Toddlers love to play with their parents’ smartphones and tablets, so it’s no surprise that teenage screen time has nearly doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic. As someone who works from home while watching two children, ages 4 and 2, when they are quarantined at school, I can say with certainty that this is true in my home. It makes things so much easier when they’re distracted by my phone while I’m working on a deadline. But a toddler went a bit too far when he used his mom’s cell phone to buy nearly $2,000 worth of furniture online!
According to an NBC New York story on January 22, 22-month-old Ayaansh Kumar used her mother’s phone to order furniture from Walmart. “It’s really hard to believe he did this, but that’s what happened,” dad Pramod Kumar said in the interview.
Apparently Ayaansh’s mother, Madhu Kumar, had shopped online after the family recently moved to New Jersey, but she never intended to check. Suddenly bundles of side chairs, planters and more started appearing, and neither Madhu nor Pramod nor their two older children knew who bought it. The packages arrived all week and they realized their toddler had bought them.
“He’s so small, he’s so cute, we were kidding that he ordered all that stuff,” his mother said.
In an interview with Today on Jan. 22, Pramod explained, “My wife does online shopping so at the time she was checking out some things on Walmart and she added to a cart. She had no intention of buying them, she just added them to a basket and said, “OK, we’ll come back later”. But then she hung up and somehow my son managed to pick up the phone.
He later added that he was surprised the toddler was able to complete that order. “If you’re shopping online, it asks you multiple times which items you need to select and you need to click here to confirm and then reconfirm to make sure before ordering,” he said. “So I was really surprised how he was able to complete the whole transaction.”
However, it was easier to place the order because all of Madhu’s payment information was stored on his phone, according to an interview with News 12 New York.
After Ayaansh placed the order, it was too late to cancel. So the couple plan to wait until all deliveries are made before returning their order to Walmart, which the company says will offer refunds on items they didn’t want. Parents seem to be in good spirits about the whole thing, even saying they can keep a few items as reminders.
“We ask the same questions [to Ayaansh] over and over, ‘Oh, did you order that?’ “, said Madhu Today. Pramod added: “He has no idea what he’s done, because nothing he ordered interests him.”
Although Ayaansh is adorable, this story is absolutely terrifying. Who could even imagine the kind of destruction toddlers are capable of on your phone? To prevent something like this in the future, you can install passcodes or facial recognition software to unlock your phone, remove stored payment cards from shopping sites, and enable Guided Access for Limit your device to a single app when your toddler is using it. . You can also disable in-app purchases on an iPhone using Screen Time.
Toddlers know how to keep their parents on their toes, right?