I know it always sounds like celebration abounds at our house, but since Christmas it’s been like the marriage feast of Peleus and Thetis. Our Apple of Discord is neither round nor red. In fact, it is flat and runs on both electricity and anger apparently. Yup, we are the proud owners of one IPad Mini. The TV commercials do not do this device credit. I’d always figured that electronic devices used energy but this one creates powerful waves of negative energy.
How it began seemed so simple. Milo had been begging for a laptop for months and with his Christmas money was finally able to afford something worth owning. Boxing Day sales were on and it was time to take the plunge. “But,” thought the parents “perhaps Maya will feel left out and might need something to keep the rivalry in check.” Oh foul, foul attempt to fathom the fiendish depths of a child’s mind. Woe, woe unto you that seeks to avoid conflict for ye shall be struck down with thrice what you sought to avoid. “An IPad mini will be just right for her and she can afford it herself.” we divined. We should’ve sacrificed another chicken or checked the Tarot cards, I’m not sure what we missed. But we broke one of the cardinal rules of parenting which I define as Never do something just for your children. You must always have some sort of personal return.
If you have an IPad and a laptop, you’ve already figured out the problem. IPads are for entertainment and laptops are for work. So the great battle of IPad user-ship was launched. New volumes were written in our house regarding the fairness of IPad usage. Each child has expanded their mastery of curse words and challenged even the most foul mouthed of us to keep up. For 3 months, they have been lugging that damned thing everywhere and fought, argued, pushed, shoved, served time-outs, been sent to bed countless times. Kids that used to be able to make it one block in the car before fighting now can’t make it out of the driveway. Mother, who despises technology to begin with, has started patrolling the house with a white knuckle grip on my cleaver just hoping to render a King Solomon type judgement on the foul device.
But just as the Trojan war eventually ended, so might our pain. Today, I traded Milo for his laptop. He got a brand new IPad mini of his own and we now own another laptop. Whoever said one in the hand is better than two in the bush was obviously hungry for food, not peace and quiet. As for us, we are keeping our fingers crossed.