Monday, August 30, 2010

On Technology and Mortality, oh, and In-Laws

Yes, a scattering of totally unrelated subjects.  At least, I think they're unrelated.

I'll begin at the end of the list, which is to say that the in-laws are here, and so I can dedicate an uninterrupted slot of time to posting. Which hopefully means that I'll make a little more sense than normal.  So, while it's nice that they're here, and very timely too - since both Hubs and I have lots of work on this week - it's very difficult for me to relinquish The Frog to their care. It's not that I don't like them. It's not that I'm concerned about their ability to care for him.  I can't really say it's anything but sheer possessiveness on my part.  But the weird thing is, they are the only people I've felt this with.  I've not had any issue passing The Frog off to my parents, or in small doses, handing him over to relative strangers.  I was trying to work out why giving him over to the in-laws rubs me the wrong way.  I think it might be their own possessiveness of him.  For quite some time, the M-I-L has laid claim to The Frog as "her grandson" - even before he was evicted from his cosy vat.  So perhaps it's just that I feel like snatching him back and asserting that no, actually, he's my son!  Either way, Hubs had absolutely no issue with my family having as much Frog-time as they wanted, so it's very ungenerous of me to deny his parents their fair share.  So I won't.

I'll do mortality bit now, as I'd hate to end on a low note.  The interesting thing here, is that I thought somehow that having a baby would kind of buy me a sense of immortality (at least genetically).  I've cast my DNA forward another generation, hurrah!  Fact is, since having The Frog, I've become much more keenly aware of my own mortality.  I think that when you're childless, you're at the end of this long chain of ancestors.  YOU are the shining end result of all those couplings.  Once you have a child though, you just become another link in the chain, destined to fade into the branches of the family tree.  I do feel a lot more expendable now - I think my 'duty' is to take The Frog safely through to the point where he can be independent, and then my job as a human is done.  I do worry a bit that The Frog will get caught up in existential dilemmas and resent me for bringing him into this world - though I manage to have a few myself and so far haven't got around to blaming my parents for my existence (well, except for those teenage moments, but they don't count - if I had a penny for every time a teenager petulantly shouted "I wish I'd never been born!", I'd be VERY unpopular at the supermarket).

And technology?  Well, Hubs bought himself the latest Jobs gadget - the iPad. And yes, it's a sweet little toy. BUT it's also - interestingly - already a bit of a toy for The Frog.  One of the little apps we downloaded is simply flying coloured pixels which change their speed and direction and clustering behaviours when one or more fingers is placed on or stroked across the screen.  Since The Frog likes watching glowing lights, we set the pad up in front of him, while Hubs played with it.  He watched pretty serenely, and then we moved the pad right up close so he could touch it with his own hands.  I won't say that he totally got the connection - but he hyperventilated in an excited way, as he wiped his hands across the screen and made the little dots zoom about after them.   There's also a small drawing app that we have as well, so The Frog has been able to create his first sketch, without needing to go so far as to be able to grasp a pen.  Like his poetry, it's a little abstract for my tastes, but I'm sure it shows promise.   But, well .. It's things like this that do make me feel that I'm living in The Future.  Cryogenic stasis booths, ahoy!

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