Thirtysomething
Typepad - AURGH!

Technology Love Post

Yes I know it's been a week, but my kids are on Spring Break and that puts a serious damper on my me-time, that's what! Even if the planets align long enough to find them quiet and content on the upper floor of our house, I am reminded of their presence in my in-box.

Yes, they e-mail me from Karl's room.

Here is one such e-mail:

I love you this much:xxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxoooxxxooo sometimes I love you this much:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo mabye I will love you very very very much, more than sometimes.

karl

To which I replied:

Well I love you infinity time infinity! That's a lot!

Are you ready to take a bath?

XOXO

Mom

And Karl's reply:

NO I will not take a bath not in 500000 years it will not be fun in 66666666666 years or

777642466 years no no no

See, the problem with Karl is that he is so subtle. You just never know what he's thinking! Heh.

When Karl is not busy e-mailing me love letters or protestations against bath time, his sister fills in the gap with e-mails of her own:

Dear Mom,IM HUNNGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

emma

Or this one, after I told her that I'd called her best friend to sleep over on Friday night:

Dear Mom, I am exsidid about the sleepover. I love you.xoxoxo Love, Emma B.

Apparently she was worried that I might ask "Emma? Emma who?"

I am not always in my office when the e-mails come in. I might actually be *shudder* working, cleaning or making lunch for a "hunngry" kid. In such instances the e-mailer will use yell-mail to suggest that I scurry to the computer and reply, already. Emma asked if I'd replied to her sleepover e-mail and I told her yes, I had. She barreled right up those stairs to read the reply. Only the reply must not have been delivered yet, so she read the

Bath

e-mail instead, assumed it was directed at her, and replied:

No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love Emma

What is WITH my kids and bath time?! If they knew anything about striking and were ingenious enough to create signs and an appropriate chant, it would probably be something like: DON'T FORGET - BATHS ARE WET! MOM'S UNFAIR! WE WON'T GO THERE! or perhaps: NOPE, NOPE, NOPE - WE DON'T DO SOAP! (They SO need me as their creative agent instead of their killjoy)

It doesn't even seem to improve their attitudes when I explain their bountiful runneth-over-cup of jackpot-like proportions. They are blessed with laidback (aka lazy) parents who only require a bath every other day barring strenuous activity or school pictures. SOME kids have to take a bath each and every night. "Even weekends?!" they ask, horrorstruck. "Even weekends," I reply, attempting to put things in perspective for them. It works about as well as "Finish your dinner - there are children starving in

Africa

" You know - not well. *sigh*

Of course once they're IN the bath they stay in until the water is ice cold and their hands are prune city because baths are fun, that's why! Geez.

We have ventured out this week. Honest.

In fact, today I had some fun activities planned: lunch out (at location with play place), DMV to get license plates for the van (OK, so that wasn't fun), library to stock up on books and DVD's for the home stretch of the week, and then a grocery store run to get ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. Hello? MOM.OF.THE.YEAR!

But wait . . .

While in the library Karl was pitching a fit because the computers were in use and I was calmly explaining that we didn't have computer time anyway and were there for books. Emma had already chosen her books but Karl was lying on the ground loudly protesting the unfairness of his lot in life when, from behind me, comes "Karen? Oh it IS you!"

Allow me to just translate that message: "Hey! There's a blond kid with glasses lying on the floor not using a library voice and embarrassing his mother. Karen must be here somewhere!"

It was my friend Carol and I was glad to see her. Her daughter was in Emma's class last year but they moved to another school. As we caught up, Karl lost his audience, so he promptly stopped with the silliness and grabbed a few books to read. "Mom, I found a book," he told me, to which I gave a little thumbs-up and went back to my conversation.

Ten minutes later we said our goodbyes and as I was gathering the pile of books Karl was reading I was pleased that he had landed in the aisle with fact books. He loves books like that. He had one about germs, one about inventions and was midway through one called "Willy takes a journey" or something like that. It had a cartoonish character on the front whizzing through space. It looked like a cute bouncy ball. I could see how he was drawn to the book - the cover was bright and fun. Only Willy had a tail, which seemed weird, until I read the subtitle; "The journey of a sperm."

