It is not uncommon these days to see a young child adeptly pressing icons on an iPad, typing away on a computer or completely engrossed in a conversation on a cell phone. I am, however, uncomfortable asking a five year-old to get me “un-stuck” while trying to navigate the three remotes on an Apple TV. I suppose it’s pointless to say that I have never been considered a technological genius, although I know enough about children to say, that just because a toddler knows how to use technology, doesn’t necessarily mean he or she should!
CASE IN POINT:
One of the families for whom I worked in the past, had quite a complicated system of linked electronics. All phones, computers, pads and TVs were Apple products and everything was synced. For example, photos that were taken on one phone could be viewed on the computer, pad, other phones and automatically played gallery style on the Apple TV when there was no other programming being streamed. It goes without saying that the children in this home, from oldest to youngest, knew how to use all of this equipment better than I.
One rainy day, the children were watching an episode of “The Magic School Bus” with two neighborhood friends. When the show ended, the screen automatically began running family photos from the computer, on the television. There were Christmas memories, beach vacations, snow pictures, school plays, Halloween costumes – and then something odd. The blurry, oddly shaped, flesh colored blob filled the entire 70 inch television screen and was then replaced by an Easter Egg hunt. I cocked my head, wondering what on earth I had just seen.
A few minutes later, there was another blurry flesh colored blob. However this time, the thing had a head and blonde hair. It was then I realized, that the blob filling the entire television screen was a poor quality photo of the children’s mother in what appeared to be a state of either total, or near total undress. The odd body position continued to baffle me a bit, although much less of a concern than the early education of the minors present.
“Look Nanny!” squealed the four year old, pointing at the TV while I dove for one of the three remotes. “That’s Mommy’s bottom and fluffy bits! I took her picture with her phone.”
I lunged for the remote and began madly pushing buttons. Nothing happened – wrong remote. However, the X-rated picture was replaced by a sweet one commemorating the first day of Preschool. I knew that it was only a matter of time. I had to find the correct remote and press the correct button, or explain to the neighbor children and their parents why Mommy was naked on television.
Then it came to me – naked bottoms and fluffy bits are funny. But when you are a child, ice cream trumps.
“I’VE GOT POPSICLES!” I shouted. Instantly all unclothed body parts were forgotten, as an ear-splitting cheer arose from the squatty crowd, and the tots moved like a swarm of bees to the kitchen. With the children safely slurping away on popsicles, I had plenty of time to push enough buttons on all three remotes in order to end the unintended adult movie.
At the end of the day, I gave the children’s Father the daily report:
- “You are out of popsicles for some reason.”
- “I might have messed up all three of the remotes – again.”
- “Could you please remove the naked pictures of your wife that your four year-old took from all of the electronics, so that I do not have to figure out how to teach Toddler Sex-Ed tomorrow?”
Note: The odd body positions were explained following a lengthy and humorous discussion with the children’s Mother. Apparently the child had been given Mommy’s iPhone for entertainment while Mom dressed for work. Beware Mommies and Daddies everywhere – Entertainment is in the eye of the beholder!