Monday, May 25, 2009

Laptop Puter

For Mother’s Day I bought Busy-Mom-E an iPod Touch. She bought me an iPod Nano 2G for our wedding anniversary, and we’ve both enjoyed using it (particularly with the Nike Plus iPod for running).

I wanted her to have an iPod of her own so that she’d stop using mine we don’t have to fight over it we could each have one to use when I am away at conferences. (Not to mention, they’re fun and she’s a technophile.)

I also knew that she’d be travelling solo with the boys to California shortly after Mother’s Day, and the games and video might come in handy. Target had a nice deal on the iPod Touch, so I bought one.

Let me say that I detest keeping secrets when it comes to presents. As soon as I bought it, I wanted to yell out, “Hey, I just bought you an iPod touch for Mother’s Day!”

And as soon as I bought it, Big Brother wanted to know what we were getting Mom-E for Mother’s Day. Knowing that he was a high-risk to blurt out the surprise to Mom-E, and knowing that he would scream uncontrollably be insistent until he saw her “prize”, I made a compromise.

I showed it to him and told him we bought Mom-E a “little laptop computer.” That way, even if he leaked the secret, the actual item might still be a surprise for Mom-E. I even showed him the demo video on (This planted the seed for his metamorphosis into IRON MAN, which is previewed in this video).

Amazingly, we made it the entire 10 days until Mother’s Day without letting the secret slip, although Big Brother did ask me from time to time about the “Laptop PUTER” (as he calls it.)

Well, the iPod Touch was a big hit with both Mom-E AND Big Brother.

You see, Big Brother also inherited the technophile gene.

And he’s 4, and it’s hard to share sometimes, especially when you’ve already seen how you can play cool games and watch your favorite videos on the Laptop Puter.

In other words, Big Brother pretty much thought the Laptop Puter was a present for HIM.

Needless to say, there was initially some yelling and some tantruming about the ownership and use of this device.

Fortunately, we set some ground rules regarding time-limited use of the Laptop Puter for Big Brother.

I’ve written about this before, but I’m amazed at the ability of young children to use modern technology. Big Brother, who is 4 (and illiterate), has no trouble navigating this hand-held device. He can turn it on, select a favorite game or movie, and get it up and running faster than you can say “Do you have to go potty?”

They say that immersion is the best way to learn a foreign language. I think the same thing goes for technology. If you grow up inundated with technology, you’re so much more “comfortable” using it, even if the device is something “new.” By contrast, I got my first non-Commodore computer when I was in high school. I’m sure the specs on the iPod Touch blow that computer away.

And while I want my children to spend plenty of time playing and running outside (not inside the house naked after bath time), I still want them to become “fluent” with this technology.

The Laptop Puter has also been a nice behavior modification tool.

“If you keep acting that way, then you won’t get to play with the Laptop Puter today.”
(I should make an App for that--a voice that says the above phrase.)

Even with these limitations, I think he’s still used it more than anyone else in the family.
I just got to play the car racing game for the first time on the airplane ride back from California.

I didn’t play but about 2 minutes when I heard, “Hey, Dad-E, I’ll trade ‘ya.”

Next thing I know, Big Brother’s playing the racing game on the Laptop Puter, and I’m holding a set of alphabet flash cards. Go figure.

Maybe we should get a Wii, which at least has multi-player capabilities.

Then again, maybe not for a little while.

I’ll have to ask Mrs. Claus.

Have a good week,


  1. My children and I frequently fight over possession of the laptop "puter!" They are not 4, they are 15 and 18. It's only when I just pull out my "I am the Mom. I get the laptop." trump card that the arguments end. They would do great things for an Ipod Touch, but Santa and Mrs. Claus will get themselves one first before the kids. My kids are so technologically literate it's scary. Funny post.

  2. LOL! Yes, children these days amaze me with their capacity towards technology. Kaitlyn is three and can navigate on the computer on her own. She spends a lot of her computer time on the sesame street webpage. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You did a good job on that gift! Before you know it, big brother will be helping you with your computer difficulties! Aunt-E