Lessons in Losing It: The Sequel

photo by thetechbuzz @ flickr.com

A few entries back, I wrote about how I got my son through a mini-freak out session when he thought he lost a 544 page hardcover public library book. I explained how I had pulled out all the stops and used my best parenting skills to talk him off the proverbial ledge and to teach him perspective.

Last week, something happened to my stupid iPhone which resulted in the voice activation feature to accidentally turn on. I don’t have a clue as to what series of keys I may have pressed, and I’d like to know so I never do it again, because suddenly this computer generated female voice – let’s call her iJill – is shouting all kinds of commands at me in her terrible and very unstoppable voice: “Settings. General. Settings. Settings. Settings. On. Settings. iPod. Email. Settings…”

I fiddled with my phone, which made iJill furious and the screen locked up on me. I tried turning the phone off and doing a soft return. It was all for naught, when the phone turned on again, iJill was still shouting at me, my screen would not move and, I started to lose it. Here, I’d just come home from a fabulous vacation where I’d seen elk and bats and fox and lizards and butterflies; I’d climbed rocks and ridden horses; I’d flown in a 6 person airplane over the Colorado River and then floated down the Colorado River on a pontoon raft. Suddenly all that serenity disappeared because there was unpacking to be done, groceries to be purchased, laundry to be cleaned – and, frankly, I just needed my phone to stop shouting at me.

I started losing my mind. I think I was actually pulling my hair and screaming at the phone to shut up.

“Mom…” my son said placing a hand on my arm.

“Not now, Cal…” I said, pretty emphatically.

“Mom…” he continued relentlessly. “…I’m going to give you the worst case scenario…”

I looked up. Because, honestly, how could I not look up? He was using my lesson against me!

“Mom,” he said, “Your cell phone is broken.”

Oh. My. God.

“You have food and clothes. We have cars that work and air conditioning to keep us cool. Plus, we just took a great vacation and no one is sick or dying. And a lot of people love you. We have other phones, and you always say that you didn’t even get a cell phone until you were 32 years old…”

Ooh. Snap! He got me. He played every card. Basic needs. Check. Health. Check. Luxury items. Check. Love. Check. He even played the cell-phone card.

Instant perspective.

And honestly, I had to giggle a little because iJill was still babbling nonsense on the table, “iPod, iPod, Accessories. Settings. General. Settings. General. Settings. Settings…” and the world just seemed a little bit funnier. My son grinned at me, his freckled-face tilted to the side. Sometimes the student is the teacher, and my li’l guy continues to teach me near daily.

(NOTE: Child also reminded me that I have the Apple Protection Plan on my iPhone and that the Apple Care people are there to help me 24/7. And he was right again. So after one quick phone call, within 10 minutes, iJill was silenced and all was right in the world again.)

What are the best mini-lessons you’ve learned from a child/children?

9 responses to “Lessons in Losing It: The Sequel

  1. Well, I might have to think awhile on that one. Excellent story, yours!

    I’m so glad you got iJill to shut up, too!!


  2. God bless that kid.


  3. It always astounds me when I hear my own words coming out of my kids’ mouths. At least I know that they are listening. (which isn’t always good)

    I’ve just come across your blog, and in reading the first few posts, you really speak to me. I just thought I’d let you know that!


  4. These are the moments we know we’re doing a good job at being parents.


  5. Love this story. Perspective is key and you taught your son well. It amazes me how my kids snap to maturity on the rare moments where I “lose it”. 😉


  6. Melissa Sorbello

    Ha ha ha! I saw that coming a mile away! Remember, I read all your bloggies!


  7. As I cannot think of a great example for you, I can tell you that these kids of ours will once in awhile amaze us with what they have absorbed for us. The other day, my eldest was complaining that the summer vacation wasn’t working out so great for her, and she really needed a creative outlet. She was persuasive, persistent, and frankly, I couldn’t resist her. I diligently signed her up for a pottery class at the art gallery, and on our way there, she turned to me and said, “Mom, thank you so much for doing this for me. You have no idea how much this means to me.”

    My word, was it–no! Could it be???….GRATITUDE??!? I was moved to tears! One moment of sheer recognition and acknowledgment–priceless!

    I taught her that.


  8. I was recently asked on questionnaire, “Who has been the most influential person in your life?” No brainer, “My child.” That has been my insight for years…I have learned more in the last 13 years about who I AM and who I WANT to be, though seeing my self from her perspective.

    Children are a great mirror to reflect back to us who we are in any given moment.

    What a great moment for you…you were able to step outside of your frustration long enough to see the situation from your son’s perspective…you DID have a great Mommy moment…in your response, he was ‘rewarded’ (probably in a very intrinsic and deep way) for listening and digesting your previous lesson. And, he is more likely to remember this lesson and draw on it in the future 😀 Well done, YOU!


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