On long trips, my six-year-old son plays dinosaur games on his Kindle. As dinosaurs race and roar across the screen, he also keeps a close watch on the battery power.
From the back seat, I occasionally hear an announcement stating the percentage of battery power remaining. As the number declines, his voice gets louder, more frantic: 77% … 52% … 40% … 25%!
By the time he calls out “TEN PERCENT!” he is in obvious distress; the thought that the Kindle will suddenly shut off and end his game is just too much to bear.
Recently, after arriving home from a long trip, he threw open the car door as soon as it stopped, held his electronic device tightly to his chest, and sprinted up the front steps of the house while anxiously calling over his shoulder, “Mom, hurry! It’s FIVE PERCENT! We need to plug it in!”
Now, my son measures his time away from me in percentages. He sneaks down the steps after bedtime and runs toward me. “Mom! I’m low. TEN PERCENT!” he calls as he throws himself into my arms for a round of hugs and kisses. This, of course, occurs a mere 20 minutes after I have snugly tucked him into his bed for the night.
He gradually slips out of my embrace and smiles, “Now, I’m at a MILLION PERCENT. That will last ALL night!”
Logically, I know this is a delay tactic – anything to prolong the inevitable bedtime. However, it is a rather effective strategy. I usually pull him close once more – just in case that MILLION percent doesn’t last until morning and just in case he might not need as many hugs tomorrow.