One ringy-dingy

Readers under the age of 40 likely don't get the reference in today's subject line.* And kids under the age of 2 likely won't know what ringy-dingy means or what telephones really sound like (or at least used to). To toddlers, the phone is something Mom carries in her purse,  she types on it, and every once in a while it plays a funky tune then Mom holds it up to her ear and talks.

No brrring, brrring or ringy-dingy sounds for little Bubby and his playmates. Phones just don't do that anymore. Kids nowadays (geez, as if THAT doesn't make me sound old!) don't have the old-fashioned pleasure of hearing a house phone go brrring, then seeing that the common response is to pick it up and say "hello." There's no more mimicking that when they play with their pull-toy telephone from Fisher-Price ... although I bet those toy phones aren't even made anymore and are probably considered collectibles on e-Bay.

The lack of land lines stinks for long-distance grandmas. The phone could be a wonderful tool for those of us who live a long distance from our beloved grandbabies. But each time I'm on the (cell)phone with Megan and say, "Hey, can I talk to Bubby?", she hands him the phone and he instantly starts pressing buttons (is he trying to text just like Mom and Dad?). I'll be on my end shouting, "Bubby! Hey, Bubby, it's GRANDMA! Say 'hi' to Grandma! How's my Bubby? I love you!" He'll be on his end grunting and groaning as he struggles with Mom as she tries to keep him from hanging up on me ... which he does every time despite her efforts.

What about as Bubby gets a bit older and isn't compelled to push all the buttons? There's no house phone that I can call and he can pick up, pleasantly surprising me when I was trying to reach Megan. Andthere will be no cute photos of him struggling with the bulky receiver of a wall phone.

And at what age are kids getting their own cell phones nowadays anyway? It seems that with no house phone, each person in the house needs a cell phone of their own. Yeah, that'll be cool when Bubby has his own phone and we can call each other any time, but at his current age, no land line and limited cell phone skills are really limiting my ability to converse with my Bubby.

Thank God for Skype, I guess. Now Megan just needs to get that web camera hooked up to their brand-new computer (that web camera I bought as soon as Bubby was born, the one that crashed each time we tried to Skype because Megan's computer -- and internet bandwidth -- wasn't up to the requirements). We'll give the Jetson's-style telephoning another chance soon. Getting to see and hear Bubby in real-time should make the non-existent landline a moot point, and all my complaints about modern-day telephone communication will end.

And from what I remember about Skype, an old-fashioned BRRRINGing sound notifies users of an incoming call. Maybe Bubby won't be so gyped after all.