Daily Archives: December 24, 2011
Christmas Eve. It’s finally here! That’s not excitement, but rather relief. I welcome today like someone from the Titanic welcoming a rescue boat. They–and by they, I mean retailers–started the Christmas season back in July, so naturally I’m a little tired of the guilt trips in the store. Speaking of guilt trips…
I’ve been wrestling with this all week: Is it wrong to give a toddler an iPod Touch for Christmas? Two years ago, I would’ve answered my own question with a resounding yes. Now, I’m not so sure. We have a Macbook, iPhone and iPad. All three cost a human organ, so naturally we put them in high places to keep Gizmo away from them. But kids get into things. They’re like those raptors on Jurassic Park. They never attack the same place twice…they remember.
One day she got her hands on the iPad while I was in the bathroom. My heart sank, at first, when I saw her with it. Then I noticed that she was actually using it like an adult. She sat it on the ottoman and was standing there looking at photos. Not erratically pushing the screen. No, what she was doing was methodical. I pushed the home button, closed the cover and sat it back in front of her. She opened it, slid the unlock button and pushed the weather app. She looked disappointed, pushed the home button again and swiped around until she got back to the photos app. Somehow, just by watching my wife, she figured out how to use it and she knew that the only real button–the home button–started you over again.
That was two months ago. Fast forward to yesterday and she’s sitting on the couch with my wife’s phone. She turned it on and then took it to my wife because the input unlock code screen came up. My wife typed it in and my daughter took it back to the couch. She looked at pictures and videos of herself for a second, then went to one of the apps that plays nursery rhymes and a few minutes later she went to the Music app, turned it sideways to get to coverflow and swiped around until she saw Stevie Wonder and started listening to My Cherie Amor. She put the phone down on the couch, got up and started dancing.
Now there are only about thirty songs on my wife’s phone since she uses Rhapsody most of the time, but the few that are on there are just songs from my daughter’s in the car playlist. I highly doubt she thought, I could really go for some Stevie right now. In all likelihood, she just pushed a random song, but it’s the fact that she knows how to navigate to only the stuff she wants that makes me think she’s ready for her own iPod Touch.
I’ve heard the arguments about development and that kids need three dimensional stimulation from toys and real books. She spends most of her time pretending to read her board books and playing with her illogically-expensive brain toys. Back in the mid 90s, all of the commercials for computers showed adults doing spreadsheets, word processing and kids looking at extremely dated games. Today, commercials for Windows 7 show kids doing spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations to ask their parents for dogs. We live in the 21st century. Five year olds use iPads in school now. Is it absurd to see an almost-two year old with an iPod Touch or is it preparation for things to come?