Parents nowadays are very busy
people - and so are their children, even the babies.
Most are working, some even
have two jobs, and everyone has a cell phone. I can't think
of anyone who doesn't know how to text a message to a
It seems the only thing left
is to try and give birth by fax - or through Skype.
Hi-tech telephony is such a
part of everyday life that the government passed laws to
stop multi-tasking drivers from talking and texting while
No one has thought of applying
the same legislation to baby carriages yet - but maybe we
should take a second look.
Have you ever walked in a busy
downtown area about 25 minutes before the start of Standard
Office Time? Try it.
Last week I saw the most
amazing sight: two mothers in business suits pushing
three-wheeled baby carriages, both on cell phones and
neither one looking at either child.
One of the babies was
sleeping, but the other was a toddler who was trying to
catch his mother's attention. She was too busy, however, so
he decided to take matters into his own hands, and simply
climbed out of the stroller as she reached the corner.
When the walk light changed,
Mom kept going, and Junior stayed behind - headed back, in
fact, to see a toy in a display window that had caught his
eye a few stores back. A passerby grabbed him, calling to
Needless to say, she was
red-faced with embarrassment and not a little shocked. Her
friend, meanwhile, hurried ahead to get to the daycare
This is a little out of the
ordinary, I know, and I couldn't believe my eyes as I
watched. But happen it did.
But it seems to me that while
technology is being used to keep us "all connected," it is
also driving us further apart.
Parents and kids spend more
time on computers and phones, and watching movies and
television, than they spend on direct interaction with each
other. Cell phones are especially convenient and even
essential as a safety measure in a world where one must be
able to reach a parent in an emergency. But there is still
the issue of when it makes sense to answer the call, and
when it makes sense to hold the conversation for later.
Another "modern improvement"
that has led to the disconnect is the forward-facing design
of baby strollers, intended to give the child a real-time,
entertaining view of the world around him.
It does indeed keep Junior
busy and happy, but disrupts the crucial bonding process
that should be taking place between parent and child -- one
that was a "given" just a generation ago.
What I'm saying is this: cell
phones and baby carriages, like anything else, are tools
intended to improve our daily quality of life, helping us
connect with each other. But when used improperly, those
same items can drive families apart.
Beware the day when the
disconnect goes two ways, and you some day find yourself
saying to your kid, "Hey, - how come you never talk to me