The truth is, whoever you are, you have at least once felt the smugness that comes with teaching your parent how a particular bit of technology works. As for me, I remember the high-handedness with which I taught my father how to send smses, all the while teasing him for his telegrammic style of writing. His text messages were often too to-the-point and employed the kind of language that “i ws jst nt usd 2 at da tym”.
I realized I was growing older (and wiser) when the sms lingo began to look ridiculous and annoying. And my father’s knowledge of mobile phones and internet was suddenly at par with mine. Until one day, he asked me what WhatsApp was and from where he could get it. A little bit of smugness returned, but it was really short-lived because by the time my father asked me this question, I had a son determined to prove I was an ancient ignoramus.
Case in point: my nieces taught my three year old how to play Subway Surfers (is that what it’s called?) on their tab. My son asked me, almost accusingly, why I, or his dad, hadn’t bothered to install the game on our phones. Now, my excuse is that there’s something wrong with my app store, and even otherwise I rarely install games on my phone. That is not to say I am immune to their addictive charms. That’s part of the reason I don’t install them – prevention is better than Candy Crush Rehab. So, I slyly took the Mr.’s phone (he already has a lot of games on his phone, I am sure he wouldn’t mind!), went to the appstore, typed in “Subway”, and my very excited boy pointed to the first search result and told me that’s what he was talking about.
I had often seen some of my colleagues play it at work (yes, dear managers, sometimes people play games at office) but had always kept my eyes averted like a celibate priest staying away from, well, you know! Installing a game is a temptation that, like I said, I avoid as far as possible. But once installed, who was to stop me!
I made a deal with my son. I would let him play as soon as I was done with one game. Of course, I thought one game would last for a satisfactory amount of time, and I expected to hit a super high score by then. Little did I know, I was no longer the expert I thought I still was!
My son saw me hit a 2D train 3 seconds into the game, did the most perfect facepalm ever, and shouted, “That’s not how you play!” He snatched the phone from my hand, and then proceeded to show me exactly how it’s done. And he went on to play way longer than what I call a satisfactory amount of gaming time. Sure, I felt happy he was having fun, but for myself, I made a #SadPuppyFace.
I am not even 30 yet, but suddenly, I’ve turned into my dad.
When was the last time your little one gave you an ass-whooping to remember? Did he/she beat you at chess? Don’t be shy now, talk about it! Or talk about any of the million happy moments you’ve shared with your little buddy, at Kellogg’s Chocos ke saath Khuljaye Bachpan!