Thursday, August 18, 2016

FaceTime: The next best thing to being there

One of the saving graces of having my son and his family 1,100 miles away in Wisconsin is that we both have FaceTime. By simply dialing one another’s number on our smart phones, we turn on the cameras and I can see my two-and-a-half year-old granddaughter and my 8-month-old grandson. My grandson is at the age and of the disposition that he smiles and chortles at anyone who smiles at him. I still like to think that his toothless grin is the result of seeing his Grandma on a two-by-three-and-a-half-inch screen, smiling like a maniac and cooing at him.

My granddaughter, on the other hand, is harder to impress. The first few times she FaceTimed with us she was eager to take the phone and parade around the apartment, showing us her room (mostly the ceiling), the bathroom (again the ceiling) and when instructed to ‘let Grandma and Grandpa see you,’ we proceeded to try to interpret most of what she was saying while looking at just her eyebrows.

We’ve been at this for several months now, and despite the fact that my granddaughter has almost completely lost interest in our nightly calls (even the night I decided to liven things up by using a little hand puppet to ‘talk’ with us – she looked at me like I’d lost my mind), my son still dutifully calls every other night or so to check in and so we can ‘see’ the kids. Or at least the ceiling.

Yesterday was a long, exhausting day and when he phoned at 8:30, I was in the middle of brushing my teeth, having already put my pajamas on. I answered the phone and propped it on the bathroom counter and proceeded with my nightly rituals.

“What are you doing?”

“Bwushin’my teef.”

“It’s so early.”

“It’s been a wong day.”

 As I rinsed and spit, I saw my granddaughter’s eyebrows at the bottom of the screen.

My son and I chatted as I proceeded to get out my face wipes and take off my makeup. By this time, my granddaughter was full screen.

“What’s she doing?” she asked my son.

“Grandma’s washing her face.”

I finished my face washing and might have plucked an eyebrow or two. Then I picked up the phone and carried it to bed, where I proceeded to get under the covers. As my son continued talking, my granddaughter’s face appeared on one side of the screen and then the other.

This I saw through half-closed eyelids, until my son finally said, “Well. We’re going to let you go.”


 “Say ‘goodnight’ to Grandma.”

 “G’night . . . . .?”



Dewena said...

Terrific, Karen! I laughed all through this. could just picture it and your granddaughter's curiosity. It is a miraculous invention. I have an android and don't know whether it has that capability but my son uses his phone to call my laptop and so I do get to see my little granddaughters on a larger screen. And they too love to run through the house, sometimes the phone (and thereby their Mimi) chasing them. They'll be visiting us in October but until then, thank God for FaceTime!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love Facetime and Skype (especially since I live in Europe now while my family still lives in Kentucky). A wonderful invention indeed :)

Patti Gardner said...

Ah, that is so sweet. Even if your granddaughter isn't overly interested in the conversation, she is seeing your face on a regular basis, so when you do see her, you won't be a stranger to her.

My sister-in-law lives in Florida, and her grandsons (3 and newborn) live in Kentucky. She relies on Facetime during those times she can't be there visiting. It has kept them close.

As you said, it's the next best thing to being there.

Is your son's time in Wisconsin temporary? Do they have plans to move back to Colorado?

Have a beautiful day,

Keira said...

Indeed these two things make us feel closer to families left in other states. Truly a wonder of the Internet.