Bad Dad: Texting by kid has me LOLing

January 19, 2012|By Matthew Murray
  • A typical conversation through iMessage with Matt Murray and his 8-year-old daughter.
A typical conversation through iMessage with Matt Murray…

Now that the holidays are over, our house has settled back to normal — whatever that is.

This Christmas, my daughter was given the gift of technology. She received an iPod Touch, packed with her favorite music and games. More proof I was born in the wrong decade.

Now, I've always embraced technology. When I was a kid, I was the only one in the house that could set the blinking time on the VCR. My first computer was a Commodore 64, and I remember using an actual phone modem by placing the receiver on the acoustic cradle.

So it makes sense that my kids would share my enthusiasm for techie toys. When I first got my iPhone, it seemed all other toys in the house became obsolete to my kids. Both clamored to play with the cool games on my phone.

My daughter mastered Angry Birds, surpassing my level of expertise. However, I found out she was playing on my phone first thing in the morning, only to plug it back in before I arose from my sleep. It took me forever to realize why my phone wasn't charging.


Ever the enterprising kid, she decided to ask Santa Claus for her own iPod Touch. She played every angle, including pointing out when they would go on sale, mentioning all her friends have one, and being on her best cramming-for-the-holidays behavior.

Her best argument: the promise never to ask to play on my phone again. It was a shrewd campaign, and she found the iPod Touch — essentially an iPhone without the phone — waiting for her on Christmas morning.

Santa's having second thoughts.

You see, the iPod Touch not only has the ability to play games, take photos and listen to music, but it can also send text messages. This has become unsettling.

My 8-year-old daughter has become quite the texter, much to my amazement. So now, I interact more with my daughter than I ever have before. And to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my family. But there's something to be said about leaving the house to go to work. You know the old adage of leaving work at work? Well, it goes both ways.

During the course of a regular work day, I'll receive an average of 20 texts from my daughter. The majority of which are emoticons, like hearts, flowers or happy faces. I'll get them when she gets home from school, when she eats dinner, when she gets in a fight with her brother, when she goes to bed ... it's an uncensored stream of consciousness from a third-grader.

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