As anyone observing a toddler holding a smartphone might conclude, children are unbelievably at ease with technology. It sometimes seems like they're technological geniuses trapped in tiny, underdeveloped bodies; born with an ability to navigate their way around an iPad, solve computer games, and sometimes decipher common household conundrums. In fact, there are more than a few times when my kid understood technology better than I did.
My kindergartner is usually the guy I call when I'm having trouble figuring something out on my iPhone or iPad (or with the old-fashioned television remote, if I'm being honest). I don't know if it's simply because his brain is wired better for these things than mine, or if he just has less in there to muddy the waters and, as a result, he's capable of staying clear-headed. Regardless of the super secret reason why, once you teach him something he automatically remembers it. By contrast, if you teach me anything having to do with my television remote or a simple battery-powered appliance, I swear it fizzles out of my brain immediately.
As a millennial mother I'm sure it's "taboo" to admit the following, but when it comes to technology my kid has saved my ass more times than I care to admit. Sure, most of the time my child is the one who needs my help, but it's important to give the kid credit where credit is due. In the case of technology, that includes the following situations:
Anytime I Am Having Trouble With The TV Remote
We have three remotes, and each of them does a different thing. Sometimes I have to call my husband to ask which one does what. Maybe one day we will live in a world where one remote does it all (a girl can dream) but luckily, most of the time, my kindergartener comes in handy.
He knows how to switch from Cable to Apple TV, how to watch YouTube on our television, and how to fix the volume when the regular volume control isn't working. Yes, it sucks for him that his mother is so technologically incapable but, on the bright side, it has taught him to fend for himself and to teach himself some important modern life skills. One day I will teach him other practical things, too, like how to make toast and turn on the laundry machine.
When He Figured Out How To Track My Amazon Order When I Didn't Know How
One night, after ordering something that my son wanted "really, really badly," he asked me to track it. I told him I couldn't track it because my computer was "charging" (my usual lie when I don't feel like feeding into his anxiety around when one of his orders is going to arrive).
He outsmarted me by grabbing my phone, typing in my password, going to my Amazon app, and expertly navigating to where my order history was. He found the tracking area, and showed me that the package was nowhere near arriving. I was shocked (and kinda proud) that he knew how to do all of that. He was despondent that he would have to wait a full two days for his transforming robot thingy that he would play with for ten minutes and then forget about the next day. At least one of us was pleased.
When He Tried To Teach Me How To A Game On My Phone
Honestly, I have tried. I really, really, have tried to understand the method behind games like Cookie Jam and Candy Crush but I just don't get it. My son has sat me down on long subway rides and patiently explained it to me, practically shown me the ropes using finger puppets and diagrams (OK, maybe he hasn't gone that far), but I have a legit mental block when it comes to any strategy game more complicated than Tetris. (Which dates me terribly, I know. I am a child of the '80's.)
Meanwhile, he is completely crushing Candy Crush (haha) and other games like that, earning all those fake coins and candy and I'm still staring at the screen scratching my head. Ugh.
When He Introduced Me To Snapchat Filters
I think it was one of our young babysitters or my little sister who first introduced him to the time-wasting fun of Snapchat filters, but I certainly had no idea until, one day, my son put the camera in my face and told me to hold still. All of a sudden I transformed into a panting dog with my tongue hanging out.
Of course, we spent the next hour in a complete glee-like-state, playing around and laughing at ourselves with distorted faces, rainbows spewing out of our mouths, or beautiful fairy crowns. Sadly, I still have no idea what I am doing when I pull up Snapchat on my own. I end up posting one of those horrible nostrils-up selfies by mistake that instantly marks me as a Snapchat virgin nowhere nearly as skilled as my kindergartener. Ouch.
When He Showed Me How To Take Photo Bursts On My Phone
It wasn't until I noticed that there were over 20 GB of photo bursts that were taking up space in my phone that that there was actually such a thing as a "burst" (a feature on the iPhone that lets you take up to 10 photos per second). I asked my son what the heck he had been doing and he showed me how when you press the shutter button down, you can get one shot after another. I think this is an excellent feature for photographers or when you need to capture a moving image. Not so much when you're a 5-year-old son who loves taking 5,000 pictures of your chin.
When He Corrects Me When I Put A Battery In The Wrong Way
Yes, I am a complete luddite. It is amazing that I got through two years of pre-med, including organic chemistry. For some reason, I just cannot get the battery thing right. My 5-year-old son, however, gets it right every time, and schools me every single time I get it wrong. Which, embarrassingly enough, is often.
When He Somehow Got His iPad To Connect To The Television
Over Christmas break, we were at my mother-in-aw's house and she had recently purchased a new television and didn't know how to put on Netflix. She had been tinkering with it for quite some time, and eventually gave up and left the room. Moments after she left, Netflix pops up on the TV, as if a poltergeist reluctantly decided to flip it on. "Look, Mommy!" my son said. "I connected my iPad to the TV!" For a moment, I thought he possessed some strange The Sixth Sense type powers and was a little scared. Then I remembered that he is of this particular generation of technologically attuned children who just know how to do stuff like that. I no longer ask questions, I just accept the miracles.