When my 2 year old nephew broke my sister-in-law’s iPad, I was more surprised by her reaction than by the fact that the iPad was broken – she was entirely calm about it (at least when she told me, some days later). I was wondering how come she isn’t more sad, ‘coz that iPad was a very precious thing for her. I wondered why she isn’t more pissed off with my nephew. Did she even tell him what he did was wrong? Why wasn’t she more careful? Why was he even allowed to come near the iPad?
My son broke my Kindle yesterday.
Yep, my Kindle is no longer working. If you know me, or at least the pre-motherhood me, you should know that those two lines above are reason enough for a cardiac arrest. Or at least a coma. But here I am. Telling you about it.
I was sitting down with him, reading while he was playing and in a fit of excitement he hit the Kindle with his Chhota Bheem action figure. I immediately checked the screen (after one panicked scream, of course) and it looked ok. But 10 minutes later, the display is all messed up. The page won’t turn, other menu functions don’t work and shutdown doesn’t work either. Hoping against hope, I checked again this morning and nope, no change. Go on, laugh – if you had your favorite gadget ruined, you will also expect miracles to happen overnight.
But here’s the thing – it didn’t feel like the end of the world. Before my son was born, sure. I would have been moping around for a full week, telling anyone who even came within a 1km radius of me (real world and virtual!) that my Kindle was broken and drowning my sorrow in a glass of vodka. Ok, the last one I made up, but it’s close. But now? Nothing. My only thought was, do I now read on the laptop or slug it out on the phone? I also thought now was a good time to read all those paper books that I hadn’t read yet, because obviously, a pause in reading, no matter how short, was not acceptable. And no, I was not pissed off with my son. I was more pissed off with myself, of course, for being so careless.
So, to my sister-in-law: I know now.
When my husband got home, I told him what happened. He gave me this look that said: Why aren’t you more sad about it? Why do you allow him to come near the Kindle? Why weren’t you more careful?
Because I’m a mother now. And that’s what mothers do. We trust our infants and toddlers to play “carefully” with our gadgets much more than is reasonably allowed, just so the kid can have some fun and more importantly, let us have a few minutes of peace. All the things in our precious list move down one step because a new king has arrived to top the list and this will continue for all eternity.
It’s tough, but that’s how we live. Gadget in one hand and a gadget-destroyer in the other.