I got a laptop so I could hide from the baby.
My husband’s job involves talking on the phone with the California office, which is eight hours behind us. So he works afternoons and evenings, and looks after our boys in the morning.
The boys have a great time, playing Lego and programming robots. (And a somewhat annoyed time practicing instruments and French pronuciation.) At the time we started using this schedule, our younger son was less than a year old. He loved spending time with his daddy and was very happy.
UNLESS he saw or heard me. If I snuck into the kitchen to get coffee? Even if I ducked to hide behind the counters and skulked around like Gollum? He knew I was there, just from the sound of a cabinet door. And he would WAIL.
I certainly couldn’t sneak through the playroom into my study and close the door, the way we had planned.
When we built this house, we attached the studies there, figuring we could work and be near our frolicking children. Ha! It’s hard to get work done in any proximity to frolicking. And our older boy has pretty much taken over “my” desktop computer. The screensaver is VeggieTales and the homepage on our browser is Club Penguin. The bookmarks menu is all funny YouTube clips and HTML how-tos and PBS Kids.
So I got a laptop, and a small coffeemaker, and set up in a corner of our bedroom. If we have no visitors, I can spread out on a table in a guest room. If I have errands or a dentist appointment, I can work at a cafe or bookstore.
My first laptop was a cheap Windows machine. I felt indulgent buying a laptop for what was, by virtue of being unpaid, still a hobby and not yet a profession, so I got the least expensive one. By the time my book sold, the machine was falling apart. I felt I could justify a *nice* laptop, now that I had become a pro. I went into the shiny new Apple store and got this fine little machine I’m typing on now.
Every now and then I have to revisit my old laptop to retrieve a file or use a piece of software that runs on only on Windows. Even just the layout of the keys and the way they absorb being pressed is somehow unpleasant. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Windows, and certainly not back to [brand name of cheap laptop redacted].
Confess: Are you a Windows or a Mac person? Or other? (Do explain!) Who knows–maybe we even have a Luddite lurker who follows the Debutante Ball on printouts from a friend. Are you reading this at a desk, or on a laptop, or on your phone? How portable are you?
The boys are older now, and I can fetch my morning coffee without ducking. But I still work in the bedroom.
The best part about a laptop is that when my Sweetie and I both have deadlines and need to work through our evenings, I can bring my Mac downstairs. He sits on one end of the couch, and I lie across the couch with my feet next to his lap. We both type; he rubs my feet; the TV plays detective shows. Bliss.