Tag Archives: technology

Even Grown Kids Say Funny Things

There are some fantastic prompts this week at Mama Kat‘s. It took me a while to narrow it down, and I may do a couple of the others just for fun! But I’m stepping outside boundaries just this once to share a couple of things my sons have said or texted within the last week.  Aaron will turn twenty-seven next week and John will turn nineteen next month.  Even though they are far apart in age they are very close, and look eerily alike (except the hair).

Aaron’s hair is military-short, and hasn’t felt a comb since middle school. John’s is now long enough for a man-bun, and he’s fairly  proud of that. I’d planned to include pics of my sons here, but this is the screen I get, and it won’t let me scroll to anything else. I can’t even make a phone call or listen to a voice mail! Help!!

I can’t even attach the screen shot I took, but it only has three sections: Photos, notes, and phone favorites. And none of them are complete – ARRGH!! Going to try turning it off and back on, and if that doesn’t work my trip out tomorrow will NOT be pretty!

So John’s statement was earlier in the week. He said, “I was made for college!” I suspect all of his teachers K-12 would agree. He needs to be in charge of his own schedule, take the classes he enjoys most, and live in the squalor of a Freshman boys’ dorm for a year. I’d nipped at his heels like a yappy dog for years. Now he will see the cause and effect of all his actions. With UofL’s diverse campus he’s making friends everywhere he goes. If he was taller at age three I’d have just dropped him off on campus instead of Mother’s Day Out, and he’d have done fine. He’s going to love college as much as I hated it, and I couldn’t be happier!

Aaron was finally texting me what he’d like for his birthday – I gave up somewhere between X-box games and Raspberry Pi – and I couldn’t find the games he was looking for. I found things that were close, and texted those back to him. He replied, “Yes, autocorrect is harder while holding a baby.” Yes, especially a drooly teething one who has been watching Mommy and Daddy use phones and computers since birth. Are there drool-proof electronics cases or covers? All suggestions appreciated!

Five Things I Know Nothing About

I laughed out loud when I saw this one on the list of prompts at Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop! Five? This could be a weekly post for a year or more! I may or may not have a MENSA-qualifying IQ and have graduated in the top 1% of my high school class, but there are so many things I know nothing about. Of course if you’d have asked me that at seventeen, I’d have thought I knew everything and could rule the world. I still want to rule the world, but I’d need more than a cabinet of advisors. I’d need a whole pantry!

I know nothing at all about geography. I can find Italy because I want to go there. Everything else is kind of iffy. Except, of course, anything along the Gulf of Mexico. The only white stuff I should see at my feet is sand.

I don’t know a useful second language. I took Latin and French, and my brain absorbed the Latin. Somewhat useful in the medical field, but not so much in everyday life.

I can’t navigate my way out of a paper bag. If Michael and I ever had a huge fight and I told him I was leaving all he’d have to do is take my Garmin out of the car.  I’d never get out of this zip code without getting lost.

Technology. Like my computer, my phone, my TV, and even my microwave.  People have commented on how tech-savvy I am (get up off the floor, Aaron, they have!) and I do know how to use social media. But I still need help figuring out which remote does what when I’m trying to watch a DVD or something I’ve DVRd. And the microwave has too many buttons. I just hit the “30 second” one over and over until it gets to where I want. It works for me.

How to put on makeup. Honestly, I think this is one of those opportunities that’s just passed me by. If I don’t know by now there’s no point in learning. With my tremor eyeliner would look like an EKG monitor strip, anyway.  I have about five tubes of lipstick or tinted chapstick scattered around in different purses, and they’re all nearly the same color. At the rate I use them I’ll need a new one when I’m about eighty.

Make me feel better! tell me what you know nothing about!

That Time I Babysat

I love babies. I love toddlers. I pretty much love all children unless they’re going through one of those sullen, mouthy stages. Both of my boys skipped that stage because they already knew they wanted to live to adulthood.  Well, I got an opportunity the other day to babysit for my friend’s grandson, little Anthony Davis. That’s not his real name, but that what my friend, a huge UK fan, wanted her daughter to name him, so we’ll go with that. Anthony Davis is at what I personally consider the perfect age. He can sit up, but not for long. And he can’t get around by himself. It’s a very brief, magical age, and I remember actually being able to take Aaron to the pool once during that stage. I think John skipped it entirely.

Anyway, Anthony Davis’s momma, who I also consider a good friend even though I’ve watched her grow up, had left me neatly written, precise instructions on what to do when as far as bottles and food and so forth. I must admit I was a bit relieved when she produced actual mushy baby food from the fridge. They were pears and peas, so she may well have mushed them herself, but that’s beside the point. I think this whole baby-lead weaning trend is fabulous, but not for a babysitter. I didn’t want to open the fridge and wonder what the little fella would like to try that evening. The closest I ever tried to baby-led weaning was when I was busy and cut up a banana and put it on Aaron’s highchair. He promptly put it all in his hair. I have a picture to prove it.

So we did great with the meal portion of the evening. There are some other aspects in which I may have fallen a bit short. This, for instance:
bottle warmer
This is a device into which you pour a measured amount of water, then pop in a refrigerated bottle of breast milk, and push a button. It heats the milk to the proper temperature. Kinda like when we used to put them in a big cup of hot tap water, only more alarming. Because it spews steam like a volcano about to erupt. And when I pulled it out it was really hot at the bottom, causing me to swear, the baby to cry, and the dog (have I mentioned the dog) to squeak his Aflack duck in disgust at my pitiful babysitting skills.
I was later to find, however, that the dog (who absolutely loves little Anthony Davis and could probably babysit on his own if he had opposable thumbs) just really likes that toy. And wanted me to throw if for him while the bottle was heating. Lesson learned. I was excessively proud of myself when I got multiple burps up (there’s a secret Ballard family technique I’m not allowed to share) and when I realized that disposable diapers haven’t really changed at all. That was quite a relief!

Actually, the only real scare of the evening was when I thought the house was haunted and they hadn’t told me. We were all three lounging on the floor, having a great time, when a heard a sinister voice in my ear say, “I love you, Anthony Davis.” Holy hell! My first response was anger, because I truly would not mind babysitting in a haunted house, but be up front with me about it, m’kay? Then I found this green dog-bear sort of thing with symbols on its paws. They were not Satanic. In fact, I recognized one as the on/off button on my computer. One of his ears said Leap-something, and that’s when I knew it was one of those “learning toys” designed to drive parents bonkers. He sat in the corner the rest of the night.

I did have a frustrating few minutes trying to get the swing to work (the controls were hidden under a blankie and are more complicated than my car’s dashboard)
But once I found them and got it set to slow-rock and play a medley of night sounds Anthony Davis was quite happy. I have to admit I was a little jealous. Yes, I have a Sleep Number bed, but it doesn’t rock me or play soothing night sounds. And about the time Anthony Davis went down the dog decided it was his turn for some attention. And me not responding promptly was not an option, as I soon found out when he decided my toes were chew toys. I’ll be prepared for that next time, so little Anthony Davis doesn’t learn any new vocabulary words! But let me tell you – any time you’re feeling stressed go borrow a baby. There is simply no substitute for that smell, that warm weight in your arms, those gorgeous rolls of fat and super-long eyelashes. It gets me every time.

And if you have a little one don’t hesitate to ask for help. If your kids are good people will stand in line to spend time with them. If they’re not . . . hang in there. I couldn’t get anyone to watch John, either, and he’s turned out wonderfully!

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