Thursday, May 13, 2010

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

Ryan’s latest fascination is anything that has buttons. He’s always been intrigued by Daddy’s phone, but now he reaches for the TV remote, the cordless telephone, my computer mouse…anything with buttons that can be pushed, he loves.

Considering the generation he was born into, this fascination is a good thing. By the time he’s an adult, probably 95% of the objects he interacts with day to day will be controlled by buttons. Already televisions, radios, phones, computers, DVRs, microwave ovens, dishwashers, cash registers, and bank machines are controlled by buttons. I suspect that before long that list will grow to include showers, sinks, washing machines, airplanes, and cars. Gone from memory will be things like rotary phones, television knobs, and radio dials.

But Ryan will be prepared, because he’s already practicing! He particularly loves buttons that make noise or light up. I have to keep the TV remote out of his reach or he’ll change the channel or mute the sound. Before long I’m sure I’ll have to keep my phone out of his reach as well or he’ll accidentally call Japan. The next time I go toy shopping I’ll have to look for some toy remotes or phones to keep him occupied so he doesn’t get into too much trouble with the real thing. Fortunately, I know they make such things. Already the play kitchens have microwaves and cordless phones instead of conventional ovens and corded phones. The grocery store playset comes with a scanner instead of an “old-fashioned” cash register. And the dashboard of the miniature car features a GPS and digital readouts instead of a map pocket and meters with needles.

My child is only 6 months old and already I’m obsolete! I guess the upside is that twenty years from now I can call him at college (if I can figure out how to use my holographic videophone) and ask him to program my VCR – er, DVR – er, whatever crazy gadget it’ll be by then. But I’m sure that whatever it is, it’ll have buttons. And Ryan will know just how to use it – after all, he’ll have been practicing with buttons for twenty years by then.

Bookmark and Share