Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What to do With that Old, Crappy Cell Phone

Yesterday I ended up purchasing a new cell phone because the old one was going through a midlife crisis or something.  It more or less decided that it didn’t want to work sometimes, but other times it was just fine.  Anyway, I replaced it with the Samsung Convoy, which is pretty cool, but this left me with the problem of deciding what to do with the old phone. 

You see, I hate to throw out the old phones because I always assume that the new phone is going to crap out on me.  I still have an ancient LG phone that was sent through the washer and fried.  I know I am never going to use it again.  All it is doing is taking up space, but I still hesitate to toss it out.  So now, I have two useless phones just lying around gathering dust.  Fortunately for me, my wife made an executive decision last night and did something I swore to myself that I would never do.  She gave our tiny tot the eldest cellphone to play with.  At first I was leery of doing so, but after a while I couldn’t see any harm in it and now I actually think it is a great idea.

Before my baby boy was even born I had a major problem with the thought of giving my baby an old dilapidated cellphone to play with.  I observed that a lot of parents were doing this and it seemed like their brats were just destroying any cellphone that they could get their hands on.  In my mind I thought, “Haha!  Serves you right for teaching your kids that Cellphones and remotes are toys.”  Now, after having a toddler of my own, I am more than just a little embarrassed to admit that I just didn’t understand then, and had no right to feel so self-important.  It just never occurred to me that these people were substituting something that was safe and alright to play with for something that wasn’t.  Brilliant!!!  How come I didn’t see that then?  Think of all the problems that would have avoided if I had.   I am such a dope!

If you have kids you know that if there is something inappropriate for them to play with they will find it.  To a toddler anything and everything is a toy and fair game. This includes anything that they can pick up, climb on, jump on, jump off, or anything that they could possibly hurt themselves with.   I don’t know about anyone else, but I have found no way to discourage this behavior short of locking up absolutely everything I don’t want the little man to play with, and locking him away from everything else that I can’t stow away from him.  I feel like I am a bad parent because I haven’t provided him with a padded cell for his own safety, but that is just not practical. It is way simpler to focus his attention on something that I actually want him to play with.

I used to leave my phone and television remote on the couch tucked back in the corner, naively thinking that the little man can’t reach them.  Well, after months of him finding a way to reach them and subsequently run off with them you would think that I would change my mindset.  Nope, you’re wrong.  Apparently, I am as stupid as I am stubborn.  I realize now that my cellphone didn't commit suicide my baby boy murdered it.  That little man just managed to get his grubby little hands on it too often.  

Well, if I had thought of giving him the ancient cell phone earlier I might have saved the not so old cell phone from certain death.   Now I see why so many other parents give their little owns old cell phones and remotes to play with.  They aren’t really teaching their kids that these items are toys.  These parents are saving themselves from the hassle of searching for or replacing the actual, working cell phone and remotes by providing their monsters with something else to play with that is more appropriate.  Man I wish I would have thought of this sooner.  My wife is a genius!       

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