This video is now making the rounds online, acting as a counterpoint to the clip of the baby thinking a magazine is an iPad. In this one, a 2-year-old listens to a prerecorded reading of a story by her dad, who is away on military duty. At the end, the little girl hugs the computer monitor.
Some people have decried the idea of a video standing in for a real person, but really, what's the alternative? In the old days, children of deployed soldiers only would have gotten a few moments on the phone. And anyone who's tried to have a phone conversation with a toddler knows it's not a very satisfying experience for either party.
I'd say this is better than nothing.