While I more often than not see the benefit of mommy bloggers, I have to tell you, I recently found myself in a position where I actually thought, “Crap, I think I may have to stop writing about motherhood.” This was thanks to Google Search. Or rather thanks to my daughter, who recently learned what Google Search is and how to use it.
I have to admit that my daughter is pretty damn smart. Thanks to her future stepsisters, who don’t believe that stuffed animals can talk (they are 10 and 12), my daughter started to doubt her own belief. For her entire life, I’ve been telling her that of course stuffed animals are real. And of course they can talk to her. But then she got her own iPad and that’s when I was sort of busted.
She actually Google searched “Are stuffed animals real?” with her future stepsisters, and one of the things that came up was a post I had written about how my daughter freaked out when she took Ellie (her stuffed animal) into a pool and poor Ellie drowned. (Of course I gave Ellie mouth-to-mouth and she was just fine after that.) In the post, I had asked, “Is eight years old too old to believe that stuffed animals are real?”
This is what followed after my daughter Google searched “Are stuffed animals real?” and found my post: Tears. Lots and lots of tears. “Why did you write that if stuffed animals are real?” my daughter asked, tears streaming down her face. My heart felt like it was breaking. There is nothing worse than seeing your child cry, especially if you are the cause of her tears.
To make a longer story short, I basically told her that I’m a writer and that not everything I write is true, like reading a book, and that I was just asking other people if they believed stuffed animals were real. “But how come Ellie won’t talk to anyone but me?” my daughter pressed. I felt extremely bad for my daughter, but inside I was fuming. I was fuming at Google Search! [tagbox tag="mommy bloggers"]
I told my daughter that stuffed animals only talk to people who believe that stuffed animals can talk. I also told her that I believe stuffed animals are real. My daughter was satiated with these answers. But for how long? Shortly after, I was on vacation with my fiancé, his children and my daughter. At every resort now, they have “teen clubs” that have computers for guests use. Every evening the kids went down to the “club” and played on the computers. I have to say that my daughter is very proud of me (which is nice!). She loves that I’m a writer and especially loves when I write about her and that some publications ask for photos of her (she loves seeing herself in newspapers and magazines).
One night, I found out after they visited the club that again my daughter Google Searched me, but this time she “Google Image” searched me and pulled up photos of me on the screen so her new friends she had just met could see her mother. What she pulled up were photos of me lying sexily in lingerie that went along with a story I did about boudoir photography. The good news is I look damn good in the photos. The bad news is I didn’t really want strangers (especially little children) looking at me in lingerie.
The most ironic thing about all this is that I don’t allow my daughter at home to be on a computer. She doesn’t have her own computer, and she knows that she is not to touch mine, under any circumstances. But this year at school, sometimes her homework is to go home and Google search people who are coming into her class to speak (for example, a paraplegic who climbed a mountain). I’m at her side when she does this, but along with iPads, and computers at other people’s homes or other places, I can’t really control her computer use. And I certainly can’t control “Google Search.”
I think about all the things that have been written about me in the past (some completely untrue and even slanderous, some objective, sort of, but that I don’t want my daughter to know about, like bad reviews of books I’ve written). No matter how open and close I am with my daughter, I just know I’ll have a lot of explaining to do one day thanks to all my writing about her.
And I think about all the mommy bloggers who admit things (which I do think provides a service to other mothers and women who need to know that others are going through or have gone through the same circumstances or experiences as them) and I just want to warn them, “Your baby might not be able to find their own ears now, but one day they will be able to read…and Google search!”
I’m trying to look at the positives, and there is only one thing I can come up with. I’ve never had a sex tape leaked. And I never plan to film a sex tape. And, I suppose, I’m glad she can…read?