(Just warning you ahead of time. If you are brave enough and are willing to take a hit to your parenting skills…read on.)
We were attending the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby for the first time. My boys were excited. We had worked 4 long weeks getting their cars ready. The excitement in the air was electric.
At least I thought the hum I heard was excitement. But it wasn’t. It was from this:
And from this:
And from this:
Oh, sure. There was a little bit of this:
But it was mostly this:
For the record, I am not a Luddite. I’m not as up to date on the latest technology as I was when I was teaching, but I am not afraid of techie things. We have our televisions, our DVRs. I have an iPod and my (new!) laptop computer. (The boys play on our old dinosaur. As it should be.)
But I believe there is a time and a place for everything.
Now, I admit. Way back when. When cell phones were first in vogue, I would cringe when I’d hear one ring in public. I’d glare at the offending chatter. Now? I’m used to it. In fact, I’m known to chat with my daughter while perusing the grocery aisles.
But I never talk on the phone while I am: in a restaurant, in the grocery line, or in a doctor’s waiting room. If I need to make a call, I step outside. Period. End of story.
Oh sure, I’ve been known to entertain myself with Angry Birds while waiting for a doctor’s appointment (sound off, of course). Or play solitaire on a long car ride. (Not while driving, of course.)
So, I will say it again. There is a time and a place for everything.
The kids were the worst offenders. Parents using these handheld babysitters to keep their kids quiet so they could visit with other parents. Or so they could just sit there and stare into space uninterrupted. But some of the parents had their own manners to check. I witnessed one parent, sit in the back of the room, messing around on his iPhone while his kids ran back and forth to tell him how they placed. Pathetic.
At an event. A family event. When kids are supposed to be cheering for each other. Scoping out the cars and getting ideas for next year. Or, what a novel idea, how about watch your own car at its appointed race time?
I only have one thing to say.
Put those damn electronic devices AWAY!
(Oh. And how do I know I’m offending about half of you? Because that’s how many kids were playing on their iPods and Nintendos during the races. Fifty percent. Twenty five kids were watching the races and cheering each other on. And twenty-five kids were huddled over screens.
Not siblings. Other scouts.
I was appalled. Can you tell?
I feel so much better now. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.)