A quick jaunt down any aisle in Babies R Us will show you that there are countless inventions meant to make parents’ lives easier. From fancy video monitors to Bluetooth pacifiers, parents today have a lot of options on how to streamline this whole keeping-kids-alive business, but to me, the best invention of all isn’t something you’ll find on sale at any baby outlet. Here’s why the humble text message is the technology parents should appreciate most.
1. Avoiding stereotyped parent phone conversations
If you are a parent, you have likely either gotten or left a voicemail like this. “Hey honey, it’s me–I just need you to BWAHHHH BWAHHHHH BWAHHHHH on the way home, and if you don’t have time to WOOF WOOF AWOOOOOO either just let me know by BWAHHHHH o’clock. Love you, bye!” There are no screaming children or over-excited pets howling in the background of texts.
2. Written reminders of chores
“Oh, I forgot to stop by the drugstore on the way home – we talked about it this morning and that was so long ago!” Well, now you have an electronic honey-do list in your pocket, so no more excuses.
3. Convenient toddler terror level alert system
Use your cell phone to snap a quick photo of the havoc your children have wreaked on your home, and text it to your spouse before he or she gets home to provide an easy visual assessment of exactly how real shit is about to get.
4. Instant on-demand communication
You might need your spouse to talk you down from ditching your kids at home and driving off to the Grand Canyon to escape, and if he or she can’t step out of a work meeting to talk you off that ledge, a little under-the-table texting should fit the bill nicely.
5. Excuse-free grocery shopping
Whichever parent gets stuck with picking up groceries has no reasonable excuse to not remember the only brand of breakfast cereal your child will touch, because the correct answer is just a text away.
6. Convenient cover for being anti-social
Got a friend or relative who doesn’t take your failure to answer the phone as a reason to stop calling? “Sorry, I can’t talk now, the baby’s crying” works much better typed out compared to spoken aloud over a background of totally scream-free silence.
7. Avoid speaking in codes for a little longer
At least until your kid can read, you can text to your spouse about picking up P-I-Z-Z-A for dinner or a trip to the doctor for a S-H-O-T. It’s a lot easier than trying to communicate in Pig Latin, learning Morse Code, or remembering how to spell “pediatrician” on the fly.
8. Hiding from your children
Talking on the phone is noisy and can direct a curious
velociraptor child to your position very quickly. Disable the keyboard noises and message alerts, and texting becomes a much more subtle method. Bonus: texting on the toilet is way less weird than taking a phone call on the toilet.
(Feature image: Jupiterimages / Getty)