“Mummy, does Santa buy on Amazon?”
“Does Santa buy on Amazon?”
I freeze, panic starts to roll in. I stick my head out of the bathroom where I am brushing my teeth. It is 7:15am and my 8 year old is sitting in his school uniform on my bed, flicking through my phone. – Goddammit- , I think – when did technology start ruining the little privacy that I have left?
I mean, it is bad enough that at (almost) 40 one cannot even go to the loo undisturbed anymore. As soon as I sit down, somebody in my 4 pax household will start shouting my name demanding something, it is mathematically proven. What´s worse, is that my phone literally tracks every single movement I do, physically and online, and my young offspring has the ability to hack into it and snoop around. It does not matter if I change my passwords, they will figure the ones ones out in nanoseconds.
“Get off my phone!”, I shout back, amongst spits of toothpaste, “You know that I don´t like you fiddling with it” and, nonchalantly, trying to make it sound casually, “..why do you ask?”
“Oh because the Nintendo Switch, you know, the one I want for Christmas, is in your Amazon wish-list.” He points at my screen: “Does Santa look at your wish-list, too?”
Cold sweat is starting to form on my forehead. Has he gone into my Amazon account? Have Amazon send me an email reminder, which has popped on-screen, while my child was watching YouTube? Who knows.
I am furious. I don´t want to forbid my children access to my devices. It is a two-way road, right? If I am open-minded and non-secretive about what is on my phone now, they may be so in the future, too, as and when they have their own screens and accounts. Or at least that is what I hope. But equally, I always feel everything is too exposed there.
It has been hard enough to keep the Santa story going this year anyway. My little one had serious doubts a few weeks ago as to the veracity of the whole thing. He said: “Mummy. I don’t think Santa brings the presents, I think it is you.”
So after a long conversation about his faith, I concluded: “Look, do you REALLY think mummy would buy you yet another console, so you can keep on turning into a zombie in front of video games?”
“Well, then you´d better ask Santa for that Switch thing, ´cos I surely ain´t gonna get it for you.”
That did the trick; he was writing the letter that same evening.
And now, as he is looking at me with the same confused expression, I frantically think of lying my way out of it, again. I won´t let Apple ruin our possibly last “believing Christmas”!
“Ehhhm, well… you know… the truth is…”, I try.
the sledge thing and all that, was probably good enough when I was a little girl, but these days, Santa has plenty more convenient options to handle his logistics…
“The truth is: I don´t know, honey. I really don´t know how he manages to get hold of millions of presents and deliver them in one night. What I do know, is that he probably gets help. Lots. And frankly, the sledge thing and all that, was probably good enough when I was a little girl, but these days, Santa has plenty more convenient options to handle his logistics…”
“Ahhhh… right,” he says slowly “You mean like drones and stuff?”
“Yeah, exactly, like drones and online shopping and that kind of stuff. So I thought it may give him a hint if I marked the Nintendo Switch on my wish-list. You know… just in case he has a look around.”
“But he is still getting my letter, right?”
“Yes, sure, of course. I mean, that is the MOST important thing.”
“Alright,” he says suddenly jumping up and running out the door. “I am going for breakfast. I´m hungry.” Subject closed. Sometimes the attention spam of a child is a blessing!
I sit on my bed and sigh. I am not sure if he buys these things any more. If he does, he certainly manages to make me believe that he still believes. And that is nice.