So for a tech-related topic this week I was going to write about my favorite software, because that’s what some of my buddies over at the Intel Canada Facebook page are talking about, and it’s kind of an interesting subject, inasmuch as I like hearing what other people use to make their work lives and creative lives easier, but I just couldn’t think of a really interesting way to say I love Photoshop, or, I’ve really started using PowerPoint a lot this year. I did have a really interesting conversation last week with Laura Mayes at the Mom 2.0 Summit about whether spreadsheets – and, by extension, Excel – could be considered erotic, but that, I fear, would lead to a completely different kind of post.
So I decided instead to write about hardware. Specifically, hardware, and how it gets smashed to pieces by my kids. Because it’s Holy Week, and I figured, why not spend at least some of that week contemplating the terror that children can wreak?
Some devices that my children have destroyed:
1.) A laptop.
2.) Another laptop.
3.) A netbook.
4.) A smartphone.
5.) Countless mini-cams.
6.) Another smartphone.
7.) A Macbook (not really destroyed, just scribbled on with crayons. BUT STILL.)
7.) A toaster (included here only because it was the device by which one of the smartphones was destroyed.)
Most of these were destroyed, I should say, by only one of my children, Jasper, who is not quite three and who has been smashing things to pieces since he’s been able to hold his arms over his head. Emilia, who is five, has hidden a lot of devices – I’ve lost count of the number of times she’s stashed my iPhone somewhere, moments before the battery has died, of course, and caused me to spend hours turning the house upside-down searching for it – but she hasn’t actually smashed anything. I still wouldn’t trust her with my iPhone 4, but I’m willing to give credit where credit is due.
Jasper, however – Jasper is a menace with technology. He’s a menace, in part, because he’s passionate about it – our TV screen has little fist smudges from when he’s tried to pound it into bringing Diego back on – but also because he’s, you know, a toddler. And most devices weren’t built to withstand the enthusiasm and rage of a toddler. If a laptop makes him angry – either because Mommy has spent too much time on it or because he can’t make things happen by swiping his fingers across the screen (more on this in a moment) – he will try to grab it and throw it. If the iPhone makes him happy, he will dance with it and kick it across the floor (we have very, very sturdy casings over the iPhones, and, since the iPhone 4 came into our house, only allow him to touch the iPhone 3. We are hardcore disciplinarians.) Most tech wasn’t built for that treatment. Whether more tech should be built for that treatment is an open question.
The only type of device that he doesn’t toddler-handle? The iPad. He’s gentle with the iPad, and I suspect he’d be gentle with any tablet that he found in his chubby, tyrannical little hands. It’s shaped like a board book and it responds to the lightest touch and because it seems built for him and is so easy for him to use, he tends to sit quietly with it, lightly brushing at it with his fingers and cackling madly at Caillou or whatever other godforsaken character he’s called up from the seventh circle through the portal of YouTube. So we haven’t worried about the iPad in his hands, and have even wondered whether we should be looking for a PC tablet that he can have all to himself.
Of course, now that I’ve proclaimed his gentleness with tablets publicly, the gods are going to ensure that sometime within the next 24 hours, he’s going to hurl it through the flatscreen. I accept that possibility. We have the tech recycling box ready.
What devices have your kids destroyed? Or what devices do you worry about them destroying? Tell me over at the Intel Canada Facebook page, where I might just drop some stories about Excel erotica into the mix…