Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dead electronics are not always bad.

We went down to Grandma and Grandpa's house today.  On the 90-minute drive home our portable DVD player went on strike.  I can hardly blame it. After playing a fairly innocuous Pingu disc all the way down to Punta Gorda, Hannah chose the dreaded "Barbie in A Fashion Fairytale" for the ride home.  I set my teeth, loaded it up, and turned on the player before we left Grandma and Grandpa's driveway.  After several moments of "It's loading..." and "It's still loading" updates from the back seat, I hear
"Mom. It says 2 words in the corner that I don't know."
I turn around in my seat to read "Wrong Disc" on the screen.
"You've got that right," I think.

I take out the disc, clean it with the eye glasses cleaning cloth I carry around, and put it back it.  It fires up and gets through all the previews and advertisements before it locks up and delivers the  "Wrong Disc" message again.  

"I'm saved!" I think.  

I hate Barbie movies.  They're trite, poorly animated, and all have essentially the same story line: Regular-Gal Barbie finds herself in a glamorous predicament, never of her own causing, which she navigates by sheer pluck, good-naturedness, and a little bit of magical help from her new friends.  Some joker cranks out these piles of drivel by the dozens, and my daughter ends up getting them as birthday presents.  I can't wait to go on vacation and leave them behind in a random hotel room.  Not that I've managed that, yet. She's hyper-vigilant about them. 

Next I hear "Can I just watch something on the iPod?"
"No. The battery is just about dead." I'm playing Angry Birds with the sound off.
Whining: "Now I have nothing to do-o-o."
"You have books back there.  You can play with your Bunny. You can just relax and listen to the music," which, incidentally, is an all-kids programmed station on satellite radio. She knows all the songs and enjoys singing along, typically.

In the end, the kid actually chooses to look out the window.  She exclaims at every horse and cow we pass, and there are actually quite a few on that stretch of I-75.  We make up names for some of them.  She gets excited about how the seagulls appear to be flying backward when we drive past them leading up to the Sunshine Skyway bridge.  She will not be disabused of the notion that they are all actually going backward. 

Remember when you had nothing else to do but look out the window on a car trip?  I know, I defend my portable child-distracting electronics as fiercely as the next person, but what a delight to find my daughter entertaining herself in such a colloquial manner.  It made me proud.

Now I have to go research cheap, portable DVD players before our summer vacation.

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