My 11-year-old Varmint “App’d” me last night. And I didn’t care for it in the least.
She and her friend, Megan, went out to dinner “As Big Girls” at Grotto’s Pizza in Bethany Beach. And by “As Big Girls” I mean that it was something different from going up to a McDonald’s counter and ordering dinner. It was dining at a sit-down, hostessed, use-your-manners-at-the-table, kind of restaurant. They had their own money, they had their own cell phones, and they had years and years of coaching. They were ready to fledge.
This was it. This was Varmint’s first, experimental dinner out without Mama and Troy.
After a little gnawing of my knuckles, and after several false starts where I actually, appropriately, stopped myself from hovering, I crumbled and called her. You know, just to check in. Not because I was worrying. Not because I was trying to control her. And not because I was afraid they would fail. I just realized that I had forgotten to teach her how to calculate a TIP.
It went like this:
Me: Hi love. How’s it going?
Varmint: Fine! We’re waiting for our pizza now.
Me: Good. Look, I don’t mean to disturb you, but I need to tell you how to figure out a tip.
Varmint: That’s ok, Mom, my phone has an App for that.
Me:….Oh, ok, Love. Do you need anything?
Varmint: I have to go now, Mom.
Me: …..Ok Sweetheart. See you later.
Varmint: Bye. CLICK.
I sat staring at my phone for a moment. My 11-year-old daughter had just “App’d” me. Is there any more obvious message that I had become obsolete as both a mentor and a fount of knowledge? Could there have been any more tangible way to deliver that blow? She didn’t need me. She had her phone, which did everything she wanted, and probably with greater speed and accuracy than I could.
A simple choice stood before me: curl up in the fetal position in a corner, sucking my thumb, and wishing for my own Mommy, or take the hit gracefully, with aplomb, and model to my child that change is good.
…..So while I was in the corner, I thought of the perfect solution:
Steal the battery out of her phone. Sabotage her development. Delay her progress.
Clearly I was meant for the selflessness of Motherhood.