26 thoughts on “wordless wednesday

  1. I am drawn into this family portrait and the tossled head of that precious little one, perhaps staring at the reflection of her surroundings in those tall, glittering glasses. Love the story here, Carin.

    1. I love YOUR story, Cheryl. Would that the child was having her imagination fired by either her parents or the seemingly boring activity of finding her own joy. I’m afraid that, instead, she’s been given a video to watch for the duration of a restaurant lunch.

    1. Angle is explained by the fact that I’m in spy mode here. Not overly impressed with the child being given a screen to look at. But then maybe I’m just old and crochety. (;

  2. Sadly you’ve captured a very real moment of family life today. I wouldn’t feel comfortable judging the actual people in this photo based on a still image, but nonetheless it speaks volumes of what’s happening (or not!) between parents and kids in the age of the internet. We can all escape into our separate worlds while sitting within inches of each other. This is one of those easy fixes that gets you through a dinner out, but actually poses daunting problems in the long run.

    1. Thank you, Kristen. I think you’re right. Family life today. And not judging. But this is what worries me… that the wave of this becomes acceptable simply because it’s a wave. I’d like to see it become more ‘unacceptable’, detestable even, and other options employed… Easy to say when I don’t have a two year old, I know. (;

  3. I think because my husband and I are parents of kids who were this age not long ago, I saw right away what you were focusing on, Carin, and I had the same reaction. As Kristen says, it’s best not to judge when we don’t know the circumstances, but so many parents take the easy way out, using technology to keep children quiet. I remember years ago my husband and sons going on a neighbourhood “Fathers and Sons” camping trip and coming home despondent because when they sat around the campfire at night, the kids were all playing GameBoys (my boys didn’t have them so were sitting there miserably while others played). An older woman I know recently went out to a multigeneration family celebration at a restaurant. She was the only one of 12 who didn’t sit down, take out a cell phone, check it, then set it prominently beside their plate. One wonders what good can come of this … I think I’m getting old and crotchety too. ;)

    1. Someone suggested it might be an autistic child for whom there’s little choice in terms of ‘quieting’ the moment. In which case technology comes through as a godsend. Which falls under the heading of “Best Not to Judge” and so I, reluctantly, try not to. (Because that really does put a different cast on things.) But, outside of that possible scenario, I’m still reluctantly supportive of this only because there’s SO MUCH of it… if not blatantly at a table in a restaurant, then the screen in a mini van or the iPod a five year old gets for their birthday because THEY REALLY WANTED ONE.

      I love that you raised your kids to be the (so-called) nerds at the bonfire. Long live nerds. They’re likely so much better for it! (:

  4. I agree with all the comments above but, like other commenters, also wonder about the circumstances. I’m remembering how, as a single parent of a set of wild young twins and living in a small highrise apartment, I wouldn’t have TV. The year they were nine several crises and losses (death of loved ones, a major breakup, no money) all hit us at once and I was having trouble coping. A good friend said to me, “Elizabeth, give yourself a break. Get a TV.” The TV was not for me but for the children, and it helped us get through a very rough period. Great photo anyway, very provocative and conversation generating.

    1. This is what I wanted. To hear the side from those who understand how this ‘situation’ might happen. We all agree on the worst case scenario, but I’m curious as to the ‘why’ for the better case scenarios. Having said that, is it possible that worse and worse solutions are being found for the same old problems? As opposed to better solutions?

        1. “Screens everywhere because it works” is a different scenario from the one I was describing. I do find it worrying, and feel sorry that many children don’t spend as much time outdoors and running free as kids used to.

          1. Someone suggested the child may be autistic and this is the only way to calm her. If that’s the case, then score a point for technology. Absolutely. But if it’s just ‘easier’ so mum and dad can ignore her, then it’s something else again…

        2. Also, by the way, I think there is a book called Bringing Up Bébé about how the French bring their children up so much better than North Americans do, and are able to take them to dinner parties and fancy restaurants and expect them to behave well and eat what they’re given, etc. As you know, a few weeks ago I was in Paris and I did indeed see small children in restaurants at all hours but several of them were yelling (none had screens though as far as I could see).

          1. I think it’s true that European kids (not just the French) have a wider exposure to real food and eating out and in multi-generational groups, etc. But I think it’s also true of the children of immigrants in this country. I remember hearing about that book when it came out and thinking that while the theory isn’t limited to the French, it’s the easiest of the ‘foreign’ cultures to ‘sell’… n’est pas? (;

  5. I’ve enlarged and enlarged this and still can not figure what that fellow has in his hand: clearly the focus of the shot! Like a large double-baugled “engagement bracelet”. ????? No, surely it’s a gift for the little boy; something about the expectant up-lift of his hair. What a great picture, so many details, so many clues, such lively colour … and such a mystery!

  6. Oh golly — ever the optimist (me!) I see I completely mis-read the story (now that I’ve read the comments). Ah well. I still like to think it’s a birthday and the child is going to receive something magical. I’ll stick to that.

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