Little Miss is into music. It sort of cracks me up, actually, as when her friends come over to play, they will hang out on our computer and play DJ with Little Miss’s playlist that has some pretty impressive variety. She adores finding new music and sharing it with the world, though you’ll never catch her singing (or dancing) in public.
Unfortunately, that computer she relies on is from 2004. No, I’m not exaggerating. It runs Windows XP, and we upgraded it to Windows XP. Needless to say, it has truly reached the end of its useful life and wheezes and grunts and groans and refuses to connect to the internet to let us know. For Christmas, I’ve been planning to replace it with a new desktop for Mister Man, as he has so much schoolwork in middle school that requires researching online, typing, and editing photos and video. I figured that was a great Christmas gift for him, but that also left Little Miss in the cold without a wow gift.
It’s something I had been trying to figure out for awhile, but I found the perfect solution – and she’s thrilled (though at the moment, Mister Man is a little down but I’m waiting for Christmas morning for his face to light up). While racing through Walmart a couple weeks ago to pick up all the ingredients and craft items I needed for my cookie swap, I sped past the electronics and phone area… and paused. I overheard the employee talking about an unlimited music plan, and I knew I had the perfect gift for Little Miss.
T-Mobile’s Simple Choice™ Plan for just $50 per month offers not just unlimited talk and text and unlimited web access with the first 100MB at up to 4G speeds but “Music Freedom” that allows you to stream an UNLIMITED quantity of music at high speed without counting against your data usage. For my music lover, that is pure heaven. No extra charges, no worries about going over your data because of music streaming, and no limits to the music you can stream. In fact, you can choose any music streaming service you want from iTunes and Pandora to Spotify and (my favorite) Milk Music and hundreds more.
Needless to say, I scooped up that refill card for the T-Mobile Simple Choice™ plan and a Samsung Galaxy Core Prime for Little Miss with a plan in mind.
You see, having spent time in Belgium as a kid, there are some traditions I still retain, and celebrating St. Nicholas on December 6 every year is one of them. The night before, the wee ones put their shoes outside their door, and St. Nick visits with a present. This year, that present was the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime and T-Mobile’s Simple Choice™ with Music Freedom. Shockingly, it didn’t fit inside her shoe, but I made due.
And when she woke up the next morning and saw it, her screams of joy reverberated throughout the house. She wasted no time turning it on and downloading Milk Music (she’s her mother’s girl after all) and creating her favorite stations. I’m pretty sure I just made her year.
A phone – even one on a prepaid plan like T-Mobile’s Simple Choice™ – is a responsibility and one I don’t take lightly. When the wee ones got their Kindles, I had them sign a kid tablet contract. Of course I put together a kid cell phone contract around use and restrictions that I shared with Little Miss immediately for us to both sign. You can download your own kid cell phone contract printable here.
She understands the necessity of it, and the kid cell phone contract seems to help her remember that this isn’t just another toy but that there are consequences to misuse, including some that go beyond just my displeasure. While I hope to not have to refer to it or enforce any of the consequences, it’s nice to have and yes, we have had to have consequences with the tablets in the past and reminding them of the contracts they signed seems to take away frustration with me as they see in black and what what they can and cannot do and the consequences for doing so.
Once that kid cell phone contract was signed though, away she went with her phone and music. It was adorable how she never put it down. When she was reading, she was listening to music. When she brought laundry up from the basement (yep, chores), she had it in her back pocket. When she helped cook dinner, it was sitting on the counter next to us (except when Meow wandered into the kitchen and she had to show him her phone). And best of all, when it was time for bed, she paused the music and plugged the phone in with no questions or whining whatsoever. Maybe it was the kid cell phone contract or maybe she just wanted to start things off on the right foot. Who knows, but I’ll take it.
Either way, having the phone for Little Miss where all she cares about is her Music Freedom has made things easier. As into music as she is, the second she gets into the car, she wants to know if we can listen to music. Generally, the answer is yes. But when there’s football on the radio, I pull rank. I love the conversation we had a couple weeks ago.
“Mom, can we listen to music?”
“I can’t hear it.”
*me turning up the radio*
“I didn’t say I wanted to hear it.”
Now she can stream any music she wants to while we’re driving, and I don’t have to worry about overages, which is a big reason why I don’t stream music from my own phone. And trust me, she brings along her huge earphones that my dad gave her to listen to audiobooks, plugs them in, and everyone is happy on Football Sunday while we drive to and from Sunday School, her swim lessons, and anywhere else.
And me? I’m loving all the holiday music. I have my favorite station set on Pandora (Jingle Bells radio rocks if you create that station…just saying), and the holiday stations on Milk Music provide much more variety than just the single station of Christmas music in Chicago. Those classic Christmas songs by Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra? I could listen to them all day long. Wait! I am listening to them all day long! Let’s just say that neither I nor Little Miss are missing satellite radio anymore.
And since T-Mobile Simple Choice™ doesn’t count streaming against data usage, it’s possible that I’ve been “borrowing” Little Miss’s phone during the day while she’s at school (kid cell phone contract prohibits her taking it to school at this point) to listen to music myself. That cookie swap I mentioned that originally allowed me to find the best St. Nicholas gift ever? That was a lot of baking, and streaming music really got me in the mood to make my cherry pie pinwheel cookies and s’mores cookies.
Best part? She’ll never know. Not even if I happen to take it with me when running errands because I can customize my music and not spend half the time flipping the dial from station to station trying to find something I want to hear.
After all, it was her St. Nicholas gift.
Even if I’m helping rock the holidays.