I have a love-hate relationship with my computer. It started out simply enough. Twenty-five years ago I took a computer class in high school where I learned how to write a program. A simple set of code that allowed the computer to guess what number you were thinking of between one and ten. It hardly ever guessed correctly. The point is that back then it did what I asked of it. Once upon a time (yes, it does seem like a fairytale) the crumb snatchers did too.
My computer is pretty ornery. Cantankerous, contemptible, disagreeable, obstinate…I could go on and on but I’ll stop there. It threw a tantrum and suddenly decided it wasn’t going to do what I asked of it. It sat silently with its arms crossed staring me down in a game of Who Will Blink First. I did, of course. The words used to describe my computer are also synonymous with teenager.
When it comes to discipline, Chief Money Maker and I subscribe to the Bill Cosby style of parenting. I brought you into this world, I can take you out. When they become cantankerous, a threat of cell service disconnection will usually result in a new positive attitude. But what do you do when your computer decides it isn’t going to cooperate with you?
You get rid of it. Toss it. Upgrade. Buy a new one. Transfer files. Then admire all the new bells and whistles that come with the improved model. You suddenly realize that it has progressed and become smarter over the course of time. Then you begin to ask yourself, will the same thing happen to the crumb snatchers?
When they are teenagers, you sometimes wonder how they will ever make it to adulthood. They won’t do what you ask of them. They lock up, and they use all their memory playing games leaving essential operating systems like “common sense” with no room to run. There are certainly days when you’d like nothing more than to upgrade, but we can’t do that with our children.
Instead, we input everything we can into them. We load programs like honesty, integrity, and education on their hard drives. But just like my home computer, there will come a day when there is no more disk space to load new programs. When that time comes, you can only upgrade…to adulthood.
You hold your breath and hope all the files you’ve created over the years will transfer. In most cases, they will. Their hard drive is fresh and new with plenty of room to load the latest and greatest software programs, like perhaps a job. Adulthood may come with bells and whistles like marriage and children. That is what I envision at least.
In the meantime, the only thing we can do is defrag them every once in a while. Don’t ask me how we do that. You really don’t want to know and I can’t risk Child Protective Services finding out. We keep running the programs we’ve installed, and when they run a little slow we give them a good kick in the side. Not the crumb snatchers, I’m talking about our old computers again.
Despite my love-hate relationship with my old computer, I learned a valuable lesson. Make sure you back up everything you do because one day a new and improved version is still going to need the files you’ve created over the years. Whether you believe it or not, your teenagers will too.
© 2011 CThacker