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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sorry so long gone...

Oh my goodness, I had no idea it had been so long since I last posted!!! I seriously do not know where the time goes.

OK, I do know where the time goes. I'm way too busy. I'm so busy right now that when it's time to go to sleep, I can't actually sleep because I'm thinking of all of the things I *should* be doing!

One of the things on my to-do list (and trust me, I'm making a new list each and every day) involves my daughter's upcoming 8th birthday.

I'm trying to be super-organized this year, so I don't freak out when it gets closer. Another way I'm keeping it calmer this year is by inviting fewer children.

This is a near impossible task, as when I told her she could invite 7 friends, she immediately listed 20. I don't want anyone to feel slighted, but my house just CANNOT hold more than that. I'm not even sure it can hold that many!

Next issue with the birthday planning- the presents. I've started a list of the things she's wishing for, and how we usually do it is I buy her a big present for her birthday that I'm absolutely sure no one else will get her. Whatever else is on her list, we check it off if she gets those presents from her friends, otherwise those items immediately go on her Santa wish list.


OK, so here goes. Last year her school went on lockdown.

For those of you unfamiliar with lockdown (although in the post-Columbine area, most of you are familiar with the policy), lockdown means the school is in an immediate emergency danger that requires locking down the school, they lock the classrooms, the office, they close the window shades, and the children climb under their desks a la 1950.

When her school went on lockdown, the school did not notify the parents for over 4 hours.

Granted, they were only on lockdown 20 minutes, but some of the children were scared.

Apparently, the school didn't call because they didn't want parents taking their children out of school "unnecessarily".

Now her birthday present includes the following:

A cellphone.

Yes, a cellphone for an 8-year-old. She's not getting it for 6 more weeks, and I'm already going over the rules and guidelines for proper cell phone use, and using it during school is a major no-no unless there is an emergency.

I'm planning on getting her the Firefly Cell Phone because it is not only kid-friendly, but it has many fantastic safety features.

Children 8 years old should not be text messaging, IMHO- so this phone does not have any of those fancy bells and whistles we are used to for cell phones.

The Firefly has a locking feature so the only phone calls it can receive are from phones already in the phonebook. It can only call phone numbers that are stored in the phonebook.

I like that very much. I like that my daughter will have the ability to call me in emergency situations, and at 25 cents a minutes, you really don't want your child using the phone for much else. The phone can tell you how many minutes you have left, and you can purchase extra pay-as-you-go minutes from their website.

Careful though, the minutes expire after 90 days, and I believe there are some minimums you must meet to keep the phone active.

However, you can get a cellphone contract for this phone with a SIM card from the major carriers (like Cingular and T-Mobile). I'd much rather do that than the pay-as-you-go option.

I know it sounds shocking to some people for a child to have a cell phone. I think it is an excellent chance to teach her about personal responsibility, and it makes me feel better knowing she can get in touch with me should she need me.

We live in a much scarier world nowadays, and we could all use a little extra safety net sometimes.

If your child has a cellphone and is 12 or younger, please leave me some comments about your experiences, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!


Blogger Granny said...

I dropped over from Blogging Baby to say hello and discovered your cell phone post.

They aren't allowed in the elementary schools here (Merced - San Joaquin valley) but now that I have all 3 in middle school they carry my husband's until I can decide what will work best. They've done quite well with it except for the one time it was stolen by a classmate (and returned).

I feel more secure knowing they can contact me from across town and between buses (they have to change midstream coming home).

I've heard good things about Disney (except for price) and there are others with pre-programmed numbers as well. I'm tempted.

Or I may just add them to our family plan and threaten dire consequences for texting or overrunning the minutes.

Ann Adams
(aka granny)

2:54 PM

Blogger Weniki said...

Thanks Granny for your comments!

I must admit my biggest concern is someone will steal it. Even in elementary school, I'm sure it happens.

The school district policy is they may have phones, but the teacher's must be notified they have them and they must be turned OFF during the school day.

Using them during the school day should be cause for disciplinary action, and knowing their principal, she's pretty tough on the kids.

I've been given some good advice about having her carry some object (an oatmeal bar, a fake cell phone) for two weeks to see if she can take care of it, not break it or lose it, etc.

I really like that idea, as a way to "train" her to take proper care of this way-too-expensive object.

I found the Disney plan exorbitantly expensive, and intend on adding the Firefly to my T-Mobile family plan instead.

I'm sure Disney will do a huge business though, because their phones include a GPS tracker service.

At this age, I hope she's not sneaking over to boy's houses.

But I know that's coming later!!!

3:19 PM


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