Misadventures in Toddler Tech Use

Toddlers and iPads and showers, oh my!

One of the marvels about young toddlers is that they can’t speak intelligibly or recognize when they’re pooping on themselves, but they can operate an advanced piece of technology with more ease than most adults.

My son regularly purchases shows, installs apps, changes settings, and generally wreaks such havoc with our electronics that we’re considering going off the grid just to keep ourselves safe from him. I’ve seen him bypass the lock screen on my iPhone so many times, it has ceased to surprise me. A few days ago, my husband was shocked when his tablet started loudly narrating everything he was doing, thanks to some feature that Ben had thoughtfully activated while he was at work. I picked up the baby monitor yesterday to see a cheerful Spanish greeting staring back at me, and no, we aren’t bilingual, in case you were wondering. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out how to fix that one, considering the number of Spanish classes I took in school.

To make matters worse, we recently decided to repurpose my husband’s old iPad for him (for the purpose of entertaining him on a long flight and to further encourage his chaos-creating tech skills). Y’all, this thing is so old, we can’t even download Netflix because the software is too out of date. It can handle simple toddler-themed apps, however, so we downloaded some puzzles, flashcards, alphabet and animal games, etc. (you know, the kind where you don’t feel like you’re TOTALLY rotting your child’s tiny brain). I took off anything with financial info or purchasing ability then sorted all the non-baby stuff into its own separate folder. Finally, I turned on Airplane mode, because I basically treat him like a black hat hacker on probation; no internet access, no problem.

Except…

You can’t uninstall the camera. 

Usually, this isn’t an issue. Sure, there are tons of “selfies” of the top of his head and two second videos of him breathing heavily in the background while the camera waves wildly around, but pretty harmless stuff overall.

Until…

Mom has a lapse in judgment and lets the kid bring his iPad into the bathroom while she takes a shower.

I blame him. He’s going through a major language explosion, so each day brings a veritable bouquet of adorable new words, wrapped in a sweet toothy grin and presented to me with such charm that I just can’t resist him. And yesterday, his new word was “iPad.” Well, technically it was “pad pad” because he doubles up on all his words, which is just too frickin’ cute to stand. So, right before I headed upstairs to shower, he raised his chubby arms, smiled up at me, and said, “pad pad pease pease?” How could I say no?! (I also blame my mother for teaching him to say “please” and “thank you.” Toddlers with manners… I’m defenseless.)

I got him happily settled with his favorite puzzle game and all three of his loveys and stepped into the glass shower stall (this will be important in a minute) for some brief soapy solitude. A few minutes later, while lathering up with shampoo, I heard a familiar sound.

CLICK!

Hmm… familiar and suspicious…

CLICK CLICK CLICK!

Wait a minute… nooooo!!

I revolved slowly around, only to see my own horrified face staring up at me from the screen of the iPad, from the most unflattering angle known to man. My first thought, aside from the obvious “oh no no nonono!” was “of COURSE I just scrubbed the bathroom yesterday – my shower walls are never this clean and totally transparent!” It may be gross, but a layer of soap scum would’ve at least provided a modicum of modesty in this situation.

Hastily flattening myself against the back wall of the shower, I rushed to rinse off so that I could confiscate my tiny paparazzo’s handiwork. Luckily there was nothing too incriminating on the camera roll, but it was an uncomfortably close call. I’m considering going full Never Nude to avoid future incidences, since I clearly can’t control this tiny technological terror.

Basically, the moral of the story is that you should never scrub your shower doors. Or, if you insist on cleanliness, maybe just don’t let your toddler bring a camera in there. Your call!

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