Taking Back My Phone


boy in superman shirt playing with cell phone

I’m not sure how it happened. Probably the side effect of being a third child, dragged to older siblings’ after school activities with nothing to do. Or, maybe it was eating at restaurants that beg for good behavior when the stars aligned for anything but. Or, the fact that his sister has an iTouch and his brother loves the computer and he was left with zero electronics of his very own. Or, that I just can’t resist those eyes.

Whatever the cause, we have a problem, and it’s gotten out of control: Evan seems to think my iPhone belongs to him…. and it doesn’t.

It’s not just the fact that I’ve never liked to share my toys… his use of my iPhone is coming between our relationship. My phone’s and my relationship, I mean. There was the time he used the phone as a flotation device for his preschool characters resulting in a $200 replacement. Or the time when he deleted a dozen e-mails in my inbox that I’m pretty sure I never retrieved and looked like an asshole never responding to. Or when he threw an epic temper tantrum because I dared use it to text back and forth with a friend in the middle of a hurricane. My phone is filled with more stupid kids’ apps than grown up ones and this time, I’m serious. I’m taking back my phone.

I’m not sure how I’m going to do this, exactly, and it’s not going to be pretty. I could go cold turkey and brace myself for days of tantrums until he gets over it, or I could gradually ween him off of his technology crack. I could try and be rational and explain to him why this has to be, or I could blame it on someone else (“The phone people made a new rule. They are for grown ups only now!”) Or, I could just delete all of the apps and play dumb. Maybe a combination of all of those..

Times are changing, Evan. I adore you, but the phone is my toy, dammit. And I’m done sharing. 

Just don’t look at me with those eyes.


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  1. Kiran@Masalachica says

    Delete all the games just in case he manages to sneak it out of your purse, password protect it and train him out of it.

    Listen, we had to do it with pacifiers. That sucked. And those eyes were even bigger then.

    Be strong girlfriend, you can do it.

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    • Lollie ~ The Fortuitous Housewife says

      Oh Jill, I feel your pain – this is why I call ‘em Kiddie iCrack.

      Ditto Kiran’s app deletion plan. I’ve done it on several occasions. No warning, no notification – watching their stunned faces when they first discovered the mysterious demise of their precious apps was priceless! Sure, the first time was a bitch, but now I have a great weapon when the little monsters piss me off, monopolize mommy’s iToys or do something particularly evil.

      In fact, it happened just last week after The Baron of Boredom absconded with my iPad, and while watching Ninjago videos and practicing his ninja moves knocked my iPad to the concrete basement floor, shattering the screen. Mama was pretty annoyed when she had to shell out $250 for a replacement! Bye-bye APPS!

      Good luck. Be strong. You deserve your toys!

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      • Sandy says

        You think that is bad, my 2 yr old is totally addicted to my ipad, except this will be the and LAST time that little devil will ever touch my ipad, see they last time she used it, she got pissed off at it, and head butted it so hard she cracked the screen. This isn’t the first time, this is the 3rd time I have had to replace the screen. I’m sick of this shit, this is my TOY not theirs, I want my ipad and my iphone back.

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  2. Traci says

    My friend implemented a “beans for screens” policy for her little guy that had the same issue. For good behavior, he earns “beans” (they used dried pinto beans) and they were put in a jar. Five beans = fifteen minutes of screen time. Seems to have worked!

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  3. kelleyellen says

    Probably a bad solution, but I recently got an upgrade and now my old phone is my toddler’s phone. Of course, she still wants my phone, because it’s mine.

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  4. Glory @ 3 Monkeys and a Martini says

    Oh the meltdowns! My son says at least a dozen times a day “ky use your sone for Lego Dino’ or something to that effect. And he gets pissed when I actually need it. Like to make a phone call. Sometimes it’s the only way to get the kid to shut up: here, angry birds, be gone with you.

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  5. Wendi Kilbride says

    I’m due for my iphone 5 upgrade in 46 days(not that I’m counting). When I get my new toy, my darling boy is getting my old 4 with the broke ass screen(he broke) It won’t have phone service but he’ll still have his stupid alphabet apps that he’s hooked to like crack. I’m OVER prying MY phone out of his sticky little hands so that I can answer a work email. DONE!

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    • Jenna Kinslow says

      Good luck. I too, thought this would be a perfect solution. My 2 year old has totally fucked my iPhone 4 up. I have to talk on speaker phone, the camaras broke, it never rings and only vibrates when I don’t care to talk to the person calling. I ordered my iPhone 5 two weeks ago. I’m still waiting on my salvation to come in the mail. I checked the website today and it says my precious phone is backordered. 14-21 more days, possibly more. 21 more days without a proper phone/fake texting machine. I’m not sure we can make it. I’m losing patience and I think the evil spawn is cutting another tooth…

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  6. SoberJulie says

    Oh I feel this pain and refuse to admit its been caused by my laziness! Right now I am two finger typing on my iPad because my computer has a virus and the children killed my back up!

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  7. Beverley says

    Even though you can’t see his eyes in this pic (just his lashes) you can tell he has “those eyes”. Stay strong. In the voice of Rob Schneider’s character in Waterboy “You can do iiiiit!!”

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  8. Jenea says

    Our solution is to buy my 8yo son an iPod. Not the right solution, I know. But everyone is happy and I get to delete Stick Stunt Biker, Fruit Ninja, 5 different Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Temple Run and Where’s My Perry. Although, a few of those may stay…..

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    • Sandy says

      OMG, I can’t stand stick stunt biker, fruit ninja is ok, but that biker one totally pisses me off, I make the kids either leave the room, or turn the volume all the way down.

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