Kids these days

A blog by Jessica Schreifels Miller for
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Yesterday, I baby-sat my 3-year-old nephew. One of the first things he asks me is if I’ll play a game with him.

This being 2011, of course, the kid is talking about Xbox games. His new favorite is “Madagascar,” but problem is, he’s not quite old enough to get past a lot of the levels. So we are recruited to help while he jabbers about the lions and giraffes.

But, yesterday, I told him: Let’s play a REAL game. Get out Candyland. Of course, he won twice, and I felt his attention to the game getting away after he forgot to pick cards and told me about how I’ll be stuck on the lollipop train forever. Afterwards, I ask him if he has any other games we can play.

“I have lots of games on my iPod,” he says with enthusiasm.

YOU, A 3-YEAR-OLD CHILD, HAVE LOTS OF GAMES ON YOUR IPOD?! Granted, the iPod is my sister’s, which he hijacked and watches “Diego” and plays Angry Birds on while getting the screen sticky, but STILL.

(Seriously, watching this kid play Angry Birds is a feat. I can barely play Angry Birds, and I am a grown woman.)

He’s a playful boy with a lot of imagination, and still does all the “kid” stuff, like run around, ride bikes, play in dirt — but it’s interesting to see today’s technology shape someone so young.

The irony of the whole situation is, when I was a kid, I am sure people in their twenties and other adults thought technology was ruining children. I could type at the age of 5 and parts of school were dedicated to playing “Oregon Trail” on old PCs.

So, while I am still in shock and awe that this little baby can control an Xbox about as well as I can, I won’t see it as a negative. When I am 50, he can teach me how to use the super-ex-pro-3D-surround-sound-iPaddy-thing-a-ma-jiggy.

And he’ll roll his eyes at me when I can’t figure out how to turn the dang thing on, and tell me how I am soooo old.


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