I will be the first person to admit that technology and I are pretty much mortal enemies. When guests visit my home, they often ask if I have Wi-Fi. I shrug my shoulders and offer them dip instead. I have desperately tried to convince my husband to cancel the cable simply because I can't figure out all the different remote controls. I've owned an iPod for 10 years, and I'm still not able to load a new tune on it, which leaves my original playlist (programmed by a family member) firmly rooted in the 1990s Grunge Movement.
When my younger, savvier cousin was in town recently, she told me about the new trend in "app Parenting." Given that my current phone is frequently mocked for its simplicity and lack of Space Age mechanics, it should come as no surprise that I wasn't even sure what an app was. My cousin tried to explain:
Annie: It helps with breastfeeding and diaper changes and medications.
Me (incredulously): Your PHONE can change your baby's diaper? Sweet Jesus. Where was this when I had babies?
Annie (trying anxiously to keep the annoyance out of her voice): No, no. It tracks when things are done, and anticipates what you need to do next. Baths, feedings….they're all on a schedule.
Me (confused): So an app isn't actually going to change a kid's diaper?
Annie (sighing, now secretly convinced we're not related): No.
Me: But why wouldn't you just bury your nose in your kids' smelly, squishy diaper instead of waiting for the app to tell you to get out the wipes? Your kid could totally be smelling up a party, but if the app says it's not time, then what?
Annie: You just enter the new information and it resets.
Me: So now you gotta change the diaper, wash your hands, go find your purse, AND re-program your phone? Sounds like a lot of work to me. It already takes me an hour to text 'JOE - NEED MILK.'
Annie: I think maybe apps aren't for you.
Me: Yeah, yeah. I was always the kid who had to 'move computers' in junior high. Story of my life. The IT people where I worked hated me.
Annie (straight-faced): I can see how that might happen.
No, I am definitely not an app mom. I choose to instead fly by the seat of my pants. It keeps things interesting. I bathe the kids when they smell. I take them for their shots when the school nurse reminds me that I missed a vaccination or two. I look at our paper calendar each morning to remind myself of all the camps, lessons, birthday parties, and games going on that day. I do not know what tomorrow holds.
But I'm fairly certain there will not be any apps in it.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.