Monday, February 25, 2008

Computer Babysitter

Rachel often reminds me of Hammy from Over the Hedge, a little overactive squirrel.

First of all, she also loves anything that "tastes shiny," and even if something isn't shiny, her first reaction is to lick it. Second, she is all over the place, all the time. The girl never slows down. And third, she loves electronics. She loves to play with cell phones, to press buttons, to pound on the keyboard, to try and switch the light on and off. She's just fascinated with electronics.

This can be a good thing, like in Elder's quorum when she was entertained through the hour by someone's iPhone--she kept flicking through the pictures and apparently thought it was pretty cool. Andrew used this as a selling point for us to get an iPhone (of course, I could counter it by saying that the boy who sat behind us during sacrament meeting held her attention equally well, but that doesn't mean we're going to go out and adopt some ten year old boy to make faces at Rachel all day long).

Her fascination can also be a bane, though. Like when Andrew sets up his laptop to do homework. It was never really a problem before Rachel could pull herself up, but she's gotten quite good at popping up and pressing some very important key sequence while he's not looking (or even while he's looking) and messing things up for him by closing a paper before he's saved it or opening a program that takes forever to load. She also likes to grab his mouse and play with it. Sometimes he'll go to reach for the mouse and it is no longer on the mouse pad. Instead it is under his desk with Rachel.

The little red light on the mouse is what she's after. She thinks it's the coolest thing, just like Hammy and the pocket laser. She likes to shine it on things and make it flash across her face (I'm sure that's not great for her eyes).

Anyway, Rachel was busy terrorizing Andrew this evening while I was making dinner. She kept pulling herself up on his desk and grabbing the mouse, pulling the cords, and pushing his buttons, both literal and figurative. He finally gave in to her not-so-subtle hints and set up an old dinosaur of a laptop for her to play with--the one he installed Edubuntu on (it's full of educational, and a few just-for-fun, games).

This gave him enough freedom to work on his paper, allowed me time to make dinner without a baby pulling on my pant leg, and kept Rachel entertained. Win, win, win.

It only lasted until she noticed that she still didn't have a mouse to play with...but at least it gave us a few minutes of peace!


  1. Haha. The other day we were at some friends house, and they were showing us how their cat will chase a laser (just one of those red pointer lasers). Well, a visiting 18 month old little girl also found it fascinating... she chased it, too, and tried to pick it up. It was so cute and funny.

  2. Hey! A baby story I can relate to! On Saturday, I was baby-sitting my 6 month old "nephew", who was only content when sitting on my lap. He was fascinated by the first page of my homework packet, which he completely crumpled. I gave him his own piece of paper, but mine was endlessly more interesting. I tried putting him on the floor right behind me with his paper, but he was not pleased. Eventually, he had some interest in his teething ring, but not for long. I'm just glad that the keyboard of his dad's computer was not within baby arm length. I tried, in vain, to work around him, literally. Still, I only got one question done in four hours.

    So glad I'm not going to be a student and a mommy.

  3. A cheap mouse from DI might work but then nothing is as good as what Daddy has. It'll still be that way when she's 4, only now Daniel is learning to open stuff on the internet.

  4. Karen also loves the mouse. We have to put it up high now when we're not using it-not only can she reach the top of the desk, she now climbs on the computer chair too! There's just something about that little red light...

  5. I love that last picture--study time with daddy!

  6. Let us not forget the day that a little baby named Nancy, while her daddy made a bathroom run, pulled herself into his computer chair, grabbed a handful of floppy disks and tried to cram them all into the disk drive. Then when he came back in and said in shock and surprise, "Nancy!" began to shove them back into the case as fast as she could, bending them as she went!