Friday, January 28, 2011

Dating in the cell phone age

Heidi and I had made plans last week to hire a babysitter and go out on a real live date tonight. Originally, we were going to go have dinner and then hit one of the Oscar nominated movies. Then we both slept for shit last night (I probably got 2 hours) and despite the fact that both of us napped prior to going out tonight, we nixed the movie and just decided to go have dinner. We've been like ships passing in the night this week as I've been gone every single night and the idea of sitting in a dark theater watching some depressing Oscar movie when we could be talking to each other was not all that appealing.

The babysitter we have is the older sister of one of Anna's friends and Anna just LOVES to have her come over. I was always a bit less excited to see the babysitter when I was growing up. I remember one time when I was probably 7 or 8 that I cried so inconsolably that my dad ended up coming back from wherever the were (I'm pretty sure it was the Pin Oaks restaurant in Carroll, now defunct) to try to get me calmed down. Naturally, age and the advent of a babysitter that brought Atari cartridges when she came over warmed me up to the whole concept of a babysitter. Then I got old enough to babysit my siblings and we never had another sitter. But Anna is just like Heidi in the respect that she loves having the babysitter come and requires engagement the entire time. Fortunately, Morgan doesn't mind a bit.

Anyway, before we left, we wrote our cell phone numbers on the board in the unlikely event that she would need to get a hold of us. They are also programmed into Anna's new cell phone - a Christmas gift from my parents. To my great surprise, my phone range not once but twice tonight. Both times it was not the babysitter. Instead, it was Anna, calling from her cell phone. The first conversation went something like this:

Anna: Hey Dad. I was playing Zelda on the Wii and my ears got red. They went back to normal but now they look pink. Should I be worried?
Me: Well, what exactly were you doing?
Anna: Well, I was jumping up and down trying to kill this spider on Zelda and was all active.
Me: Well, there you go. Do your ears hurt?
Anna: No.
Me: I think you'll be fine.
Anna: Well, I just wanted to call and make sure.

The second one was even less critical.

Anna: Dad, hey, the Wii Nunchuck isn't working and even though we tried to tell the game to quit, it wouldn't do it.
Me: Did you try unplugging the nunchuck from the Wi-mote?
Anna: No, I didn't. But we were getting kind of tired of Zelda anyway so I think we'll just do something else.

Honestly, I didn't really mind the calls. They were kind of cute and caused us to muse about how heaven forbid if she really DID have something to worry about. It struck me as so different from when I was growing up - like so many things are. Calling is just so easy now, whereas back then, you had to call the place where the parents were, then they would have to be paged or whatever and God help you if it wasn't an emergency.

I think a part of it was that Anna just likes using her new cell phone, but I think next time Heidi and I go out on a date, we'll talk to her first about what good reasons for calling are. Note: the babysitter never once called us, but I certainly don't blame her for not being able to talk Anna out of it. That child has an iron will. Heaven help me when she's a teenager.

(Of note, this is the 1,500th post on this blog! YAY! That is what I call perseverance. Or maybe just plain stubbornness and an undying desire to hear myself talk.)

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