Scenes with McMonkey

"Joe has to be fixed," my son said about his friend. I thought, "Already? He's only five--shouldn't that wait until he's a teenager?"

And then I realized that he was saying Joe was broken, not ready to be neutered.


We were telling the story of his first words the other day, including "st-ck" which represented both "star" and "stick," and "no-no" for moon. Mysteriously, our names were "Arf" and "Imama," (etymology of words found here, in this ridiculous essay) and he quite understandably laughed and laughed. "Arf? hahahaha! Imama?!!"

"Yeah, well, you were 'Muck,' so don't laugh too hard!"

He went back to perusing car websites. "Imama, brought to you by apple," he said, as if he were commercial voice-over talent.

We were stumped. "Huh?" we asked him.

He looked at us like we were crazy. "iMama, brought to you by Apple," he reiterated.

Of course. iPhone, iMac, iBook, iMama; it was sophisticated enough that it flew right over my husband and my small little heads.

This is the same five-year-old who designed his own logo in preschool.


My husband bought me a new docking system for my iPhone last winter when I was starting to work in the basement a lot and was listening to music from its tinny little speaker.

After it arrived in the mail, my son pointed to the unused docking system in the living room and said, "Why didn't she just take this one?"

Good question, son. Good question.


My husband and I are savvy on computers. Successful and clever. Bright and resourceful. We're professionals, dammit!

My son took my iPhone from me soon after I got it and handed it back to me a couple minutes later. It was frozen, completely jammed, and I couldn't do anything with it.

"What the heck happened?" I asked.

"What do you mean?" he returned.

"It's not working at all," I said.

"Yeah it is," he said confidently.

"Um," smart aleck Mom said, "no it isn't."

He took it from me and began scrolling through desktop pictures he had taken of my home screen, the exact replica of my actual phone. I was trying to dial out on a photograph. It was an amazingly clever gag.

"Jesus," my husband said, "I'm doing that to everyone's phone!"

And he did too.