The New Normal

[sigh] "My computer died. Babe, can you grab my plug for me?" // "Oops, my phone died! Let me charge it."

These are the kinds of things we say all day long, right? (Or am I the only one who forgets to charge her devices until the tiniest sliver of red? To be fair, I'm also the girl riding on E, down to the last fumes.)

But then one day, 2-year-old Noah threw his hands up in the air and said, "Oops! Dead!" while looking up from a black screen. And it hit me — this is the only context he knows the word "dead."

He knows that if something dies, he just has to plug it in. Easy peasy. How will that translate when someone dies? Death is so permanent and irreversible — not at all the definition that he's learned.

***

It's small moments like that when I realize just how different our kids' world is. The terminology, the technology, the every-day experiences. The difference between us and them is that for them? This is the only reality they've ever known. Everything in their life right now is the only "normal" they know.

Comparing my childhood to his, there are some glaring differences. For instance:

1. HD and 3D Screens

What's it like to enter a world where TV and movies are crisper and more beautiful than nature?

2. Public Documentation from Birth

Baby photos flood Facebook, baby blogs clog the Internet, and births are live-tweeted. What will that experience be like for The Blogged About Babies? To have your earliest moments — your most mundane moments — not only documented but publicized on social media/blogs.

3. Food Allergies

The list of concerns that kids and parents now have is forever growing. I think everyone knows at least one child who is on a specialized diet — be it gluten-free or peanut-free or dairy-free. The CDC recently reported that there's been a 50% increase in food allergies since the late '90s.

4. Parental Distractions

Remember when you were little? And your mom was on the phone or talking to a friend and you needed her attention RIGHT NOW PLEASE LISTEN PLEASE LISTEN MOOOOOOMMMM!!! Being ignored is epically frustrating as a kid, and I can only imagine it's 100x worse now that parents are regularly lost in emails and Instagram filters, or whatever is shiny and interesting on their smartphones.

5. Outdated Terminology

Besides the new terms that my son has adopted into his budding vocabulary — like "Netflix" and "app" — there are certain things my son will never do. He'll never walk into a Blockbuster. He'll probably never learn cursive. And he'll never label Pluto as a planet.

See 15 more differences over at Babble.com!

 

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