, Newburyport, MA


January 15, 2014

Parent Pill: Not so easy to unplug


Anyway, I digress. We must get back to the curfew that is now looming over my daughters’ heads like the Grim Reaper. At 8:30 p.m., regardless of how many texts, pokes, emails or Instagram messages are waiting to be answered, we must retire our electronic devices. (TTYL!) This is family time, and we are going to pretend we enjoy spending good, old-fashioned quality time together if it kills us. And by God, I think it might.

By 8:35 p.m., I’m ready to hang myself. My older daughter is spinning wildly in the kitchen, practicing some sort of pirouette I’m paying thousands for her to perfect. My younger daughter is teaching herself how to play the piano, which requires her to repeatedly strike A or C or whichever key sounds like a cartoon character tiptoeing. My husband is hiding in the basement watching season four, episode two, of “Dexter,” which chronicles the life of a deranged blood splatter analyst who strategically kills serial killers. Are you following all of this? I am looking for a sharp object to back into ... slowly.

In my fantasy world, we were all going to be sitting in a circle playing Yahtzee, or reading from an old classic novel or singing “Kumbaya” while knitting caps for the needy. Instead, we are arguing over which reality show to watch, eating Cheez-Its and placing bets on who will expel gas first. My daughters are not speaking because someone borrowed a sweater without asking, and now it can’t possibly be worn the next day because exactly no one would notice.

This is not the way Norman Rockwell painted it.

But that is the reality we are living. We feel like mere shadows of ourselves without our devices. We don’t know how to conduct business or converse politely or find the answer to “What Does the Fox Say?” (wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow) unless we are plugged in. #goaheadandgoogleit

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