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Growing Up With Alexa – 6 months

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El Matador has never known a house (or world) without Alexa. By the time he was born, Alexa was almost two years old, and in his first half-year of life, she has been a constant companion, assistant, and soothing voice. Although he can’t interact with Alexa directly, he does hear her voice, and he hears us talking to her, which leads me to wonder how his relationship with this technology will progress.

From the day we brought Matador home, we’ve asked Alexa for help. It was simple stuff at first:

  • Alexa, turn on the bedroom. (via Hue bulbs)
  • Alexa, turn on the noise machine. (via Belkin wemo)
  • Alexa, set the AC to 73 degrees (via Nest thermostat)

Unsurprisingly, Alexa’s real contribution was allowing us to do things hands-free, since our hands are either covered in baby or holding a poop. Wait, that doesn’t sound right.

At six months, we still make use of the home automation, but now we’ve added other skills to the mix:

  • Alexa, play Caspar Babypants (via Music Unlimited)
  • Alexa, set the nursery to 20 percent (via Hue bulbs)
  • Alexa, play Paper Planes by M.I.A. (to time diaper changes)
  • Alexa, how’s the weather?
  • Alexa, pause the TV.

For the longest time, I didn’t consider how aware Matador was of Alexa, until one day about a month ago, I asked her to play Run, Baby, Run, which is Matador’s favorite song. As soon as I said the words, a mild look a recognition came over his face, but it was nothing compared to when Alexa said:

Playing Run, Baby, Run by Caspar Babypants…

Just hearing Alexa speaking causes Matador to smile. He recognizes her. He looks in her direction, which is probably confusing, since there’s no face there. Maybe I should put a face there. Huh.

He hears her name so often, I wonder if his first word will be Alexa. Babies can start psuedo-talking at six months… how long before he’s able to talk to her directly?

I love technology, but I love the fact that my son will grow up in a world where he simply has to ask for something, and the audio recording of his voice will be sent to Amazon via the FBI where it will be converted into words, evaluated, and responded to.

As a child, I spent the better half of a day rigging up a pulley system that enabled me to turn on the lights in my room without getting out of bed (because monsters). Matador will simply ask Alexa to do it.

Unlike when you introduced Alexa to your kids, she won’t be a novelty to him. She will have always been there–an integrated part of his life that he will assume is natural.

I’ll be keeping an eye on how this relationship progresses. Alexa is getting smarter every day, but so is Matador. Just yesterday, he learned what a cold is. And his parents learned that babies can’t blow their noses on their own.

Alexa, suck the snot out of my baby’s nose with this tube apparatus.

Sorry. I didn’t understand the question.

Sure you didn’t, Alexa. Sure you didn’t.

 


Photo by Piotr Cichosz on Unsplash

Published inParenthood

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