Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Computers and Babies

Trying to juggle a computer and a baby is an on-again, off-again affair.  Depending on the age of the kid, you may or may not be able to steal time away on the computer.

I always figured that I could get on the computer while the new baby was sleeping.  Sure, I knew that newborns only sleep for a few hours at a time, catnapping all day and night between feedings, but the average newborn still sleeps about 20 hours a day.  Average… no, my son wasn’t average.

I think I went through computer withdrawal those first months, while my son claimed every moment of my attention.  If not for escaping to work at my night job, I would have been nearly completely deprived of my computer time.

And on top of this, I didn’t even have time to install the other really neat thing I got that June: a copy of Office 2010.  Yes, I will equate new software with being as fun as a newborn baby.  Maybe more so at times, since software doesn’t cry.

Finally, my son began to grow and now I can steal some time on the computer.  My little laptop had become a very useful tool.  It’s little more than a netbook, but it’s small enough that I can balance it on my lap while racing toy cars with one free hand.  How do you think I’m writing this post, anyway?

Of course, at the toddler age, my son is very, very interested in anything that falls in either of the two categories: things that Momma is going and things that get a reaction from Momma.  My computer falls into both, since my attention is on it and, more importantly, when my son touches, pokes, or pushes it, he gets a reaction from me.

I know that my son will continue to grow.  He’ll learn more to play on his own.  Make some friends, go off to school.  My computer time will, slowly, return.  While I often miss the time I used to spend on the computer—writing, usually, or communicating with friends and other folks online—I don’t feel any desire to rush these years with my son.  My computer will always be here, in some form or another (though probably a desktop with REAL keyboard, but that’s a musing for another post), my son will only ever be this age once.