One evening I caught Sid maneuvering his way about a sheet of newspaper that had flown out of its place onto the floor. He went about his task and on his way back, he jumped over the newspaper, high-fiving into the air before threading his way back to his room.
Little Princess who assumed it was a new game got busy jumping on either side of the fallen newspaper.
“Will it be too much of an effort to just put that paper back into its place?” I asked my son.
His eyes rounded in shock, making me wonder if I had asked him about putting the moon back into its place in the infinite sky.
As I continued my rant, the instant shock was quickly replaced with the usual glazed look – one that made me wish that I had a piece of technology that could decipher his thoughts at that precise moment.
“Your little sister learns from you, so you need to set a good example,” I continued.
But as my mind buckled under the strain of toggling between giving him a healthy dose of motherly advice while wondering what was going on inside his, I said the inevitable,
“Look at me. Do I ask you do anything that I do not practice myself?”
I got no answer – just that glazed, distant look.
“Have you heard about the Blue Whale game?” I asked him later in the day, gingerly peeking into the screen of the tablet that had his attention for a little more than five minutes.
“Hmm,” he said without taking his eyes off the screen.
I settled myself on the table munching on a crispy pancake, seating myself where I could get a view of his screen while pretending to browse through my phone.
“Heard of that 18-year-old Pakistani boy who made this anti-Blue Whale App? You must get that app. It tells you to do positive things like helping your parents with a chore or waking up at 6 a.m.”
He looked up. That glazed, forlorn look in his eyes.
Is there an app to track his thoughts?
“You know tasks that we did out of sheer responsibility during our times and those that require an application for your generation,” I ranted on for effect.
“Ma, did you not tell us that it is unhealthy to fidget with the phone while eating?” he questioned in all innocence.
I gently pushed the phone aside, my focus instantly zeroed onto the pancake before me.
Is ‘practice what you preach’ one of the positive tasks listed by the young man?
Then I would need the Anti-Blue Whale app!