I want your printing press!!! / by Susie Lubell

A few hundred years ago did kids follow their parents around begging to use their gadgets?

I want your revolver!
I want your phonograph!
Gimme your cotton gin!
I want to wear your corset!
I want to wear your powdered wig!
Can I touch your loom?

I don't even know what a cotton gin is but you get my point. Were kids always this obsessed even when the gadgets they're obsessed with didn't exist? My kid just cannot seem to get over his obsession with cell phones. He points out when people have them. His face lights up when mine rings. He wants to bring it to me. He wants to put it on the table. In my purse. On the counter. He wants to charge it. He wants to call Aba. He wants to call grandma. He wants to call grandma's hairstylist Carlos. Any excuse he can think of to get his hands on that phone. He knows he's not supposed to touch it so he will just stand next to my purse and spy on it. And then tell me, I see your phone. I have almost reached my breaking point on this one. I get that we have been completely inconsistent about phone usage but what am I supposed to do when he wants to talk to Grandma. I want him to talk to Grandma and he's actually becoming quite the conversationalist. But then I tell him he's not allowed to touch it otherwise and that appears to confuse him. Never mind the exposure to harmful cancer causing radio signals, it's just annoying for him to be this fixated on a personal object. He's also fixated, though slightly less so, on car keys, wallets, purses and shoes.

Why? I want to know why? My brother uses his phone as much as I do and his kids don't care about phones. They are obsessed with other things, like dolls and Thomas the Tank Engine, but that seems perfectly acceptable to me considering they are CHILDREN. How did we fail our son? What did we do to encourage his total fixation on our personal items? Why can't he just be obsessed with trucks like a normal kid.

Which leads me to other musings, like, were kids this annoying back in the day? I mean, I'm pretty sure that, say, Mozart, was a pretty annoying three year old, all obsessed with writing his concertos and what not, but what about the average toddler? Is there no record of just how annoying 18th or 19th century toddlers were? I'm just curious. Everyone was so hung up on being proper back then, I just can't imagine a woman in a corset dragging her three year old through the marketplace by his armpit because he peed in his tights.