In “Pirates of the Caribbean,” during a sword fight, Johnny Depp’s opponent says, “You cheated!” Johnny, as Captain Jack Sparrow, responds with “Pirate!” in a masterful “what do you expect” tone of voice. It’s hilarious.
Children often have the same sensibilities about their parents and their methods of conveying such expectations can be just as funny, even without professional comedy writers.
I make reference to an incident this week in the Malgeri home. Like many families, we have our share of web-enabled devices, the count doubling when our kids both hauled in iPhones and laptops for Christmas. While children are excellent at mastering the intricacies of Mindcraft and creating Oscar worthy videos from a free iPhone app, their system administration skills leave much to be desired. As a result I quite often here the words, “Dad! My computer won’t connect to Facebook!”
In our son’s case, I can’t help thinking he’s been banned for his obnoxious posts, but then find myself pleading guilty for the same offense.
On this particular day there was a plethora of technical issues to deal with in the family “data center,” ranging from poor network connectivity to finding a lost device with the “find my phone app.” I needed a “find my sanity” app to keep our kids online, lest our daughter lose a vital text message. Thankfully, I have an ally who’s always got my back and when our daughter cried out, “Dad! Can you get my Skype working,” my wife intervened on my behalf.
“Dom, give Dad a break. He’s been running around the house all day fixing your guys’ problems. He’s not the house IT administrator you know.”
My daughter’s face was perplexed. Gestures, smirks and contorted expressions of expectations clearly communicated the words, “Duh! He’s the Dad,” without one sound uttered. It was a Captain Jack moment.
Of course along with full disclosure of expectations, if a parent sticks around long enough, he’ll sometimes learn what his kids REALLY think.
“I just need him to install Skype. And what’s the big deal?” Now here’s the clincher… “It gives him something to do.”
Yes, it certainly does.