YOU ARE HERE: Burbank HomeCollections

Dealing with a computer-generated generation gap

October 16, 2004


Maybe it's me ... but should my kids really be that far ahead of me

with technology?

I do have some technological expertise. I can use a cellphone. And

a microwave. I can, of course, use a computer. Well, sort of. But

hey, you're reading this, so I must have managed the word processing

side of things. At least for this week.


But I understand that it's easier for kids to pick these things

up. I was OK when they learned how to record TV shows, and I still

couldn't set the clock on the VCR. I laughed blithely, "Kids these

days; it's amazing what they know."

I was pretty much OK when the kids told me that they wouldn't set

the VCR anymore, because who even had a VCR these days, and had I

heard of a thing called a DVD? It was more testy than blithe, but I

still laughed. And then I looked up DVD.

I was almost OK when the 3-year old asked for her own e-mail

account, and then actually sent messages to people. Sure, the

messages were things like "alsdfjsaokdtaieou- ta[weuaekjshf cauwlE"

-- but she actually sent them. Herself.

When she set up the laptop, however, that was it.

I'm not joking. I'm not even exaggerating. She wanted to get the

laptop down so she could draw on it, and I said "No, because that's

Daddy's, and Mommy doesn't know how to use it."

Mostly, I just didn't want to deal with it. I wanted her to find

something else to do. I could have set it up if I really wanted to.

I'm almost sure of it. Probably. Anyway, I figured that was the end

of it, until she came trotting in a couple minutes later with my

cellphone in her hand. "Can we call Daddy to ask if I can pway his


I was preparing to say no, and planning my speech about the other

things she could do instead, when she said "See, I have the number

wight here. Can I pwess the gween phone button?"

"How'd you do that!?!" I cried. Well, I mean, I knew HOW she did

it. It was my phone, and I'd programmed the numbers. But I didn't

know how SHE did it.

Sighing at my lack of intelligence, she showed me. "See, when I

pwess this button, Daddy's name shows up -- see? And these are

Daddy's numbers. Can we call him?"

I couldn't quite get to the permission part of this yet. I was

still flabbergasted. First of all, how did she know what button to

press? And when did she learn to read? I finally asked her, "How did

you learn to do this?"

"I teached me," she replied matter-of-factly. Then she fixed me

with a withering stare. " I AM fwee years old, Mom." And she

proceeded to call her father.

Burbank Leader Articles Burbank Leader Articles