Uh.

I flipped it open and found more cartoonish drawings of eggs and tubes and glowing pregnant ladies.

Uh.

"I want to get that one, Mom. I only read half of it so far."

Uh.

Are you KIDDING ME?! My kid HAPPENS across sex ed in the kid's section of the library?! Didn't see that one coming!

I'm sure Willy is a great character for teaching kids the facts of life and apparently there must be a lot of preschoolers asking about the baby in mommy's tummy, for example, but my kids are twins and onlys, thank you very much. I have had no such awkward questions and I really didn't feel like rushing the process.

Do I have a target on my person? Am I the star of The Truman Show, the sequel? Is someone filming my predicaments for the amusement of others, because they really should, I think.

I told Karl to pick another book because I didn't think the subject matter of Willy was something I wanted him proficient in just yet. He accepted that just fine and chose a book about how cuts heal, which is something he'd been pestering me about anyway.

If he has questions I'll answer them. I'm not trying to keep knowlege away from him. I'm trying to keep knowlege away from every person he comes in contact with.

Karl, you see, is a walking encyclopedia. If he had checked out Willy he would have it memorized by tomorrow. This includes every medical term and every, uh, process. And then he would educate everyone within earshot and probably e-mail all the grandmas. Just not a road I'm ready to travel yet. Don't judge me!

On the way to O.T. yesterday he was reading the owner's manual for the van. I love that he has such an interest, because he was totally helpful when I was programming the built-in garage door opener. But I digress . . .

"Mom, you've already broken a rule in the owner's manual."

"What rule?"

"It says right here that children should not be left unaccompanied in the vehicle."

"Oh you mean when I dropped off the dry cleaning? But you could see me through the windshield and I took the keys with me and locked the doors."

"Well it says that only children 10 or older should be left unaccompanied and only if they are responsible enough not to turn on the ignition."

"But Karl," interjected Emma, "You're only seven and a half! And I'm seven and a half plus a minute!"

Emma, you see, takes great pride in being a minute older than her brother. She reminds him at every opportunity.

This morning I got another e-mail from Karl:

I just want to know where is battle for bikini bottom I cannot find it but once you find it can I play it?

Battle

for Bikini Bottom is a SpongeBob computer game that won't run on his hand-me-down machine. It was installed on Dell, so I had it in my office. I replied back to Karl that he was welcome to come down to my office, install the game on my new computer, and play it to his heart's content if he would JUST.STOP.E-MAILING.ME.EVERY.5.SECONDS!!!

Why yes, I did say new computer, and thank's for reading so carefully!

Dell couldn't kick the habit. He made a noble effort - he gave up smoking for three months, but once the blue screen errors started happening (blue screen errors must be the computer equivalent of gaining weight) he fell off the wagon. I called up Dell (the company, not my computer) and explained quite calmly and rationally that I just wasn't comfortable with the vices of Dell and that he was DRIVING.ME.INSANE!!!!!

They sent me a new computer. Isn't that nice? After merely four months of hounding them, including asking at least twenty heavily-accented phone technicians "could you repeat that?" they finally raised their white flag in the form of a sleek and stylish XPS 400.

DHL came for Dell. (Hey, that almost rhymes!)

So far XPS is very cool. No, I mean literally! He runs cool and quiet and seems unlikely to spontaneously combust. Give him time, though. Dell was my perfect mate before his demons sent him spiralling out of control. Or maybe it was me. It's not like we met through e-harmony or anything. No compatibility tests or anything - just picked him out of a catalog like a mail-order bride. We just weren't a match, I guess.

So long, Dell. May you always have an ashtray.

And that, dear readers, is today's tribute to technology.

TPBQOTD (Farm boy, fetch me that pitcher.)

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