I love my Mac. I love my daughter. Unlike peanut butter and jelly, I’ve decided the two should never mix. Macs are not for kids.
Kids and beaches are OK, of course, but not the obviously dangerous combination of kids, iPods, and iPhones—on the beach. Seriously.
Seriously, I sometimes wonder about the wonder of parenthood and where the wonder went. My slightly less than 18 month old daughter loves my Mac. That’s a bad thing.
Mac users under the age of, oh, I don’t know—how about 18—should need a written and oral examination to use said Mac—oh, and a permit.
If you’re not a parent of a toddler, or if you’re squeamish about what can happen to your Mac when neighborhood kids visit, don’t read another line. On the other hand, if you’re a glutton for someone else’s tragedy, read on.
Between trips to the bathroom (2nd child on the way, nausea and other pre-parenting delights on the way regularly) and trips to the garage filled with crates of Pampers, I devote a lot of time to my Mac. Guess who watches my mousing, keyboarding, and CD/DVD tray opening? Aforementioned daughter.
Yes, children are copy cats. They love to do what they see their parents doing, but add their own childlike flair to the proceedings. That explains the sticky drool mixed with cookie crumbs on the keyboard, and why there’s a knot in the mouse cord and why there are 17 different applications running on my Mac’s screen when I return from, my, uh, chores in the bathroom.
As politely and pleasantly as possible, I explained that the Mac is now off limits to aforementioned daughter (the same one who may never inherit a dime from her mother, especially if she continues to find new ways to launch her favorite Mac game) for repeated breaches of conduct.
Not 20 minutes later I notice a brown and purple ooze around the iMac’s CD/DVD slot. Uh oh. It couldn’t be. It wasn’t. But it could have been.
Fortunately, the iMac only suffered at the hands of a toddler with peanut butter and jelly residue permeating said hands.
It could have been worse. Wait. It got worse. Distraction is the name of the game with underaged Mac users still in diapers, regardless of their ability to point and click on a screen while drooling and peeing at the same time.
Let’s go to the beach. What a great distraction from Mac assassination attempts by the toddler generation. The beach? What was I thinking? If your beach bag doesn’t include an iPod and an iPhone with a similarly sized bottle of 250 SPF sunscreen, then you’re just not prepared.
Preparation means little to a child who loves toys. What better place to bury toys than the beach? What better toy to bury than mommy’s iPod?
While I’m busying chatting on the phone, my husband’s daughter (see? the disowning process starts early in parenthood) rummages through our bags, her bags, my bags, and manages to find mommy’s music machine—the one she can dance to. That’s when I noticed something was wrong.
She only dances when she’s listening to music on the iPod. Yet, there she is, dancing on the beach, twirling, twisting in that contorted way that Elaine Bennis
would use if she were barely 15 months old.
“Where’s mommy’s iPod, honey?” She pointed to the sand. My heart stopped. “Show mommy where you put the music!” Thank God for those ear buds sticking out of the sand just in front of her foot.
Not only should children not be allowed to use mommy and daddy’s Mac until, oh, somewhere close to their senior year in high school, they should never be shown an iPod’s click wheel, or taught to dance, or even taught to dig up sand and bury things.
Mix all those things up and it’s a sure fire recipe for disaster. Speaking of disasters, “Where’s mommy’s iPhone, honey?”