Liberté, égalité, technologé. My daughter is now the smug owner of a shiny new iPhone 5. But, the road to her new mobile device was not smooth. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." And — at times — I wondered whether she had one mother or two. Apparently, I am a veritable Dr. Jekyll and Mama Hyde.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself (and alluding to too many classic novels).
A few months ago, my daughter started having issues with her iPhone 3G. First the home button started sticking. Then, the touchscreen stopped responding. She could still use the phone if she called herself from another number to unlock it. (Yeah, that was convenient ... not!) Finally, there was the calamitous incident at the stable involving slippery fingers and a bucket of water. Bottom line, even her awkward work-arounds stopped working.
She needed a new phone. Stat.
We did what any modern family would do in such dire circumstances. We made an appointment at the Apple Store Genius Bar. As we expected, the phone was toast. However, after more than two years with it, she qualified for an upgrade. She could fix the phone for $100, get a new 3G for $100 or upgrade to a 4S for $199. My mother, who was visiting, offered to purchase the better phone for my daughter's birthday. So, it seemed as if everything would be fine. N'est-ce pas?
Mais non! You see, rumor had it that Apple was getting ready to announce the release of the iPhone 5. So, I offered my daughter a difficult decision. She could get the 4S now or the 5 in about six weeks. She made a surprisingly mature choice: she would wait.
And this is where my split personality comes in:
Good Mom: On the fateful day decreed by the house that Jobs built, I got up at 5:00 am to pre-order her phone.
Bad Mom: Apparently 20 million people stayed up until 12:00 am the night before to pre-order theirs. The iPhone 5 was — gasp! — sold out! We would have to wait two whole weeks. Mon dieu!
Good Mom: I tracked the package from ZhengZhou, China to Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong, to Anchorage, Alaska, to Louisville, Kentucky, to Chelmsford, Manchester, Lynnfield and ...
Bad Mom: I went to yoga and, of course, the UPS guy showed up while I was out. Of course.
Good Mom: I went online to UPS.com and live chatted with some faceless person, begging for a solution that wouldn't mean waiting another day. They said I could pick it up at the UPS center several towns away at 9 pm.
Bad Mom: I thought, "No way." (Actually, I'm not only a bad mom; I'm a profane one. My word-for-word thought was, shall we say, a little more colorful.)
Good Mom: I pushed back. "Isn't the driver still in town? Can't he make another delivery? Can I meet him somewhere? Anywhere?" Success!
Bad Mom: My daughter raced home after school. "Is my phone here???" "No."
Good Mom: "BUT, we're meeting the UPS guy at 4:30 and you'll have it then!"
Bad Mom: Despite my daughter's incomparable iPhone IQ, she couldn't get the new phone to work. (How this is my fault is beyond me, but ...)
Good Mom: I went online and live chatted with AT&T.
Bad Mom: After about 30 minutes of diagnostics, it appeared that the phone was damaged in transit. (Again, and this is my fault how?)
Good Mom: It was 6:30, homework was done, my client calls had ended. "Get your shoes," I told my daughter, "We're going to the Apple Store."
Our experience was, as always, very positive. A wonderful genius named Max took care of us. When he determined that the Nano Sim card was damaged (yes, I actually know what that means now), he walked with us down to another part of the mall and the AT&T store. After a brief wait, the card was replaced and — VOILA! — my daughter was with phone once more.
And, the beauty of all of this was that she APPRECIATED me. She THANKED me. She SMILED at me. She even asked Siri "Who is the best mother in the world?"
Siri, in her typical humorless fashion, responded, "Would you like me to search the web for 'Who is the best mother in the world?'" Uh ... never mind.
We had a quick, late dinner at a Mexican place and called it a night.
So, you would think that yours truly, after my epic niceness, would still be in favor? Alas, mes amis, non.
Bad Mom: After allowing my daughter virtually unlimited time on her new phone, I finally insisted that she shower, read a little and go to bed. The drama was over. And what a roller coaster it had been. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."
She would rise to another melodramatic day of school, equipped — at last — with her revolutionary new phone. Vive la 5!