The Magic Spells Our Kids Cast On Us

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Everyone has always said that your child will just say things, random things, leaving you wondering how did they learn that? I remember when Najwa started saying “Get outta here,” mimicking what she hears but not really knowing what it means. She even had a bout with saying “sh!t” whenever she dropped something. But her latest caught me a bit off guard.

How many times have I heard that Najwa is going to have me wrapped around her little pinkie? Over and over and over when in the back of my mind, I think of the numerous of times Najwa didn’t get her way, partly because I’m pretty immune to her crying, her tears and her tantrums. And Najwa knows how to throw a tantrum.

Taking the advice of my co-worker Preeti, I downloaded an app called Kid Mode for my phone, to keep Najwa from making random calls, posting on my Facebook and texting gibberish to everyone in my phone book. Then I saw that you can download other apps, educational and designed for preschoolers, to preoccupy your little one without accessing the other functions of the phone.

Najwa is now addicted to this puzzle game. It helps with cognitive skills, matching shapes, learning colors, numbers, letters and other objects, being patient, everything that you don’t get from watching too much TV. The only downside is getting my phone back from Najwa sends her back into a crying, tearing up tantrum that won’t stop. Missed calls accumulate, text messages don’t get returned and the battery drains faster than I can keep it charged.

But when I’m in the kitchen cooking, I need peace of mind. Wanting to keep Najwa away from hot grease popping, I gave her my phone so she can play her puzzle games. There’s one puzzle of a fox that makes her LOL every time. It’s cute, but more importantly, it lets me know she’s still playing on the phone and not looking for trouble.

And then I heard a crash. At first I thought it was her head on the floor, but as I was walking to the living room, I heard her say, “oops.” Then I thought it was her food splattered all over the place, but that was the first thing I saw when I turned the corner. On the floor, though, was my phone, most of it in one place, yet the battery in another place and the back in a third place. And to think I just replaced it after shattering my screen not too long ago for smashing into the floor without a case.

But, I was almost done cooking and wanted to get my phone back. As long as she thinks the phone isn’t working anymore, she’ll let me have it back and all will be good. Right?

I did the sad voice, “uh-oh, it’s broken,” and she repeated after me, falling for the mind games, “daddy, it’s broken.” She looks at the pieces repeating that it’s broken. Convinced that she’s convinced, I’m biding my time until I get my phone back so I can secretly catch up on whatever while she finds something else to do since daddy’s phone is broken.

And then she looks up at me, pauses, has a very concerned look in her eyes, then says, “…but daddy, can you fix it?”

And abra cadabra!

As if under a magical spell, I say in my you-got-me-wrapped-around-your-little-pinkie voice, “yes honey, I can fix it…”

One day I’ll get the phone back.

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