What did our parents do — in the days before smart phones to provide instant gratification — when we wanted something? Did they plug their ears while listening to us cry? Ignore us? Tell us to toughen up? Or maybe it was some combination of all of those things…
Last week, we vacationed in Topsail, NC with my cousins. Despite seven people — two of whom were under two — living in the same house for a week, it was a relaxing vacation. We ate in most nights, but decided to head to dinner the final night we were in Topsail so we wouldn’t have a clean-up job after dinner since we had a lot of packing ahead of us.
On the way out of the restaurant, Ari noticed the island’s old water tower. He was captivated by it. He said, “Tower!” over and over on the drive home that night.
The next morning, Ari called “Tower!” many times. On our way off the island, we pointed the water tower out to him and said, “Say, ‘bye-bye, Tower’.”
“Bye, Tower!” he called as we drove over the swing bridge off of Topsail Island.
That should’ve been it… but it wasn’t. He called out for the water tower several times on Sunday.
“Remember, we said good-bye to the Tower when we left Topsail,” I reminded him.
“Bye, Tower,” he repeated sadly.
By yesterday afternoon, Ari continued to call out for the Tower. That’s when I googled “Surf City Water Tower” on my phone. Not only did multiple images of the water tower come up, but there were even two videos! I showed the photos to Ari. The images made him smile with delight. Then, I showed him the videos. He watched them with complete contentedness.
Today’s Tuesday. Now Ari is grabbing for my phone saying “Tower! Tower! Tower!” The last thing I want to do is look at photos and watch videos of some old water tower. However, doing just that is my consequence for using my smart phone in this way in the first place.