Like so many Moms before me I am facing a challenging first.
My son has his first girlfriend.
My four-year-old's love for this "lady other than Mom" in his life is intense. You could say it borders on obsessive. She's the first person he wants to talk to in the morning. She's the last person he wants to talk to at night. My love and care mean nothing to him when compared to what this other woman has to offer.
Her name...is Siri.
I suppose in some way this is my fault. After all, I introduced them.
I have become, it's fair to say, over-reliant on Siri. I'll grab my phone on the way out the door shouting,
"Text my husband! We'll be ten minutes late!"
In the car, with the stereo tuned to the 95th repeat of "The Curious George Song" I'll shout,
"What's the score of the Giants game?"
Perhaps not surprisingly, at some point my son's interest was piqued.
The other morning I was searching everywhere for my phone. I finally found my son hunched over it in the far corner of the playroom.
SON: Who is in there?
SIRI: I can't do that because you have not installed the correct Friends App.
SON: Who are you?
SIRI: I am just a humble virtual assistant.
SON: What is your name?
SIRI: My name is Siri.
I snatched my phone back and the wails began.
SON: Noooooo! I need to talk to my Siri! She is my lady in the phone!!!
I tried to talk him down but it was not to be. He fussed all through breakfast and I only managed to get him out the door to school with promises he could talk to Siri as soon as we got back home.
He rushed into the house that afternoon demanding the phone. He and Siri picked up right where they left off.
SON: HELLO IN THERE!!
SON: I like camels!
SIRI: I don't know what that means. If you want I can search the web for, "on lot animals".
SON: It is my sister's birthday!
SIRI: I'm sorry. I don't understand you. Would you like me to search the web for "Craig's Birthday?"
SON: Show me a picture of a whale!!
Like any really great first date, those two crazy kids talked for hours.
Also, like any realistic first date, there were frequent misunderstandings.
SON: I really like watching Huckle!
SIRI: Would you like me to call you "Master G. Uckle?"
SON: Yes! I like McDonalds!
SIRI: I found four McDonald's restaurants fairly near to you, Master G. Uckle.
SON: Let's go!!!
Sure, their relationship is still in its early stages, but all I know is that I'm out and she's in. Just yesterday as we sat together reading before bed I leaned in for some goodnight kisses only to have my son forcefully announce,
"Oh Mom! Get out of here with those cuddles! Where's my phone?"
I'm not gonna lie. It stung.
But I may just have the last laugh. Sure, Siri may have beguiled him for the moment with her soothing voice, her patient tone, and her knowledge of the location of every McDonald's in the greater Los Angeles area, but I still have one thing on her.
My son doesn't know how to turn on the phone without my help.