Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baby Bear Wrecks a Laptop

That’s the bad news. The good news: It wasn’t mine.

Mr. Lucky likes to put his laptop on a folding tray in front of the sofa in the family room. This allows him to simultaneously watch TV and play Lord Master of the Universal Planetary Federation of Civilizations, Empires, and Neighborhood Associations, or whatever that game is that allows him to annihilate the inhabitants of entire galaxies for the resources to build his own shopping mall and theme park.

Except when he’s asleep or at work, he leaves the laptop yawning like a crocodile at all times.

I’ve warned him not to do it, especially if Baby Bear is on the prowl. Anytime Mr. Lucky turns his back on the open laptop, even for a few moments, Baby Bear swoops down and slaps it shut.

That’s all. He closes it and moves on to the next shiny object. That may not seem like a big deal, but on rare occasions, he’s been known to wreak havoc by the simple act of hitting a few random keys, and once he even toppled the tray table and open laptop to the floor, fortunately without consequences.

But it was only a matter of time before certain odds and laws dictated those consequences.

The other night, we sat down to dinner. While Baby Bear is more than willing to pull up a chair and join us, we have a hard time getting him to remain at the table until meal’s end. He always finds a reason to get up more than once during dinner to do something else, even if it’s to close a gaping laptop, which is exactly what he did in this case.

One of the things I like about my own laptop is that I don’t need a mouse. I just use the fingerpad. I find it liberating, especially as the mouse is one less thing for Baby Bear to steal and bury at the bottom of his toybox like a dog with a bone. I know because I’ve had to go on in-house archeological expeditions for his own mouse.

But Mr. Lucky, tool of the mouse industry, insists on having one. And on this day, he left it sitting on the keyboard.

Baby Bear did not remove the mouse; most likely he did not even notice it. All he saw was a wide open laptop, and that would not do. He slammed down the lid. Mr. Lucky yelled. Baby Bear returned to the table to resume dining. Mr. Lucky ran to the laptop, and opened it to discover one corner of the screen was smashed.

He didn’t think the kid would do it. He thought the laptop would be safe, since he could see it from where he sat at the table. He was positive Baby Bear wouldn’t touch it as long as he was watching.

Men. You just can’t warn them and tell them you’re right. They always have to find out for themselves—and it’s always the hard, expensive way that usually leads to a repair shop, the insurance company, an emergency room, or any combination of the three. It’s that Y chromosome.

But until he can get the screen fixed, he’s compelled to do what I had to do when my screen burned out earlier this year: He’s back to the desktop in his office.

Only now he can’t watch TV at the same time—unless he can figure out a way to make the whole setup fit on that folding tray table, or move the TV into his office.

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