Over a bright Sunday, I went out with my daughters to a park full of swings, see-saws and slides, to enjoy the winter sun.
The purpose was to do ‘only physical sports and games’ and avoid going to a shopping mall, with its artificial play areas and junk food options keeping the children away from the ‘real’ games we used to play in our childhood.
After spending considerable time in the park, my elder one hushed something into the ears of the younger one. Feeling supremely confident of her innate ability to negotiate difficult choices with me, the younger one asked me to take them to the nearby mall,
and pressed her case by doing considerable drama in support of her humble request....to which I had to make an excuse in order to diffuse her demand, and said – ‘I have not brought my wallet, so we cannot do much out there.’
Seeing me unrelenting, the elder one now applied her worldly knowledge gained in the last 6 years of her presence on Earth – ‘But you have brought your cards, right?’
I realized – ‘They have seen me keep the cards in a mini-case that is RFID protected, alongside other crucial cards like driving license. What do I say now?’
She continued – ‘There is an ATM near the McDonald’s in the mall. You can withdraw some money from that one.’
‘Junk food, for God’s sake!!’ – I thought – ‘I know where this discussion is going.’ – and I decided to continue with my excuses a bit more.
I said – “There is some problem with my cards. They do not seem to work on that ATM every time. It is better we go home and have a good lunch that mom is making for you two. Now do you want to play or go home now?’
She persisted – ‘There is a good film for kids, playing in the cinema inside the mall. We can go there today.’
I was about to remind her what I told her last ‘about cards not working’, to which she made a poker face, interrupted me and said – ‘For that you need to book the ticket on your mobile only, which you have here. See...here!’ (and pointed to the ‘movie ticketing
app’ on my mobile).
‘Damn’ – I recalled – ‘She has seen me do online movie bookings in past.' As an over-indulging parent, I had told her once that you can book movies from your mobile and PC, and apparently she remembered it.
I still tried – ‘There is some connection problem here in the park. I am not able to open the movie booking page.'...to which she said – ‘Oh, you must be doing something wrong then. Give it to me, I will try.’
‘Damn you Usability!!!’ – I cribbed in my heart.
I now decided 'no more excuses', and said – ‘Oh it is working now, wait, let me check, oh yes i have my wallet also in the car; let us go to the play area in the shopping mall, and promise me ‘no junk food, and no movie’, to which they said – ‘DONE’.
I realized they played ‘Good cop, Bad cop’ on me, and got what they wanted, by negotiating a higher gain, and settling for the 'real wanted position'.
And you Multi-Channel!!! I just wanted a long enjoyable play session in the park. I know you have many more ways to bug simple lives. Stay off...