My smartphone has saved my child's neck from being wrung. More than once.
Luka lives life with gusto. I'll give him that. No one approaches slurping the noodle or licking the spoon quite like he does. Prior to 2009, as a woman with *some* standards of decorum, I would find myself losing it when inevitably the child wore more than he ate after every meal. Daddy, fearing for my sanity, learned to remove the pudding-covered toddler quickly once he saw my face turn a whiter shade of pale staring at the counter-tops, floor, and chair that were just a minute ago spotless. As he left the room, you could clearly see the smug smirk thru all the pudding.
"He's lucky he's cute," I'd mutter, teeth clenched.
I'd tell these tales to my friends, to his teachers, his aunties. No, they'd say, not that cute little thing. Basically, no one believed me.
And then, in 2009, I got a smartphone. Vindication. And something else I hadn't planned.
Proof! Now I had proof that Luka peeled the veneer off the dresser, put eleventy-two popsicle paper wrappers behind the tv in the kitchen, covered the ottoman with red fingernail polish, and finger painted in brownie mix on the underside of the kitchen table.
With the help of my clever smart phone, I started do a blow-by-blow of his gusto. I shared it on twitter and Facebook. I replayed it at mom's night out. And I noticed something started happening to my anger. As I took those pictures I was not looking at him any more with those disapproving mother eyes, I was looking at him with those gosh-darn-it-he's-cute photographer eyes. By removing myself as a character in his mess, and just chronicling the mess instead, I found that it didn't make me so mad any more. It actually made me laugh.
I call my phone's photo album "The Life and Times of Hurricane Luka II: Revenge of the Pudding".
The photo album on my smart phone is now a time-line of brownie mix, spaghetti and meatballs, snow angels in bowling alleys, and amusement park railing licking. I've captured moments that would otherwise be sources of anger, and have turned them into a major source of cuteness. I can watch him recite all the presidents of the United States on video from my smartphone. I can review all of the impromptu floor snow angels he's made at every cultural institution in the state of Texas. I can show Auntie Julie every place he's written his name that he shouldn't have. And I can chuckle at those brownie mix pictures again and again.
Somehow, my smart phone made my kid, and his messes, cute. And instead of getting mad or threatening to sell him to the circus when I find another room destroyed in 30 seconds flat, I just whip out my smart phone and start clicking. I'm going to have an *awesome* photo album to show his prom date.
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