Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1 family = 5 computers?

Momma and Daddy gave me my first laptop when I graduated from college (age 21). I was immediately in love. I like that I can do computer stuff anywhere. That all my info can come with me everywhere. I have my cute little external hard drive for all the data that I must have (aka PICTURES) with me at all times. And I have my computer on and connected at all times. I google things obsessively. The other night at supper Daddy asked a question about Colt McCoy's injury during the BCS Championship. Even though we were at the supper table, my computer was right behind me so I could grab it and google away. Within moments we were watching video clips and reading commentary about how this injury will affect his future career. I love that. I say on a daily basis that I do not know how we survived before. I have maps, recipes, cute status updates, crafts, you name it. It is all contained within this rectangle full of chips and wires and a bunch of other stuff that I do not understand.
Now David, he's a computer nut. He has built tons of computers. Some for himself, some for others. He spent an afternoon last week at the home of his boss trying to help his wife get a new computer up and running. He will return later to hook up their wireless network. He is good at fixing them and tinkering with them. He reads computer magazines for pleasure. He is the type of person that you would call a computer nerd except we all love him and need him and depend on him so much that we would not dare insult him. He is the family IT guy. I affectionately call him Nick Burns and he is always shouting "MOVE!" (Props, to SNL fans who get that without clicking on the link. . .) And besides my current laptop, he has a PC that he built and continues to upgrade, and a laptop that he takes with him on deployments. He also has a work computer, but he can only use it for official stuff. The government is not keen on its employees posting to Youtube or playing Mafia Wars - I cannot imagine why. . . (In case you are keeping score, that is 3 working computers that we own.) We are on a wireless network AND even have a wireless printer thing so we can all send to the same printer. (I LOVE that so much! I can even print from my bedroom upstairs to the printer in the kitchen!! I am so high tech!)

Two Christmases ago, we got the kiddos one of those Fisher Price Computer thingys. They could go to approved websites using the cool plastic figures. They enjoyed it a lot. David even hooked up a screen to the hard drive from an old laptop with a busted screen, so they had their very own computer. (We are now at 4 computers.) Of course, he built them a table to keep it on, too. It was a hit!

But they rapidly outgrew it. Their knowledge and needs were more sophisticated than the Fisher Price could handle. So we started just letting them use the computer without the Fisher Price thing hooked up. That worked for a while. See, at first, Jessa was the only one who could use the mouse, etc., so Spencer did whatever she wanted and was purely a spectator. THEN, he figured out he could do it WITHOUT her. This caused trouble because they did not want to share. And really it was hard to ask them to. They wanted to do wildly different things, and the only time of day that was "Computer time," life was no fun for me to try and ref. So Spencer stuck with the old laptop and Jessa, well, she wanted MINE.

I have already told you haw addicted to googling I am, right? Well, I was bummed when every time I needed to google something important like who is the voice of Mermaid Man on Spongebob, my computer was already engaged with another equally important pursuit like redecorating Polly Pocket's Dream House. What's a girl to do?

Well, last summer my sweet mother mentioned in passing that she and Daddy would love to get the kids their own computers for Christmas. At first, I was appalled! What?! My (at the time) 5 and 3 year olds do not need their own computer! When I was 5, no one even knew what a lap top was! And a mouse, well, it was a pesky pest that sent Momma, Lucas, and Me to a hotel until Daddy could produce a carcass. They are way too young!

This summer, during the move, they were sometimes easy to occupy while I unpacked. . .
Yet, as Christmas was fast approaching, I was becoming more frustrated when I needed my computer, but my daughter was already on it. I mean, I was way behind on my online shopping! Something had to give, so I called Momma and asked if she and Daddy were still thinking of Netbooks for the kiddos. She was thrilled and chastised me for making fun of her to start with. Oh well!

So this year, for Christmas, my 6 year old daughter was given her first computer. A precious Netbook in pink.
And my 3 year old (at the time) son was given his first computer. A handsome Netbook in blue.
So thanks to a very generous May and Bay, Jessa and Spencer are now computer owners (11 years and 14 years before their dear old mother). And we are now a 5 (working) computer family. Welcome to the 21st century! We are like the Jetsons or something, huh?

P.S. Please do not call DFACS, their computers are still kept in the family room where we can monitor them - no worries about them hold up in their rooms being cyberstalked or cyberbullied or any other horrible cyber crime.
P.S.S. I kept saying "working computers" because we have lots of old computers and computer parts around here that don't work anymore!! And important distinction!

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