Computers, beauty, gambling, kids and humankind

One of the things I find interesting about being a parent is watching children being initiated into universal experiences – the kind we all face, sooner or later. Well this morning, it happened to all three of them – Bookworm, Picasso and Little Miss.

It started with Bookworm. He has been working (somewhat) hard on an assignment this week, and fired up the computer this morning to complete the finishing touches, only to find that – shock horror – the computer had died. Completely. And now, of course, his assignment is trapped inside an impenetrable spiderweb of technology. Poor Bookworm – I tried to make him feel better by telling  him of the times it happened to me – I can recall three separate occasions where I had to start essays over from scratch. Sadly, my stories didn’t seem to cheer him up much, given the assignment is due on Monday.

Next was Little Miss. She had put on her new pink Barbie socks for the first time before complaining that they were too tight and didn’t feel right. “Take them off and find another pair,” I said. A pause. “But Mummy…I like the look of them.”

Ah, Little Miss. Tis the age-old conundrum faced by countless generations of women across the globe – beauty or comfort? I was sure at that very moment there were tribeswomen in Africa discussing the same issue – not about high heels or socks, perhaps, but those neck elongator things have never looked comfortable.  I had to confess to her that the gorgeous red sandals I had worn yesterday are actually hideously crippling and will most likely mean I have to wear special fitted shoes one day. But these red sandals are just so cute. I left it up to her – and yes, like so many before her, she went tripping off to the park in the pretty pink socks, comfort be dammed.

And finally, there was Picasso, faced with a morally ambiguous fiscal transaction. He desperately wanted to buy an iPad game called “Slotto” – a virtual gambling game which is basically just a precursor to pokie machines. I gave a rousing sermon on the dangers of gambling and the pokies, and in touching detail  described the life of despair and anguish that awaited, should he travel down that lonely path. Then Souljourneyboy piped up with, “Also I think it looks really boring, You’d be sorry you spent that $2, mate.”

Well that clinched it and he made a wise choice, deciding $2 was too much to pay for the game. I’m sure on some deeper level he really was turning his back on gambling, of course.

So all in all it was an interesting morning – for the kids and humankind as well 🙂

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