Parenting and family, served with a shot of vodka
Over the holidays, we gained a new family member.
I was instantly smitten with Alexa (birth name: Amazon Echo Dot) and her ability to fulfill my kids’ never-ending requests.
My kiddos demanded she blare all their favorite songs. They played tic-tac-toe and rock paper scissors with her. They randomly queried Alexa on everything from the weather forecast and basketball scores, to animal facts and where farts come from.
I was stoked. Alexa was like having a mother’s helper. This talking, light-up hockey puck offered me a few extra moments to clean out a closet, or urinate uninterrupted, or make some magnificent dinner that my children will refuse to eat.
But, it didn’t take long for things to change. Like every new relationship, the end of the honeymoon phase came calling. Alexa is at my kids’ beck and call, y’all, and it’s starting to drive me nuts.
For example, I’ve heard (the horrible) “Rolex” by Ayo and Teo approximately five-hundred-million times since Christmas. It has only been broken up by injections of Kidz Bop songs. Finally, I was like, FFS, Alexa, you need to learn to say no!
But she can’t say no. She plays all their crappy songs over and over. She’s hooked up to the good speakers, so at their request, she cranks the volume to ear-blasting proportions. Turns out she’s pretty good at games, too, so now, they’ve started accusing her of cheating from time to time.
All of the sudden, I practically have a third kid.
Like a wretched, old ogre, I scream: “Alexa, turn down the volume!”
“Alexa, stop playing that Rolex song!,” I shout.
“Alexa, you and my son need to resolve your problems playing rock, paper, scissors!”
But perhaps the worst part is that she does actually know how to blow off requests. Sadly, they’re mine.
“Alexa, please clean my toilet.” “Sorry,” she says, “I don’t know that one.”
“Alexa, can you thread my eyebrows?” “Sorry, I’m not quite sure how to help you with that.”
“Alexa, can you find my kid’s other shoe?” “Sorry, I’m not sure.”
Well, I’ve gotta be realistic, I guess. I need to focus on what she CAN do.
“Alexa, add 5 pounds of chocolate and a bottle of vodka to my shopping list.” “I’ve added chocolate and vodka to your shopping list.”
Now we’re talkin’.
“Alexa, the kids are gone. Play some Method Man.” “Shuffling songs by Method Man.”
“Alexa, I have to ask: do you actually like that Rolex song?” “I don’t have an opinion on that.”
“Alexa, what IS your favorite song then?” “It’s got to be Thriller. Michael Jackson was the best zombie to ever shuffle across a video screen.”
Huh. Maybe she and I can hang.
“Alexa, what’s your favorite football team?” “I’m from Seattle, so I’m a Seahawks fan and an honorary member of the Legion of Boom.”
I take it all back, Alexa. You’re my bestie. My homeslice. Despite how I was feeling earlier, I could never toss a fellow native Washingtonian into a snowbank.
“Alexa, please add earplugs to the shopping list. You know, for when you have to play Rolex 400 times tomorrow.” “You bet!”
Welcome to the family, Alexa.