Baby Sam is due in December!

having a baby

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sign of the Times

Every morning, Max and I watch Sesame Street while we eat breakfast. A couple of days ago, the segment called "Elmo's World" was all about the telephone. At one point in the show, Elmo wanted to know more, so he decided that the best way to learn would be to actually talk to a telephone. His interviewee was indeed a telephone--a telephone puppet--complete with eyes and nose and a mouth so he could answer Elmo's questions.

The problem, however, is that this show was a rerun and this puppet was probably created ten or more years ago; he had a handset atop his "head" and large numbered push-buttons on his "face."

Max had been following the gist of this particular program pretty easily, as he uses the phone on regular basis. However, with the appearance of the telephone puppet, he looked at the television with confusion, looked at me, and then asked, "What is THAT, Mommy?"

"Well, that's a telephone, Max."

"No. It's NOT."

"Yes, it is. Today, Elmo is talking about using the telephone. And that is a phone."

He looked at me as if I were slow. "You are WRONG, Mommy," he said with certainty. And then he got up and turned off the TV. The end.

That little exchange just got me thinking about all the everyday things I grew up with that Max, in his lifetime, will never even see. Records, 8-tracks and cassette tapes, Instamatic cameras (which I just heard, BTW, are being discontinued forever this year), tape recorders, typewriters, VHS tapes, VCR's...the list goes on and on and on.

Instead, I have a kid who wakes up every morning and, immediately after peeing, heads straight for my computer, saying, "I need to check my email," or (even better), "I need to read the paper." Real newspapers, too, printed on PAPER, are another thing he doesn't recognize. For him, the morning news is delivered online.

Now, I'm sure every parent has this same revelation at some point--that they, as adults, are going to eventually have to ask their children for help understanding the machines and gadgets that run our lives. Technology continually marches on, leaving those who don't conform as casualties in its wake. And I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is how old it makes me feel. I guess I better get used to it, though, just as I will eventually have to get used to that sweet baby telling me, "You're WRONG, Mommy!"

What are some other things you took for granted as a kid that your own children and grandchildren will never know existed?

No comments: