Saturday, December 27, 2008

Laptops, Christmas Break, and Kids

Ok, I'm like any other mom, I enjoy my kids, it is great to have them around for two weeks. I've had a kick out of listening to their banter, watch them play games, engage them in stories while we baked cookies, and of course, watching their delight with their presents. Yet, to a point, enough is enough.

Take my teenage son, for example. He managed to sleep most of the first week of Christmas break, thus escape cleaning up, despite my threats and occasionally hits with a wooden spoon to rouse his sleeping form from the sofa. All this while my husband managed to be with his best friend and best man at our wedding until well after midnight on Christmas Eve. I wanted to be gracious since his friend's cousin is very ill. Yet, when he sauntered in and it was close to 2am, I had already been up cooking, baking, and prepping for the equivalent of two days. I was not in a happy mood.

Then there are my two beautiful daughters. Between their screaming and excitement, they have brought me to the brink of frazled nerves. First their is the older daughter who received the much-asked-for Monopoly game. We actually did a package of a lot of family games. This seven-year-old has mastered the art of the nag and has asked, almost non-stop, to play Monopoly. If anyone has ever played with a budding reader and a first-grader still learning to count the big dollars, it is an occasion that calls for lots of sleep and lots of caffeine. It took two days for the game to finally commense today, the pieces are still all over the dining room table.

Her calls for play come on the heals of me taking my laptop back to be repaired. This calls for a vanilla latte. It was a few days before Christmas Eve and I decided to just chill out with the kids on the family room sofa. I snuggled up with them under warm blankets and brought my laptop in do so some work. Well, the sofa is at an angle, the little daughter - newly minted five-year-old, decided she needs some of that dreded fruit punch soda my husband bought in honor of Christmas break. The seven-year-old was a bouncy bean. Need I describe more?

Laptop in my lap, seven-year-old bounced over the back of the sofa, five-year-old's sofa spills all over the keyboard, laptop stops typing! There I was in the middle of an article and my keyboards were red like the Christmas lights.

We tried to clean it up, even sprayed a little organic cleaner on the laptop, still, no typing. I could use the mouse and surf the net but typing an email or article was a lost cause. Then I got the bright idea to blow dry it. I even got the brigher idea to have my fourteen-year-old son do it. He simultaneously melted and blew off the ALT key, still the keyboard wouldn't work.

I took it to Circuit City. It is still under warranty, the thing is only three months old. Then he told me he would look into it and if they can't fix it, send it off the Hewlett Packard. He warned me it would be almost February before they look at it and get it back to me. Then the dreaded warning, "if it is liquid damage in the circuit board, it could cost anywhere from $300 to the price of a new laptop." I deflated like a balloon and dreaded the moment I decided to hang out with the kids.

My drive home had me at war with myself over if I should scold them even more or just let it go. I decided to just let it go...for now. It is still Christmas Break and I'm sure there will be more spills, just next time, I won't try to veg out with them and write in the family room. January 5th anyone?

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