to blow my mind.
1. “Check the weather on your phone.”
What happened to looking out the window or going outside? Do I sound 73 instead of 37? I’m grumpy! My son tries to rely on my phone for everything, and while some of it helps expand his world, some limits it.
2. “Let’s look it up on Google.”
We are in possession of a device that can answer nearly any question we could possibly imagine — and we keep it in our pocket! No more dusty card catalogs limited to what the local library has in stock. The fact that my son is able to ask “How hot is Mercury?” and get an answer in seconds is astounding.
3. “Can we order it online?”
The second something breaks, we realize we need a new battery, or my son has a request, he knows what to do — order it online. No need to go to the store. It’s true, I love shopping online, but I hope my sons learn the value of shopping in small stores and helping the local community.
4. “Let’s Facetime with Grandma and Grandpa.”
Aw, this one makes me smile. We live halfway across the country from my parents and my sister’s family, so it’s nice that we can still see them every week thanks to technology. Facetime is one of the things we predicted about the future that actually came true! Now if we could work on those hover boards …
5. “Can you email someone’s mom for a playdate?”
I didn’t have an email address until I went to college and this kid has been writing emails since he could put his fingers on the keyboard. I don’t call any of his friend’s parents — that would be weird. I don’t even have people’s phone numbers unless it’s for texting.
6. “Text Daddy to see when he’s coming home.”
And now, because phone calls are outdated, we don’t even use the phone as a phone but as a texting device. Don’t get me wrong — I love the convenience and quietness of texting, but I do miss hearing my friends’ voices.
7. “I want to watch a show in the car.”
To amuse ourselves on car trips, my sister and I each had a bag of workbooks, coloring books, and crayons. While we certainly supply the same to our older son, he knows that on long drives, he can watch a show or even a whole movie on his portable DVD player.
8. “Can you pause the show?”
Even though the DVR is my best friend, I still talk about “taping” a show. I wonder if I’ll ever break the habit. The fact that we can record live programming is a pretty amazing concept, but of course, my son just accepts it as the norm. Need to go to the bathroom? No reason to wait until the commercials — just pause the show!
9. “Daddy’s phone has better games than yours.”
When I was a kid, a phone was a phone. Now, a phone is a camera, a portal to the Internet, and a video game console. My son is allowed to play games for a short time on our phones but I refuse to download Candy Crush for him — I know I’ll get addicted if I start playing!
10. “My penis is itchy.”
Ok, so this isn’t technology related, but I certainly wouldn’t have said it as a kid (or at all). As the mom of boys, I’ve gotten to hear and see some ridiculous penis-related things of the past few years and as common as they are, I don’t think I’ll ever stop thinking they’re funny.
11. “If you’re lost, just use Google Maps!”
We recently moved away from New York City, which means we bought a car and use it every day. Since I haven’t driven regularly in over a decade, I would have been nervous about such a big change, except that I have a secret weapon: Google Maps. When I turn around, frustrated with our new neighborhood, my son knows what to do — check Google Maps! It is, hands-down, my favorite part about technology. When my sister was in college (again, over a decade ago), she got so hopelessly lost that she pulled over, found a pay phone, and had my mom give her step-by-step directions (via a “real” map) on how to get back. Forget about Facebook or Pinterest, if I could marry an app, it would be this one.More On