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07 July 2011 @ 01:19 am
selling point  
[electronic sample noise from a children's interactive board book]

child: mom! look! look at what i found! look at what i found, mom! i found a book! mom!

child's mother: um-hmm, timmy. do you want to pick a book?

[another electronic sample noise from a children's interactive board book]

child: i found a book, mom! mom! mom! i found a book! MOM! MOM! [electronic sample noises] IT MAKES NOISE, MOM! [as if this discovery equates that of fire, antibiotics or chocolate] THE BOOK MAKES NOISE! [as if child is discovering this anew with each moment] SEE MOM? THE BOOK MAKES NOISE! THE BOOK MAKES NOISE, MOM!

[electronic sample noises]

child's mother: yes, timmy.

child: MOM! LOOK! LOOK! [miraculously, no diminishment of this discovery has yet occurred] THE BOOK MAKES NOISE! THE BOOK MAKES NOISE, MOM! [child shouting over electronic sample noises] THE BOOK MAKES NOISE! MOM! THE BOOK MAKES NOISE! I FOUND A BOOK, MOM! THE BOOK MAKES NOISE! LOOK, MOM! THE BOOK MAKES NOISE! [electronic sample noises]

child's mother: yes, timmy, i see.

[electronic sample noises]

child's mother: that's really for babies, timmy.

[electronic sample noises]

child's mother: timmy, do you want to pick a book?


[conversation continues for several minutes with very little linguistic or tonal variation]


so strange.
the little boy was so incredibly enthusiastic about the noise. lovely that there was also a book, but obviously the purpose for this item's invention was the fact that you pressed buttons on it and it made noise.
which, i suppose, is refreshing in this modern age of touch screens and earring cams; most of us have rarely considered the technological marvel of interactive board books. well, i've certainly considered them, having worked in as many bookstores as i have, though my consideration process generally involved hiding them behind quieter inventory.
his mother was so entirely indifferent, her indifference just seemed to make the little boy more enthusiastic. they were ignoring each other completely, in their separate modes: boy in enthusiasm, mother in distracted indifference. it was like they were in different rooms! this conversation just went on--and on--and on--for the better part of an hour. it was a marvel of endurance for both parties.

an incredibly disturbing marvel of endurance.

i don't know how this interaction left me feeling about the future of humanity.
mood: meh.
Vicki: Roman w/ Guttenberg and Mintz-Plassedaisydumont on July 7th, 2011 07:05 am (UTC)
just reading that short interchange, i was ready to strangle mom. though if i'd been in the store, all that noise would've had me ready to strangle timmy, too. (we need a new timmy!)

as for humanity, i think we're screwed, not to put too fine a point on it, but i won't pin that one on timmy.

Edited at 2011-07-07 11:05 am (UTC)
selva oscuraanonymousblack on July 7th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
oh, man. i was frantically trying to organize our catastrophe of soft toys in the one hour i had to do it, so wow, it was a real test of my calm. especially since the mother dissed me when she first came in to the department.

and thing is, i get it. my brother has adhd, separation anxiety, autism and every element of aspergers but an official diagnosis; i was one of his primary caregivers. two of my closest childhood friend grew up with OCD. there are times where that's... just what it is. you're at the end of your patience and resources, you've tried to redirect/distract/calm them, nothing is working. the kid won't stop. all you can do is be as patient and compassionate as you can through the episode and try not to take it personally or further stimulate them. but this didn't seem like that. first of all, if you needed to stall out the over-stimulation, the last place you take a kid is to the kids department of a bookstore. this just seemed like the kid wanted his mother to pay attention to him and she wanted to be somewhere else. it was pretty sad.

and... yeah, to that last point. not timmy's fault.
(Deleted comment)
selva oscuraanonymousblack on July 7th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
exactly. it struck me later that, had this been my child, i would have taken his excitement to indicate the roots of interest in electronics, sound design and, potentially, sales (he did zero right in on a special feature of the item in question, with enthusiasm); subsequently, i might have started exploring some basic computer music tools with him. unfortunately, that didn't occur to me until after they'd left (not that i could have offered him much with bookstore resources, we don't have software!) and besides, my initial approach was thwarted with a firm "NO WE DO NOT WANT YOUR HELP" from the mother, who said it as i started walking toward them.

crimson_vita: vivian in smaller mirrorcrimson_vita on July 7th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of Kate Bush's "Deeper Understanding". And Penelope Leach's book "Children First". It makes me feel a little scared for humanity too.