Friday, August 20, 2010

The Cell Phone

Today was a day Steffi has been looking forward to for months – the day she got a cell phone. Why today? Because last September we told her we would get her one in August before she went to middle school, and she circled this day on the calendar.

So Stef and I went to the Verizon store today and picked out a phone. She loves it. It’s blue, it’s got a slide out QWERTY keypad, a camera, and best of all, her own cell phone number.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it has one more thing. I asked the salesman what packages they had to help parents monitor a child’s cellphone. “You mean the Lojack Tracker?” he bellowed in a voice that rattled the walls of the store. Before the echo subsided, Steffi asked, “You want to track where I am on the cell phone?”

The first thought running through my head at that moment was why Verizon calls such a thing the Lojack Tracker. Couldn't it be called Rainbows and Sunshine, Project Candy Cane, or something innocuous so your pre-teen doesn’t know what it is. Why not the Clean Up Your Room? Kids stop paying attention after that phrase.

I sounded like George Bush when it was discovered he had been wiretapping our phone calls for years. “I don’t want the service to spy on you,” I explained to Steffi. “I want the service so I can protect you.”

In the end, Steffi was happy, Verizon got another customer, and I had a new appreciation for W. Okay, let's just say two out of three ain't bad.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Collection

This was the content of the note I saw first thing this morning when I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee:


every kind of si lly band there is that we don't have

J+8 (scribbled out)

J and S

I didn't need the "J" to figure out this was the work of Jessica, the ultimate collector queen. She absolutely loves things that are part of a collection, whether it's Care Bears, Webkinz, Silly Bandz or the Fairy Books, a collection of 101,407 fairy books that are themed in groups of seven books ("the weather fairies", the "rainbow fairies" the "pet fairies" etc.) "Foods that start with the letter Q fairies" and "neo-conservative leader fairies" rounds out that series.

Luckily Jessica picks things that are relatively inexpensive, and these collections don't always overlap (there was a heavy up period in Care Bear activity a few years ago, while the fairy books are within the last year). Although it's waned, I'll occasionally come home to see 25 Care Bears staring back at me from the couch, a sure sign that Jessica was watching a Care Bears movie.

I think she gets this from me. Out of the ten hats I own nine of them are some form of Giants hat (but each one is different, as Jessica would say). I also own most Rolling Stones albums, including buying Exile on Main Street in every form except traveling minstrel.

I am happy that Jess shows such devotion to her toys. And if this Christmas I can find "Sports Fairies" Silly Bandz with Barbie Fairy names in Care Bear colors, I will have hit the jackpot.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thinking Ahead

The girls were glad to see me tonight after a quick business trip, running outside to greet me and excitedly telling me about their day. Jessica, in a clear example of thinking ahead, told me that for her next birthday party (about 9 months away) she "wants to combine her two favorite things - art...and sleeping."

I suppose we can do an art sleepover party. Not sure what exactly it means, but we have a lot of time to figure it out.