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Nov 18 2014

Why I Won’t Get My 12-Year-Old a Smartphone–Yet

By at 3:32 pm

Do I Have to Get My Daughter a Smartphone?

When my two youngest children decided they were ready to embrace the internet experience like their older siblings and friends, I panicked. Even a 53-year-old seasoned parent like me gets panicky sometimes. So I said no, which was of course totally thoughtless and unoriginal, especially to a 12-year-old. But I said it to buy time.

Recently, my daughter’s classmate came to school with an announcement. She was getting an iPhone because she had proven she was old enough to handle it. “My dad said if I can fast the whole day on Yom Kippur like an adult, then I can have an iPhone like an adult. So I did and he added me on to his plan.” Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 6 2014

I’m That Mom Who Missed Her Daughter’s First Ballet Recital

By at 9:43 am

I Missed My Daughter's Ballet Recital—And That's OK

With her wild, curly hair pulled back in a neat bun, and her pink tights, leotard, and ballet shoes in place, my little girl tapped her toes and lifted her arms in rhythm to the music of her first ballet recital. At least, that’s how it appeared from the video that my sister-in-law sent me and I watched on my iPhone while I attended a wedding two hours away.

For four weeks I sat on a hard, cold bench in a stale waiting room listening to classical music coming from my 3-year-old’s closed-door ballet class, longing to get a glimpse of what she was learning. But her ballet school has a strict student-only policy until the day of the recital, which left me in the dark about her pliés and pointed toes. Even when she emerges from her class with a smile stretching from ear to ear, she won’t show me what she’s learned, insisting that I have to wait until it’s my turn to watch. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 4 2014

Why I’ve Stopped Taking So Many Pictures of My Baby

By at 12:59 pm

Why I've Stopped Taking So Many Pictures of My Baby

When my in-laws came this spring to meet Penrose, they brought with them a DVD containing several months worth of baby videos of my husband. They were taken in 1981, when household-use video cameras were new on the market. His grandparents and aunts feature prominently, as does his mother, and of course, my husband, baby Bill. His father is behind the camera, being directed by his grandfather. The videos capture the family sitting around, happy together, and there’s lots of loving footage of tiny Bill, who looks so much like Penrose it’s uncanny.

Although there’s a substantial amount of footage, it’s always taken somewhat deliberately, as in, “here we are all together, so let’s document the moment.” VHS tapes weren’t cheap, the camera weighed a ton, and the only way to share the footage was to get everyone together again to watch it, or tediously copy the tapes and mail them around. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 26 2014

Five Reasons This Stay At Home Mom Loves Her Stupid Phone

By at 3:21 pm


I get a new phone every few months. I’m just cool like that.

Nope. That was a lie. I’m actually kind of a nerd–and I don’t mean the I-have-a-tech-startup-and-wear-hipster-glasses-to-be-ironic kind of nerd. I’m talking the I-go-birdwatching-every-Sunday kind of nerd.

So why do I constantly update my phone? It’s because my wireless communication device of choice is the cheapest stupid phone I can find, and they break so frequently that I have to replace them as often as I calibrate my binoculars. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 28 2013

Are Smart Phones Really Poisoning My Baby’s Brain?

By at 2:25 pm


I am a card carrying member of Generation Y. Having grown up on the internet, rocked to tunes on my iPod, and texted all through high school, I am more than amply tech-savvy and embrace all things digital. I never shuddered at the thought of snuggling up in bed with an e-reader, and am perfectly comfortable depositing my checks via my smart phone. Now that I think of it, most of the transactions I make are via the World Wide Web; heck I just did my Menorah shopping online (who knew, right?).

As such, I am an app person. I’ve got an app for everything from breastfeeding to business and beyond. So, when my little guy began grabbing and biting my phone, I downloaded some baby apps for him, too.

I do not delude myself into thinking these apps are educational. They are, however, entertaining. Very entertaining. And God knows, every mom needs an entertaining trick up her sleeve if she is to survive seeing her children into adulthood.

That brings me to this Sunday. Aforementioned little guy was under the weather long enough to warrant a visit to the pediatrician. While I love my doctor, the waiting time in his office is notoriously long and offers very little in the way of distraction. So it was armed with a diaper bag full of goodies that I lugged my cranky babes down to the office. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 2 2013

Your Kids Shouldn’t Have to Compete with Your Phone

By at 9:50 am


The line was almost out the door of the coffee shop, and when I got to the front, I found out they were out of pumpkin flavored coffee, even though fall hadn’t even officially begun. Needless to say, it was an annoying start to my morning.

The guy in front of me also looked peeved. He stared moodily into his iPhone as his two adorable little daughters tried desperately to get his attention, running circles around him and tugging on his legs. “Daddy, watch me! Look at this!” they called. He only looked up when they knocked over a rack from the display case, and then he halfheartedly admonished them before returning immediately to his phone. He probably missed their weary, crestfallen faces, but I didn’t.

And I tried not to judge, because we’ve all been the people who shot dirty looks at people with their screaming toddlers in the grocery store, wondering why they couldn’t get a handle on these pint-sized humans–and then we became parents, and understood. And I’m also cranky before coffee. But I watched for 10 minutes on line, in testimony to the desperate lengths I’ll go to for that caffeinated jolt before work, and he stayed on his phone the whole time, only looking up once or twice more to snap at his daughters when they strayed too far or got too loud. When he finally reached down to pick one of the girls up, who was literally climbing up his torso to be held, he looked not depleted, but simply bored. Read the rest of this entry →


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