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Don’t buy it.
What Mom really wants? A smart phone.
Even if she doesn’t know that she wants one yet, she will as soon as she realizes just how useful and convenient that little electronic gadget can be.
Here are just 5 of the many reasons Mom needs a smart phone:
1. Soothe the savage beasts.
We’ve all found ourselves stuck waiting at the doctor’s office or a restaurant with kids in tow. Waiting with kids is bad enough, but being unprepared when waiting with kids is nearly unbearable. They become the equivalent of caged animals, that wild look in their eye as their voice raises several octaves and they desperately look for a way out. As the now-cliche goes — there’s an app for that. Frankly, any app will do in this situation, but especially helpful are ones like Balloonimals, where they can create balloon animals by actually blowing on the phone, SmackTalk, where they can choose the voice of a hamster, chihuahua or other animal to repeat what they say, only cuter, or Colorama, a coloring book that doesn’t require you to haul around a torn-up Spider-Man comic book or a baggie full of broken crayons in your purse. With a smart phone, Mom’s got the waiting wars covered.
2. Covert operations.
With a smart phone, Mom can keep tabs on her social middle schooler by logging on to his Facebook account, even when she’s on the go. Oh, he’s single again, huh? Interesting. And texting is, of course, a given when it comes to the kids. Mom is much more likely to carry on a conversation with her 13-year-old via texting than actually getting him to speak on the phone.
3. In case of emergency.
Sure, you don’t need a smart phone to call 911; any old cell phone will do. But can a cell phone give you directions to your cousin’s birthday party, tell you where the nearest gas station is, or show you how to get to the nearest emergency room when you’re on vacation and you’ve dragged your son through IKEA even though he was having an allergic reaction to something until finally he tells you that his throat is feeling itchy and you decide that maybe you should seek medical attention instead of browsing the kitchen utensils. (And no, that’s never happened to me. In case you’re wondering.) Give Mom a cell phone, and you give her access to a whole world of information, no matter the emergency or her location.
4. So she doesn’t miss her “stories.”
Back in the day, moms couldn’t miss their soap operas, or their “stories,” as some liked to call them. Today, it’s likely Glee or Modern Family that Mom can’t miss. Or, if you’re this mom, 30 Rock. Say Mom is sitting in the bleachers at a wrestling meet and realizes she forgot to set the DVR for her favorite show. If she’s got DirecTV, she can use her smart phone to program her DVR to record it, and she can still get her Liz Lemon fix. (Or she can use her smart phone to watch uploaded episodes of her show right there in the wrestling stands. Don’t worry, she won’t miss your match. Moms were born to multi-task.)
5. For her sanity.
The old saying was, “Calgon, take me away!” I can’t tell you the last time I soaked in a bubble bath, though, and I’m pretty sure most other moms are in the same boat. Heck, I’m lucky if I can sneak in a 5-minute shower where there’s still some hot water and someone’s actually left me a pea-sized squirt of shampoo. Nowadays, moms have to resort to other ways to unwind and relax, and smart phones can do the trick. Games, puzzles, you name it — someone has created the app. Mindless entertainment is merely a touch away. Instead of relying on Calgon, Mom can now say, “Angry Birds, take me away!” or in my case, “Whirly Word, take me away!” It’s what I do while I’m waiting for the kids to hop in the van after school and break my golden silence, and what I do to fall asleep at night. C’mon, don’t you owe Mom a little sanity?
There are many, many other reasons Mom needs a smart phone this Christmas, including the ability to access her online calendar while she rushes here and there, and the convenience of a camera so she can snap and text a photo of her little boy’s first lost tooth to his dad when he’s away for work. In this fast-paced, high-tech world we live in, Mom needs to be able to keep up. ‘Cause we all know if she can’t keep up, the whole family goes down. So think of it not only as a gift to Mom, but a gift to yourself and the rest of your clan as well. (Just don’t take it without asking, okay?)