Of course she was joking. That’s what we thought anyway. But no- there was the laptop, open for watching a movie, with red smoothie juice spread all over it. You could literally see the sticky fluid seeping into the keyboard, the disk drive hole, the on/off button.
Safety be damned! I yanked off my seatbelt and crawled into the back seat, desperately trying to stop as much of the damage as I could while my husband pulled the car over to the side of the road and proceeded to almost have a heart attack.
It was an ironic moment actually, since just last week I posted a blog about how technology fails us. We have become reliant (overly so) on screen time to make the 10 hour drive go by more quickly for our daughter (and thus for us.) We force her off of it every now and then for at least an hour. “Look at that beautiful mountain,” we say. But she barely looks up from her screen (laptop or iPod) and we are left to enjoy the vistas on our own.
No on this trip, however. This juice spill happened 3 hours into our journey; which left about 8 to fill computerless. Granted the first two were spent in tears, apologies, and questions about whether daddy would ever forgive her. But after the tension in the car finally mellowed, we were left with wonderful stop-over in Crater Lake, some fun car games, some nice discussions, and a little bit of iPod time.
Strangely, it was one of our nicer car trips. The fact of the matter is that technology is not really to blame for over reliance; sometimes we let ourselves down with low expectations. Next time, whether we have a computer available or not there will be new rules for the amount of time she spends staring at a screen.