What text message do you send or receive most?
For me, it’s probably something like, “Running late, be there soon! Sorry xx”. A quick glance through my messages and I see the same old things pop up again and again… I have a friend I text to rant about whatever is annoying me, a friend I am always trying to arrange a coffee with but it never seems to happen (I’m busy, she is busy, last minute disasters keep happening), my Mum who gets a running commentary of what the kids are doing (interspersed with pleas for her babysitting services), then there are the ongoing shopping lists and messages about where the remote control is and what time football practice starts to my husband (with the odd romantic message and more than one “sorry for being a bitch this morning xx”).
Anyway, it all got me thinking, my son loves to send his dad texts with little emoticons or “I luf u” messages, but what about the newest addition to the family? What would our babies text?
The Not-So-Subtle Cry for Help Text
Do you have a friend who sends texts after a bad day that are impossible not to reply to? “Hi. Just had the worst day of my life, but anyway, how are you?” then you get drawn into the minutiae of their lives and spend half the night trying to analyse their love life? Imagine if babies had yet another way to demand our attention… mine would text “Starving. H8 porridge. Weird tummy pain, wish someone would pick me up but doubt it :’( ”
The Rescue-Me Text
There are some texts you can’t ignore. Like the text from a friend on a date who needs you to urgently ring her and call her away to an emergency. Yeah, I thought this only happened on TV too – until I got a text asking me to do precisely this. I called to say I needed her to come help me choose some socks and then listened while she tried to make out like I was requesting her assistance in some matter of life and death. Texting could be the ideal way to reach out to lovely nannies and doting grandads… and confirm their suspicions that Mum and Dad are just not doing things the way she would… “Hi Nanny, it’s Nanny’s Special Little Man here… Have you seen Mum or Dad? They’ve left me to Cry It Out. It’s been a while…”
The Passive-Aggressive Text
When a text makes it much easier to NOT say what you mean, while at the same time letting the person know exactly how you feel… I have to admit, I do occasionally (or regularly) allow myself a passive aggressive text – even thought I know it’s the fastest way to prolong an argument and make yourself look like a huffy child. The best example of a passive aggressive text is when you type a big long message and you get one letter in response, “K”. Now, I know my baby. She is absolutely partial to a huff (no idea where she gets it from) and I can just picture the texts…
Me: – So sorry I had to take that remote control off you earlier. It’s just you were hitting yourself on the head with it and it was hurting. Also, you were changing channels and we were trying to watch the news. Mummy xx
Baby: – k
Me: – I will get you your own little toy remote control that will light up and play nursery rhymes and you can play with it all the time! Xx
Baby: – k
Me: – love you snuggles xxxxxxxx
Baby: – k
The Text Fail
My friend put a lot of energy into writing a text describing just how annoying her father-in-law is, describing what exactly he had said that day to drive her mad and how much she wished he would emigrate (taking his yappy dog and boring wife with him, if you want specifics). She was thinking so intently about her father-in-law’s particular flavour of crazy that she fired off the text to his number instead of to me, the friend who appreciates the witty texts and knows she doesn’t really mean it. It’s enough to bring me out in a cold sweat just thinking about it. This could be disastrous if our babies could text…
Me: – What a day! Why did we ever think we should have children? What made us think we were equipped for this? I’m pretty sure the Health visitor wrote our names on a list today. I’m running away.
Baby: – MUMMY?
Me: – Sorry chicken, wrong number
Baby: – k
Then there’s the autocorrect when your phone decides it knows what you want to say and you end up talking about how ship your day at work was. Or, like me, texting your husband to see how much money we have left and being completely baffled when he responds with “half a jar”.
Baby: – Oh Mummy, feel my happy!
Me: – Aw, I’m so glad you’re happy darling! xx
Baby: – *nappy
Me: – on my way L
The Excuse Text
It’s just so much easier to explain things (or make excuses) with a text message… especially when the recipient is likely to question your flimsy explanations. I am very guilty of this. Instead of just calling and saying Hi, look I’m sorry, I’m really bad at organising my life and I forgot about our coffee but if you give me an hour I will be there and buy lunch, I rush to get ready and before I even leave the house I text “be there in 10, running late, bloody traffic” and then arrive 20 minutes late and totally stressed. My baby couldn’t care less about making excuses for her behaviour but if she could… “Hey. Soz. Woke up early. Bloody birdsong, right? I know its 4.30 but any chance of a boob? Xx”
UPDATE – During the writing of this my 6-year-old has asked for a mobile phone. I couldn’t even present him with any of the many rational reasons I have for saying no, I just burst out laughing in his poor, hopeful face. He says he’s asking Santa for one. I told him to Go Ahead.