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My kid leaves me "Goggling" with surprise

Today, I got out of the shower with one towel wrapped around my torso and another around my head. My three-year-old daughter (the Cindy Brady lookalike) seemed to be observing me sanguinely from her perch on the end of my bed.

“Nice hat”, she pipes up, a glint of Yoda-like mischief in her eye.

I look back at her with an arched eyebrow.

“You’re not fooling anyone, you know. Which Dalai Lama are you? When are they coming to tell me I’ve got the next Dalai Lama?”

She responds with a (knowing) giggle. Was it a knowing giggle? Or was I just imagining a knowing giggle?

I’m left scratching my head. Just the other day, she was playing “doctor” in her room with the pink doctor’s bag  that Santa had bestowed upon her at Christmas.

“Are you going to be a doctor when you grow up?” I had asked, with amused (and probably patronizing), adult superiority.

She turned and glared at me with what appeared to be indignant exasperation—the ‘like, don’t these people know anything? ‘ look.

“No, Mummy, I am not going to be a doctor when I grow up. I’m going to be a grown-up when I grow up!”

I’m standing there with dork-like bemusement. Here I am, nearly fifty years old, stumped for an intelligent riposte in conversation with a child 45 years my junior.

We’re supposed to grow older and wiser, aren’t we? Age and experience. The wisdom of our elders. Drink no wine before it’s time…all that claptrap. Well, you know what I mean.

After all, I saw the live lunar landing of Apollo 11 on TV. I watched the first I Love Lucy re-runs. I was amongst the privileged generation to see the original, virgin pilot series of Star Trek in the 1960s.

When I first got pregnant in my 40s, I figured I had more to offer my children from the Sage Wisdom stockpiles than my younger counterparts. I’d be the cool, hip, experienced older mom.

At the very least, that would be my consolation prize for enduring four teeth-gritting insulin injections a day for the entire third trimester (of both pregancies), compliments of a friendly visit from Gestational Diabetes. (Along with Nurse Frank using my posterior for his daily dartboard workout.)

But…I was wrong. Oh, so wrong. Our babies were born into the digital age for one thing. Three and six year olds these days are the forerunners of Generation Jump Drive.  And they are “running” and “jumping” alright.

Last year, just turned 6, my son drew and colored the Google logo and wrote about the internet for a 1st grade in- class assignment. It’s not that he’d produced a Michelangelo. Art is not his lead subject. It was that I didn’t realize it had imprinted on his brain after a few practice internet searches. It was sort of scary.

On the last week of the school year—still six—he stood up and performed a Power Point presentation to his 1st grade class, some visiting grade 8 students and the school principal.  (Of course, Frank—the Computer Geek Dad—might have had something to do with that.)

It was on dinosaurs. Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. Complete with a remote “clicker” and a Q&A session afterward.

At the same time, my three year old daughter  was able to start up her computer, click her way through the on-screen menus to start up her Hooked on Phonics reading program—all while completing the finishing touches on her potty training.

It doesn’t just make me feel long in the tooth. Given that I didn’t see my first calculator until Grade 11, I’m feeling more like I belong to the Saber Tooth Tiger period. (Late Pleistocene.)

Being a mom to kids from Generation Jump Drive is like having given birth to a couple of aliens from planets of superior technological advancement.

And yet, there are compensations…such as wallowing in the joy of knowing that, in a few brief years, they’ll be able to offer all of the tech support I need. Gratis.

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