Elijah graduated from grade school a week ago. It’s one of those milestones I choose not to attend. Not because of some anti “everyone gets a trophy” philosophy. I was simply 100% sure I would cry heaving, snot-filled tears.
When Eli was 9, he asked when he’d be able to get a new phone. We absentmindedly said, “Uh…when you graduate from grade school or something,” thinking in the future he’d either forget or there would be an apocalypse started by an egomaniacal president with bad hair.
Graduation day came and Eli wanted his phone. He did us the favor of picking out a lovely $1,000 Apple model.
I ran out over lunch to buy a phone at the local store. Because I am 46. I was treated to the sight of an insane woman picking up every phone on the display wall and shouting in it, “Hello? I am on the phone!” The salesman told me she did this every single day at the same time and I was utterly jealous of his job.
We got him a white phone with buttons and a camera and, much to my delight, a parental spy app.
This app is amazing. It opened up my world to the wonders of monitoring your child 24 hours a day. It shows me how many minutes Eli has spent on the internet, or on Netflix, or any of the 4,000 games he immediately downloaded.
I found myself obsessively staring at my phone to check if Eli was staring at his phone. I also ruined his life by texting him constantly.
“Eli. It is 75 degrees outside and you are on Spotify. Go outside.”
“Eli. You have been on your phone for 2 hours. Get off now or I will lock you out of your phone.”
And occasionally I would laugh an evil little laugh and lock him out. I could feel his pout all the way from Evanston. After the third or fourth lock out, he told me, “You know. If I get abducted there is no way for me to text you when I’m locked out of my phone.”
Eli has taken to retaliating by sending me hundreds and hundreds of texts over the course of the day. All hilariously nonsensical. My very important meetings are constantly interrupted by gifs of rabbits or hearts or “Family Guy” characters he doesn’t know the names of because we won’t let him watch it.
I do get the occasional “I love you,” which is worth a hundred phones.