March 31, 2010 3 Comments
One evening last week, my five-year-old was in one of those moods where he makes unreasonable demands. “I have to have my own computer!” he said in an unpleasant tone.
“You already have your own computer,” I reminded him. He has one of those toy laptops designed for preschoolers; my uncle gave it to him for his third birthday.
“No!” he said, “I need a real computer on my desk so I can type on it! I have to type right now or I am never going to bed again!!!”
I made some kind of annoyingly parental comment about how a person who starts resisting bedtime before it’s even been mentioned probably needs to go to bed early. Both Daniel (his dad) and I acknowledged his demands for a computer with some sort of unsatisfying, “Hmmm. We’ll see.” We were trying to finish our dinner and did not appreciate the complaining.
After a while Nicholas said, “Well, at least I need a typewriter! On my desk!”
Daniel, who was just getting up from the table, said calmly, “We do have a typewriter that nobody is using.”
Nicholas was astonished. “Really? We have a typewriter?! Where is it? We have to set it up on my desk right away! And I will type!” After a quick reminder that typing time would be limited by the need to get ready for bed soon, Daniel went down to the basement to get the typewriter. (I was kind of surprised myself. I had totally forgotten about the typewriter since moving into the house; I guess it had been stored in a place where I never had to move it. Daniel apparently knew its exact location.)
Turns out a typewriter is in many ways more satisfying to a five-year-old than a computer: Read more…