What's the best way to teach spelling AND increase your safety while driving at the same time? Get your daughter a cell phone and let her do all the texting instead of talking to people on your phone (an insist like a Luddite that she actually spell words out instead of using u and r). Yes, the last member of our family finally has her own phone, and our home phone has now gone by the wayside.
I think I was the last holdout who really loved having a home phone in our family. I know it's a completely mental construct, the notion of having a phone attached to your house -- I can still remember with great affection the exact ring of the black rotary-dial number at my grandma's house (a ring which is, somewhat ironically, duplicated as a ringtone on my cell phone), and the way the numbers went clickity-click as the dial rewound itself. I remember hating numbers that had too many eights and nines in them since they took so much longer (and one of our local prefixes was 899, so those friends were the slow-dialers on my list). Dammit the home phone was MY mental construct and I didn't want to give it up. But for thirty extra useless dollars a month, it went bye-bye.
You'll notice that instead of the basic jobbie that Wayne had promised Asa she'd be getting, when they returned from the Verizon store he was practically tied in knots from being wrapped around her little finger as she was sporting this flip-out keyboard number in a shiny dark maroon shade. Can you say Daddy's Girl faster than you can say Big Softie???
Now if there's one thing worse than being a technophile whose daughter has a better phone than yours (mine is YEARS old and battered from being dropped from my bike more than a couple of times) it's being a big brother whose little sister has a better phone than yours. Mackenzie is adapting well, but I was wondering if we were going to have to invest in counseling there for a little bit.
And speaking of Mackenzie, at least Asa didn't break her arm jumping around from the sheer joy of getting a cell phone (remember that was Mackenzie's little stunt last summer??) but if she's not careful, she may strain her texting thumbs.