A Room – And Computer – Of Their OwnCatherine Connors
So we’re all together now, my family and me, in our new house – apartment – in New York City and I have to say, it is pretty much equal parts awesome and overwhelming.
Awesome, because I get to cuddle my children every single day, which is a luxury that I have been missing for months. Overwhelming, because, my god:
Sure, cats on boxes are funny, but, really, not so funny when those are the only places that ANYONE has to sit.
But we’ve started the long, arduous process of shuffling boxes and unpacking and turning our box-filled loft into a box-free home, and it’s gratifying, because we’ve been living in transition for so long. Being able to actually put clothing in drawers rather than suitcases feels downright radical.
Except that putting clothing in drawers has not been our priority. Getting our gadgets hooked up has been our priority. Because it’s not clothes in drawers that make a home. It’s COMPUTERS and WIRELESS and HULU and NETFLIX and THE INTERNET.
You think I’m joking. I’m totally not joking. Sure, putting the clothes away and hanging up the pictures and artfully tossing the cushions are important parts of making ourselves at home in our new place, but they’re not core to that process. I can live with the pictures unhung and the cushions untossed. I cannot live without our communication and entertainment systems in place. None of us can live without that. That is, of course, in part because we rely upon those systems for so much of our daily work (our professional work, and also the quotidian work of managing our household), but it’s mostly because we have small children. Small children who must be engaged and entertained. Because although we endeavor to be the kind of parents who engage and entertain their children by telling stories and doing crafts and putting on puppet shows, we are, at the moment, parents who are living in a sea of unpacked boxes and who have limited bandwidth for doing anything beyond managing the basics of day to day life and climbing over the aforementioned boxes.
… is not only awesome, but necessary.
That’s a Dell Inspiron All-In-One 2320 Fancy Fancypants Desktop, which arrived just in time for us to create a little home office corner in the loft. Emilia promptly declared it her office, and her computer, because, as she put it, ‘you have your computers, Mommy. And this one has drawing and shows and I need somewhere for drawing and shows.’
It was hard to argue with her, because it does have drawing, and shows. It has YouPaint, which, when you put it on a massive desktop touchscreen, is seriously one of the most awesome things ever – she can finger paint on the big screen (finger painting! without PAINTS!) or use the mouse to manipulate brushes and markers and stamps and she loves it and do you know what it means when a five year old loves something like that? She parks herself in front of it and is quiet. That is gold. So, yeah. She wants that to be her office? She can totally have her office. She has to share it with her brother, who lobbies for watching episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine when he’s not trying to get his own fingers on the touch screen, but still. It can be their space.
I’ll be taking over after bedtime, to watch old Buffy episodes – instead of, you know, unpacking – but we’ll just keep that between us.
About the giveaway: the giveaway will run until Friday, October 28th at 11:59 p.m. EDT and is open to all U.S. residents. A winner will be chosen at random using Random.org from all eligible entries. Each reader has as many chances to win as there are posts in this series (find them all at the above-linked Family Tech page) – just leave a separate comment on each of the Dell posts, except mine (I’m here to direct you to all the other posts, HOLLER), one comment per post. The chosen winner must respond within 48 hours of notification to claim their prize. Good luck!