Phones feature very heavily in our lives.
Our little man has had a fairly constant obsession with screens since he came to live with us some years back. Neither he, nor we, know why, although we have discussed the issue at some length.
He’s also an avid and discerning TV viewer, particularly if the show features any kind of family. The Simpsons, Modern Family, The Goldbergs and Shameless have all been consumed in their entirety.
‘I don’t know why I like phones so much. Maybe, before I can remember, it was all I had to play with. Or maybe, my Birth Mum was always on her phone and ignored me. We will never know. There’s no one to ask’. The Little Man’s theories were as good as anyone’s.
Derry Girls has also been a popular choice, and one I’d recommend. A group of girls, with a tag along Englishman, attempt to navigate life in the 90s. It is set in Derry, but you might have worked that out yourself. It’s a wonderful mix of hilarity and poignancy.
One of the girls also owns a Burger Phone (a cheeseburger phone if you want to be precise).
Research on Amazon, Ebay (other online shopping options are available) revealed that Burger Phones are still available and generally retail at £14.99 or thereabouts. The Little Man wanted one more than ‘anything in the world’.
This gave us two problems.
1. The desperate need for a Burger Phone began on a Sunday. Pocket Money day was not until Friday.
2. Pocket Money was £10. Maths told us that he would be £5 short.
It was a dilemma!
We came up with a solution and a strategy. It was crazy and it was wild and it had never ever worked before. We were going to experiment with Delayed Gratification.
If you’ve grown up with a degree of security, you can assume certain things.
Day will follow night. The weekend will come at the end of the week. Summer will follow winter. Your Mum or Dad, or at least someone you know, will be waiting to collect you from school. There will be milk in the fridge. There will be a fridge. There will be electricity which means the fridge will work.
For a kid whose formative years were spent with few if any certainties, waiting until Friday had always been beyond him. However, we thought we’d give it a go.
We drew up a contract promising the necessary additional funds (£5 if you’re struggling to work it out) to be paid on Friday (in 5 days time if you’re struggling to work it out).
1. Make your bed
2. Tidy your room
3. Get yourself ready for school
4. No, or at least minimal, use of the F-word, S-word and definitely no C-word.
We all signed and I have to admit, I didn’t think he’d manage it.
But he did.
His obligations and duties duly completed, the order was placed, and the phone arrived.
The excitement in setting it up was palatable.
We were excited too. The Little Man had shown he was able to delay his gratification. He was learning to trust that Amazon, and his family, would deliver.