A Daughter’s Wrath

Ride the Lightning

David Lee Roth is singing Hot For Teacher and I am grinning, silently remembering when I too told a teacher “I don’t feel tardy.”

Headphones on, fingers at the keyboard I am locked in on a major project for work and am about to find the perfect phrase for the newsletter I am working on.

That sucker has been just outside my reach all afternoon but not for much longer, I can feel my fingers tightening around him and then there is a very angry 9.5 year old demanding my attention.

What Happened

“Daddy, it is not fair and I am beyond angry.”

I think I know what this is about but am not certain so I ask for clarification and find out that I was right.

“Why does he get an iPhone.”

It is not a question but a statement. She is furious because she thinks she has been snubbed. I make a point to let her vent and then remind her that her older brother is…older.

Every day he walks from the schoolyard to his mother’s office a quarter mile away. He goes to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and other places where he is dropped off and we need access.

We need to be able to reach him so we know when to pick him up. And he needs to be able to reach us so that we can get him when needed.

She isn’t satisfied with my answer and starts to tell me about how some of her friends have iPhones and how other 9.5 year-olds and even a 7 year-old do too.

“It doesn’t matter what others do because I am not their father. I don’t care what they have or don’t have. I am responsible for you and that is the only thing that comes into play here. You don’t need a phone yet.

When Should Children Get A Cellphone

It is not a question or a statement. I guarantee I don’t agree with how many parents raise their children and I am sure that plenty feel that way about me.

What others do is their business and as long as they aren’t hurting their kids I don’t say boo.

Part of me feels badly. I understand her frustration and I wish I could do more about it but I don’t see a need for her to have a phone and I won’t spend money on it right now.

My children have heard me say many times it is a mistake to focus on what we don’t have. I can give them a long list of things I need that I don’t have now.

Life isn’t fair now and it wasn’t yesterday either. Not likely to be fair in the future. Some people will always have more than us and I am ok with that.

Part of my job is helping them learn how to be ok with it too.

But Daddy

She tries to press me one more time and I respond with You Rush a Miracle Man, You Get Rotten Miracles. She shrugs her shoulder at me and says it was worth a try and I smile.

As she leaves I turn back to the computer to insert that clever phrase I had come up with and realize I can’t remember what it was.


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  1. Betsy Cross December 19, 2013 at 4:29 am

    I never buy my kids phones or electronics. There’s no need. Their friends, however, do pass their used ones down to them and their parents don’t care. They just keep upgrading! Nutty world we live in.

  2. Larry December 18, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    We’ve had the cell phone debate with our 9 year old also. He is the oldest and the boy and is not truly interested except for the fact that others do. However, he does love his electronics and was thrilled when he got a Kindle Fire.
    Anyway, parenting is hard enough even when you are not compared to others.

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