Thursday, October 20, 2011

PARENTING 101 - By Deanna

Texting…It’s Not Just For Teenagers
I love and hate texting for one reason and one reason only: Communication. Texting is fun, it’s quick, and it’s easy. I can fire off a text to make someone laugh faster than Mario Andretti at the Indy. In my youth, I’d go to any length to make someone laugh, I actually spent a full year in therapy trying to undo why I’d randomly moon my friends or drive through a toll-booth topless. With texting SWOOP it’s easy and it doesn’t cost me my dignity. On the other hand, what a frickin' distraction; I decided to make a quick stop in Target to pick up last minute baking items for the three year olds now four year olds birthday party. All I needed was brownie mix, quick and easy run in & run out, 10 minutes top, throw kids in the cart, race to the aisle as if I am on “Supermarket Sweep” and call it a day. The first mistake was not throwing the kids in the cart fell to their big blue puppy dog eyes and plea’s of “I’ll be good, I’ll hold your hand, I promise”. Now the four year old is running rampage in the baking aisle, sweat is pouring down my neck as I dodge brownie mix, my hand is numb because I’m white knuckling my phone (gosh forbid I miss a text), then as I grab the little one by the collar my hand slips and I hit the floor. As I am going down the box of brownies hits my head and my seven year old explodes laughter. While I try to recover I can see the back of the four year old I as he hightails it down the aisle towards the mini marshmallows and guess what? The phone is still in my hand. Now that’s talent.

I blame my bruised ass-bone on texting; I can’t sit for a week but guess what… I can text! Texting has definitely brought my multi-tasking skills to a whole new level – now I have even more balls in the air, balls that I am certainly not catching. Unfortunately, it’s not me who suffers, it’s my poor kids. In my defense, I figure I’m already screwing them up, might as well throw a little more on their plate, I mean they have a mother who works full time, has enough guilt to fill Yankee Stadium, can barely get out the door showered, who screams more than she likes, and now they have to have to deal with a texting addiction? They’ll be in therapy anyway, may as well lay it on as thick as I can, if I had to go to therapy they have to too, except, I’ll probably feel guilty and pay the damn bill. I also found out that besides that fact that you can raise your kids properly and text you also cannot multi-task. Believe me I’ve tried eating, drinking, and showering while texting. It does not work. I also try not to text while driving but sometimes I do. Another horrible example for my kids, it’s bad enough they think it’s okay to pick their teeth in public, and can fart on command, but this is well, really poor parenting.
It’s obvious I’ve embraced texting like a kid eating cake but my husband is a technophobic. It took him two years for him to get a phone. He’s happy to finally be in the 21st Century and is amazed at how it has helped our relationship. Think I’m kidding? We communicate now, oh yes we do! We text morning, noon and night! I hit that send button more than I hit the snooze. We text jokes back and forth, we get that annoying thing that’s been bugging us off our chest’s much faster now. Do you hate the way he never puts away the butter after he’s cleaned the table send a text. Annoyed that he did laundry because he forgot to put the clothes in the dryer and now you have no clean underwear, send a text. Need him to clean out the gutters, send a text. Want him to know that I’m going for a run after work come hell or high water or little boys, send a text. I’m telling you it’s a relationship saver! But the best, the best is that we actually text cute little suggestive and loving comments to each other… sexting! We’re really not that bad; I censor myself because and well the whole NYFD doesn’t need a picture of my boobs! It’s fun to say I love you in different ways or suggest that we have a “date”, or “to get the kids in bed early tonight.” Who needs couple counseling? Just send a text.

Now as a consummate texter I refrain from the LOL’s or the WTF, or the WGFNW-what does that even mean? I figure I’m not 16 so why shouldn't I spell like the 40-year-old woman that I am? And being mature, in some areas of my life, has led me to understand that there are some things that can’t be said over a text, things that forces me to pick up the phone and have real conversation, and that’s actually good thing. In my book, etiquette is a must when texting. And to let you know the boundaries or the does and don’ts of texting here are a few texts I received in the last month: “Mom taken to hospital by ambulance, possible heart attack, call me.” Seriously? Yeah! I just about had a heart attack after getting that one. Oh and this one “Matty made like Picasso all over the house, poop everywhere, bring Lysol & paper towels.” Now when your sister is babysitting your kids for the 15th time that week, you feel guilty enough, but you do really need a text like that? And this one from my friend “I had to practice my escape route, home invasion.” Um hello???? Not a great text to receive at 6:30 in the morning. So why not finish it off with a “Don’t worry. Be home soon.” Or pick up the frickin’ phone and call me.

So even though I like to text more than I like to eat, okay it’s a tie, I’ve learned a few things while embracing this new technology. Texting goes a long way to making your day go faster if you can get rid a few quick errands via the delegation of duties text, or the 411 on your status text or the quick mood warning text for those waiting for you to walk through that door any minute, but as a general rule of thumb I have decided you must always ask these questions before sending a text: 1) Will it cause a heart attack? 2) Is this about a heart attack? 3) Am I sending a text or a guilt-o-gram? If you answer no to all three questions, hit send! If you’re not sure, then pick up the damn phone and call the person.

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