You’ve probably experienced that sinking, panicky feeling when you realise that you’ve done the unthinkable and left your phone at home. Usually when this happens to me, it’s too late to go back and get it – like just as the train to work pulls away from the platform with me on it. If, like me, you’re somewhat addicted to your phone, it means spending the rest of the day driving yourself crazy wondering what you’re missing and what’s going on on that little screen back at home. Usually I get back and find that absolutely nothing has happened – no missed calls, no voicemails, and nothing but spam in my inbox. But it occurred to me the other day that it’s this same feeling, just super amplified, that I get when I leave my kids at home (albeit with a responsible adult .. Or Hubby.) I constantly wonder what amazing development I’m missing (“Toddler Boy learned how to solve Fermat’s Theorem while you were out!”, maybe) or what fun they’re having without me. Only to get home and find everyone pretty much as I left them.
So, here are some other ways in which my kids remind me of smartphones!
- They have a built in ‘flight mode’..
Flight mode on my iPhone puts it into a safe, quiet mode where nothing can disturb it and it can’t disturb (or crash) anything (like the plane). My sons can be coerced into something vaguely resembling a safe, quiet mode by standing up with them and rocking them.. well, it works at least 50% of the time anyway. Toddler Boy has recently started saying “cuddle!.. cuddle, please!” with accompanying puppy dog eyes, which is heart-meltingly cute, but his definition of a cuddle is only satisfied if you’re standing up.
2. .. and an altimeter
Of course, once you’re standing up, the built in altimeter means that even from what looks like deep, sound, sleep they know how far off the ground they are and will sense it if you so much as think about sitting down, putting them down, or doing anything else that might relieve your now aching arms and back. Even Baby Boy, who at six weeks is small enough that I can hold him in the same position whether I’m standing up or sitting down, can unfailingly tell when we’re not standing up, and he’s not shy about sharing his opinion when that happens..
3. They are constantly being upgraded..
It seems like every time I turn around there’s a new iPhone model. I’ve long since given up on keeping up with the bods at Apple. Who wants to change their phone every six months?! But having a new baby in the house has plunged us back into upgrade mode.. Take clothes, for instance.. Toddler Boy has now reached the relative stability of clothes size 2-3 years, so that huge bundle of clothes I got for him a couple of months ago out to last for a while now. Baby Boy, on the other hand, has already outgrown Tiny Baby/First Size/Newborn (because of course every shop names it something different) and is now wearing 0-3 months. That’s right, for you uninitiated, he’ll then change out this whole set of clothing for size 3-6 months, followed by 6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12-18 months and 18-24 months before we get any real longevity out of his clothes. Thankfully Baby Boy can re-use all of Toddler Boy’s babygros. I did go a bit overboard first time around.
4. .. and every system/software update comes with teething pains
These days I’m wary when prompted to update my phone with a new version of iOS. I typically wait a few weeks and check out the reviews/complaints online first. Oh, this update gives it a new font, but now it crashes once a day and has half the battery life? No, thanks.
Sadly you don’t get much say in the timing of ‘updates’ for your children.. One new tooth coming out can mean weeks of disruption, chaos and pain, and sod’s law says it will come just as you’re moving house or settling a new baby or starting a new job. Typical! Or, great, your child can walk now, but that means you can never fully relax while they’re awake again! You will spend the next few years baby-proofing your surroundings and chasing your child around. Toddler Boy has just about gotten the hang of feeding himself with cutlery (and therefore refuses to let anyone help him eat now) but you wouldn’t believe the messes we’ve had to put up with as he learns.. Don’t even get me started on potty training! Wouldn’t it be great if we could just do a Matrix-style download of new skills?!
5. They have a pretty limited battery life and will conk out on you during the day..
I hear that my phone’s battery life should be much better with the latest iOS version, but somehow I’m sure I’ll still have to charge it every night and sometimes during the day!
The difference is, when my phone conks out and I have to leave it charging in the corner, I actually resent it somewhat. But oh how I enjoy the little bit of peace and quiet we get during Toddler Boy’s daily afternoon nap!
6. ..And keep you up all night
Just when we’d gotten used to sleeping through the night again, Baby Boy came along to thrust us back into the cycle of sleepless nights and zombie-like days. Now halfway through the “fourth trimester” I consider myself blessed to get one two hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep at night. But if I’m honest with myself I could get in a bit more sleep if I stopped looking at my phone so much. I tell myself I’ll just quickly check in on Facebook or Pinterest and the next thing I know, it’s two hours later. It’s like the phone can rip through the space-time continuum!
Of course, what I really love are those moments where my phone is the last thing on my mind and I’m busy playing with the boys.. They grow up so fast, and maternity leave is limited, so I’m determined to make the most of the opportunity to spend time with them over the coming months.
Penny for your thoughts..: let me know if this sounds familiar!