Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Just Love Technology--Except When I Don't

Last week we had another one of those perfect days. We drove to Portland, where a friend watched our kids so that Plantboy and I could go to the temple. It is the first time we have been together to the temple in nearly a year. The weather was looking a bit awful in the morning, but by the time we got back to pick up the kids, it had cleared beautifully.

The zoo was our next stop. And, despite having left the directions at home (with a list on the back about all the things not to forget on our day-trip), we did not get lost on the way to the zoo. We had two awesome hours to roam around, which was just about enough for the age of my kids. It was easily the best trip we've ever taken to the zoo.

We haven't been to the zoo since Houston, when Jedi Knight was far more interested in the train and the Padawan was just a baby who always seemed in need of a nap when we went to see the animals. Though the Youngling is just a few months older than two, he rarely naps any more and loves animals. At each stop, he jumped out of the stroller, ran right up to the animal pens and tried to spot what we were looking at. As he doesn't exactly talk yet, it was completely hilarious and charming to watch him "describe" what we were looking at using a combination of his limited language and creative signing.

Even days later when I brought up going to the zoo, the Youngling's memory was accurate. I said, "Do you remember the bats?" (There was a wonderful indoor display of fruit bats in the semi-darkness, so that the bats were extremely active.) The Youngling nodded and blurted, "Bat!" He then wrinkled up his nose and sniffed and said, "Poop! Bat poop." He then flapped his arms around and said, "Banananananna," while sticking out his tongue. He was entirely accurate: the bats were flying, pooping and eating bananas. It is almost as adorable to watch him describe the zoo's baby elephant, which rivals my own kidlets in hairy perfection.

So why all of this pleasant description and none of Plantboy's wonderful pictures of our whole family dressed in matchy clothes so the pictures would be extra cute? Where is the hilarious picture I took just for ChrisW because I was standing next to the big sign leading into the re-created subterranean niche of the Naked Mole Rat? What about the kids eating elephant ear scones as big as their heads? Alas . . . I went to load the pictures today and all seemed to be going according to plan for the 130 pictures on the camera. When the last picture loaded, an error message came up saying that for whatever reason, the pictures would not load and that I should try again. Okay, no problem.

Only when I went to try again, the error message THIS time tells me that there are actually NO pictures on my camera. It must have deleted the photos during the first attempt at downloading, as we have directed it to erase the pictures after loading them. I didn't realize that I had to create a separate designation in case the camera was of a mind to thwart my plans by just deleting photos willy-nilly that it had no intention of actually adding to my computer.

Yesterday, Doreen posted a hilarious bit from the Conan O'Brien show on her Facebook page. The tagline on the clips says, "Everything is amazing and nobody is happy." The comic being hosted by O'Brien is talking about all of our modern conveniences and just how little we actually appreciate any of it, and how all this convenience hasn't served to make us better people.

So in an effort to demonstrate that my bum camera doesn't have the power to take away my appreciation for the wonderful and real things in life, here are some joy-giving daily moments that have little to do with modern convenience:

* We watched Herbie the Love Bug for Family Movie Night on Friday. I wasn't sure if the kids would like it, but I was gladly mistaken. There were parts where they were, quite literally, falling off the couch with their giggles. During the montage bits with the silly-Disney-music-in-all-of-their-movies-from-the-1960's, the kids got up and danced around. Jedi Knight very closely resembled Elaine from Seinfeld when he was dancing, at which point Plantboy and I fell off the couch with our giggles.

* During family home evening we were talking about the flu and its symptoms. I talked about glands and where they were and how they might feel if one of the kids got the flu. When I pointed to the general groin area for glands, Padawan said, "In my weenie! There's glands in my weenie?" This is even funnier when I point out that we have never actually used the word "weenie" in our family. Oh, we aren't so uptight, we have plenty of our own euphemisms, but this one never made the lexicon. More uncontrolled laughter.

* I talked Padawan through his part for the Primary Program just twice (It is a five-sentence paragraph) and then he did the entire thing, word for word, from memory. He was able to do the whole thing from memory even several days later. In a related story, Jedi Knight is actually going to read his talk this year.

*I keep catching Jedi Knight trying to stay up late to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It is impossible for me to get after him in these moments. In fact, it makes me want to weep for joy when I gently remind him about bedtime. When will his suddenly wildfire reading get so commonplace that it ceases to delight my heart? I hope never.

*The Youngling sings the clean up song. "Eanup. Eanup." It is a nice edition to the "oh, oh's" he knows during the Cold Play song, Viva la Vida and the similar lyrics in Beyonce's Single Ladies. Not to worry, the adorable aspects of his personality are entirely balanced by his desire to always play the part of Darth Maul ("Arf Ma") in the boys' Star Wars games.

* This morning I had a particularly violent sneeze and Padawan said to me, "You and dad do really enormous sneezes, and it kind of FREAKS me out."

Good grief they are cute.

STOOPID camera.


Jenny said...

Your whole dang post was so great that it's almost ironic that I'm so dependent on technology to enjoy it.
Laughing at the sneeze--my kids said just about the same thing, except it had to do with my husband vomiting.
Actually, it was so loud and enormous-sounding that it FREAKED me out, too.

CaLM RAPIDS said...

What an absolutely adorable post! I'm sorry about your pictures, but your cute anecdotes into real life more than made up for loss of visuals!

chris w said...
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Nerd Goddess said...

I am sorry about your camera, but what a sweet post! I love any kind of kidlet story, especially since so many of my nieces and nephews have moved away now.

I also hope you never get to the point where reading gets that commonplace. Although if he's anything like I was as a kid you may have to do some coaxing to get him to clean is room when he is actually holed up reading a book in there instead. :)

chris w said...

I LOVE that bit from Conan O'Brian. It is so true!! Anytime I get mad about stuff like that now I have to start laughing.

I am still imagining you next to the naked mole rat sign - and your cute matchy matchy family.

Those little moments that only happen in your own family really are what makes life beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Hee! Your kids ARE cute! And I love the Portland Zoo! When I was a kid my parents had a membership and we could go all the time.

And your camera story reminds me of my own: I went with my mom and sister to Canada to meet my sister's in-laws for the first time, and at the end of our trip, my mom accidentally hit the "erase every picture I have ever taken" button. She nearly cried (the engagement party pictures were all gone), but then I reminded her that she was married to a forensic computer analyst, and what good was that if she couldn't take advantage of it? Long story short, as long as she didn't take any new pictures on that memory card, the pictures weren't actually overwritten, and my dad was able to retrieve the photos (thanks to his mad computer forensics skillz). The point: Find yourself an expert and see if you can't get those pictures anyhow.

Sherry said...

I wish I could see your little monkey communicating with you about the zoo. I bet it's adorable.

emandtrev said...

Loved this post from beginning to end. I found that I was grinning from ear to ear. So sweet!

Kimbertac said...
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Kimberly Bluestocking said...

Technology is like health: we're only aware of it when it fails us.

I hope one day my daughter will stay up way too late reading Harry Potter, too. :)

Yankee Girl said...

I'm sorry about all the lost pics, but I thoroughly enjoyed your post.