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What It’s Really Like to be 5 Years Old in 2014

I’ve been in this world for 5-and-a-half years, and I have pretty much everything figured out. And anything I don’t know, my mom can look up on her phone. Life’s pretty easy.

One thing I don’t like is sitting in the back of the car all by myself. I can’t hear what my parents are saying, and I just wish my mom would pass back her phone. I have an entire folder with games in it, but she keeps saying that I should be in the real world. Why? The world behind screens is so much prettier and brighter and funner.

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Nature is pretty cool, I guess. I do like to look up at the stars at night. But, then again, I have a pretty awesome app about space.

All in all, I’m starting to get the hang of life. I think I’ve cracked the code on these tall, big people around me—what makes them mad, what makes them happy, that sort of thing. I’ve mastered the language, and I can even spell and read now, so it’s easier to see what’s happening around me.

My parents have bad conversations sometimes. Sometimes I wonder if they’ll live in separate houses, like my friends’ parents. Sometimes I feel scared. Maybe I make them too mad.

My mom told me that my fish died, so I told her to plug in the tank. She said real life doesn’t work like that. Weird.

Other things confuse me, too. Like why do mommy and daddy say mean things to each other sometimes, but they expect me to be nice all the time? And why does Grandma’s phone have that squiggly wire?

Is she even looking at my face ever? Or does she just see me through a screen?

I like hearing stories from back in the 1900s, like 1993. But I will not, under any circumstance, watch a black-and-white movie. You’ve seen Pixar movies, right? When I was at my friend’s house, we put on special glasses and watched a 3D movie in her living room. That seems totally normal and ordinary to me.

Commercials seem weird, though. I’m used to watching my favorite TV shows on Netflix, any episode I want.

I especially like playing at my friend Jack’s house because he lets me drive his car. We plug in his mom’s iPhone and play Pandora stations through the car’s speakers.

One thing that bugs me is when my mom starts taking pictures. I swear, some days she takes 50 photos of me, even when I’m just trying to eat lunch. Or she’ll ask me to hold a pose while she crouches on the floor and takes a bunch of pictures, and then she’ll spend the next five minutes deleting and editing them. Is she even looking at my face ever? Or does she just see me through a screen?

My parents always have their phones on them—always. Sometimes when I’m telling them a story, or I want to show them a cool new ninja move, they’re looking down at their phone instead.

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In Kindergarten, we learn math and reading on a “smart board.” (What’s a blackboard?) At home, I have books that read to me with a special pen, and I like to play reading games on the computer. If I want to talk to Grandma, her face shows up on a screen and we can talk back and forth. Again, all standard, normal stuff.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to email my Christmas list to Santa and FaceTime my cousins across the country. It’s a busy life, being 5-and-a-half years old.

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