When I was growing up, computers where just becoming a huge learning tool. I remember having Macs in elementary school. I remember going to computer lab in middle school. Fuck, I remember when the Internet was called the World Wide Web. Technology has come a long ways in my short 28 years & I guess I shouldn't really be all that surprised by how easily these younger generations adapt to it.
Yet, I am.
I'm completely flabbergasted with how proficient my two year old, Paxton, is on the computer or with ANY piece of technology he gets his hands on. Maybe we brought it on ourselves, letting him play Angry Birds to keep him busy but pretty soon, he was stealing Jay's phone so often, downloading so many games, that Jay put a pattern lock on the phone. Paxton broke it. Not the phone itself, just the pattern code. He's also figured out that he can just hit 'emergency call' and get to the home screen from there.
Jay's phone isn't alone though; even my phone, with its really, really limited functionality, has been hacked by Paxton. He's set speed dials, made phone calls, and created emails. And he does all of it with such pride in himself, it's hard to get mad at him. He's got this giant smile on his face & he says 'Look, Mom!' because he really does want me to see what he's done; it's almost impossible to get angry with him.
Then he noticed the computer. We let Phoenix play games on PBS Kids Go! and other kid-friendly sites & Paxton apparently felt he needed to be included in this. I started by letting him play with Paint on the desktop but pretty soon, I found out that he wasn't satisfied with just Paint.
He'd figured out how to get to the Internet. And he found Angry Birds on Chrome. Now, he is obsessed. He figured out how to get to Phoenix's game sites. He's figured out how to get to YouTube. He's gotten into my Facebook & played the games there. He wants to be on the computer ALL THE TIME. If Jay or I forget to put the mouse up the cupboard before we go to bed at night, I can guarantee that first thing in the morning, Paxton will be on the computer. Playing games. Just try to get him off without a fight. I dare you.
I can't even walk away to get my coffee out of the microwave or answer the door without hiding the mouse. If I forget, chances are, Paxton has it & will staunchly refuse to give it up. He's even figure out it's much more comfortable if he pulls a chair out of the dining room to stand on, which makes getting him off the computer even harder. He lets out the most blood curdling screams, like you're literally ripping his limbs off, one by one. He pelts you with his fat little baby fists in a round of Hay-makers and let me tell you, they hurt. He throws whatever he can grab; sometimes he throws whatever he's grabbed directly at you. Other times, he just blindly throws to let you know how pissed off he is.
Jay has actually suggested getting him his own computer. WHAT?! HE'S TWO AND A HALF. Does he really need his own computer? I think not. I do think it's super awesome that he's so interested in this stuff and totally capable of navigating his way around but I wish he were older & more AWARE of what he's actually doing. Until then, his computer time must be closely monitored & regulated, much to his displeasure.
Maybe that second computer isn't such a bad idea after all, if we could just find one that's kid-proof...