As I push the buggy towards the park, there is something nagging at me; a little itch I need to scratch. I put my hand into my bag, and then take it out again as I remember that what I am looking for is not there.

I have never been addicted to class A drugs, but I think I may be getting some insight into cold turkey. I feel edgy, wrong… my mind won’t settle. As we near the playground, I talk myself sternly out of giving up and going home for a fix.

I am trying to kick my mobile phone habit. I’ve not only switched it off, but actually left it at home in a drawer, while Moe and I are out for our morning walk. I have set myself this little challenge following a terrifying conversation with Curly’s sister, who has three teenagers. In a desperate attempt to get their family to spend some time actually relating to one another she has resorted to unplugging the router and hiding it under the stairs. “But they get onto the net on their phones anyway. It’s a nightmare.”

So I’ve seen the future, and it ain’t pretty. If I am to have a leg to stand on when my kids are older and determined to squander their lives on Twitter or Xbox or whatever other intrusive brain-rotting rubbish they have invented by then I must Set An Example. And that means putting my phone away. Moe is already obsessed with it. If I leave my bag unguarded he immediately filches it, and if I take it away he screams as if I’ve slapped him. Not a good sign.

I didn’t even want a smartphone. I asked T-Mobile for an old Nokia but it was actually cheaper to get a more expensive phone. That’s how they get you. Just like drug dealers, giving away enough hits to get you hooked. It arrived in a little black box, like a coffin in which to bury my peace of mind.

Phew, I need to calm down. Perhaps a coffee will do it. I clatter the buggy into the café, order an espresso, and get out Moe’s bottle. He smiles up and me with such insane cuteness that just for a second, I forget to wonder whether I have missed an important call or a message suggesting something much more fun that I could be doing right now.

To spend lots of time with a baby you have to accept a certain lack of witty repartee. They are not going to deliver a devastating analysis of global capitalism, point you towards an interesting editorial in the New York Times, give you a promotion, or, sadly, a pay rise. They are pretty much going to want to do the same simple things again and again. To enjoy it, you either have to become very calm and Zen, or you have to constantly distract yourself on your phone.

Ah. The coffee crackles through my synapses. I’m firing on all cylinders now. I’m going to take Moe out to the playground and play with him like he’s never been played with before. I pick him up and take him out to the sand pit. I build a sand castle. He knocks it down. I build another one. He knocks it down again.

There, you see? Just call me supermum.

Posted
AuthorAlice O'Keeffe