Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Goldilocks and the 3 Cell Phones

Well, it happened.  All of us got new cell phones for Christmas.  Yes, all of us...including the 7 year old.

I know.  I've heard all the comments already. 

"Wow, she's pretty young to have a phone!"

"I wouldn't dream of giving even my 10 year old a phone!"

"What in the world does a 7 year old need with a phone?!"

I have to say that there is a ton of pressure on parents to provide children with cell phones.  And, we put it off until our oldest was in middle school.  He began going places, more and more, with friends.  We were beginning to drop him off at practices and games.  It felt like the right time to give him a phone...for our peace of mind.

Jump back to Christmas...

My cute little pink, breast-cancer-awareness-y flip phone was finished.  Literally, 3 days before our contract ran out with the carrier, it died.  It would not even stayed charged for 30 minutes.  Of course, the husband was out of town.  I couldn't believe it.  We had been waiting with baited breath for the freedom from this company so that we could start fresh, new phones, new carrier.  But I needed a phone right then!  How did I ever manage without one.  I went w/out for one day.  1 day.  It drove me to the brink, people.  This was just before Christmas break and I needed every possible moment to do all those crazy last-minute things a parent does w/out kids in tow. 

Well, I couldn't stand off to the _ _ & _ store I went.

"Sorry, lady.  They don't make batteries for that phone anymore.  Can I upgrade you to a new phone and new plan?"  In other words, "Can we lock you in with us for another 2 years with lousy service and extremely over-inflated charges?"

"Um, no thank you!" I said. "I just need a phone for like, 2 more days.  Anything. Maybe a junkie old one someone just turned in.  Anything?"

"Sorry ma'am.  All we can do is start you on a new phone with a new plan."


I certainly didn't want that.  I went home feeling bound to our house phone.

And then, my 12 year old had a brilliant idea.  "You can put your old SIM card into my phone, mom."

"Awesome!  Thank you dear heart!"

And then he realized he was out a phone until the next week or maybe beyond.  Such a sweet boy!

Anyway, where am I going with this post??  O yeah...a 7 year old with a phone...

So, after getting through that horrendous phone-obsessed weekend, the husband and I talked about our options.  We had really wanted to replace our phones (the 3 we had) at Christmas Christmas gifts.  We wanted to give middle C one as well.  There are many times I just wished he had one.  You know, sports practices, off with friends.

So we decided to get 4 new phones, whole new carrier.  And then, I began thinking again (dangerous, I know).  The kid who really needs one is C!  She too, is beginning to participate in activities that are difficult for us to be at every single minute.  And I need to feel she can reach us whenever the need arises.  With diabetes, we are finding it increasingly difficult to make certain all of our bases are covered with the different adults who may be in charge of her supervision.  Of all places, Sunday School has given us several concerns.  I just can't trust that everyone will consider a blood glucose reading of 47 as important...something that happened a couple months ago.  I feel I can trust C at least call me if she has that option.

She really has shown great responsibility for her new phone.  She knows it's not a toy.  It stays in her bag.  The only numbers in her contact list are family members.  I think our new motto is going to be "test, treat & text." 

So, the result is this.  We all got phones for Christmas.  All of us.  Even the 7 year old.  There are limits.  And there are restrictions.  But now I'm able to reach all my kids and they're able to reach me. 

I suppose people will think what they will.  But they don't know my daughter.  They don't know our life.  And, unfortunately, most don't know about diabetes.  If having access to her phone makes even one low  less scary for her (and me) then that 5th phone in our family is worth it...not only the money, but all the raised eyebrows and questions.

Goldilocks and the phones


  1. You know Nan it really doesn't matter what people think! You do what you know is right for your family. Your choices may not be right for another family but for yours... it's right. The end! :)

    I do know what you mean about C having a phone and making diabetes a little bit less stressful. As Tristan gets older and becomes more independent this is something that we will also consider.

  2. What Rachel said. :-)

    I say, go you! And go C!

    "As you know, C, the phone is not a toy.
    So don't make a ploy. Not that you will, I'm just sayin' still. Now go be you and find that joy!"

    (ok, that was bad....)

  3. no, Crystal...that was great! you're on a roll...

  4. Good golly, what is the big deal? People should mind their own business. Whether a child has a cell phone or not is not important. How they use it is.
    We have an extra cell phone for the "kids" but Caleb is the one who typically has it. He brings it back and forth to school and it's probably most important when he is at religious ed where, as you said, the sense of urgency of the people overseeing him is not the same as other places. It stays in his bag and no one even knows he has it (unless they need to know). And he's never ever used it! But it gives us both a tremendous comfort.
    We are so fortunate to have this tool available to us. Why wouldn't we take advantage of it????

  5. people also looked at me funny when I gave my 10 yr old a phone. Hello she has a life threatenig disease and apparently I cant trust the "responsible adults" in her girl scout troop to know that 478 is not a good number.


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