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Even dads have to learn to share

I’ve written before about the first electronic toy I ever had. It was a calculator shaped like an owl. You could put in numbers, say two plus two, and then your answer. If your answer was right, the owl’s green eye would light up. If your answer was wrong, his red eye would glow.
I won this calculator at Sunday School as part of a Bible verse memorization contest. I’d stayed up most of the night before learning as many verses as possible. I wanted that calculator. After all, it was 1976, and I didn’t know anyone who had an owl-shaped calculator, much less one with two different colored eyes.
That was the definition of high tech in 1976.
Fast forward 30-plus years.
We have a new toy around our house. It’s an I-Pad, a cool gizmo we bought when our home computer died. An I-Pad is basically an electronic note pad and you can download games and other things, known as applications. You use your finger as opposed to a mouse to navigate around the screen.
The computer was purchased for Greg. It’s been taken over by Sutton.
“Daddy, can I play with your ‘puter?” she will ask in a sweet voice.
Looking into her big blue eyes, he feels compelled to say yes, though I can tell he’s nervous. What usually happens is he will sit with her while they play her favorite games, a digital version of the old-fashioned “Memory.” Or listen to the interactive “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Or scroll through the alphabet complete with animal sounds at the touch of a button.
The I-Pad has become one of Sutton’s favorite things, so much so Greg’s had to learn to share.
“Everybody gets a turn,” I found myself saying last night, sounding as if I was talking to two toddlers instead of one. I think I heard Greg whine, “but Mom!” though I’m not sure.
Later, Greg casually mentioned Sutton’s love for the I-Pad.
“Your know they have a cheaper basic version,” he said. “Maybe she could get one of those.”
“Are you kidding me?” I asked. “We’re not buying an I-Pad for a three-year-old. You’re just going to have to learn to share.”
I thought about this conversation as I was driving to work later that morning. Modern technology is amazing and I’m glad Sutton’s learning to utilize it but let’s not go too far.
Let’s see if she can handle an owl calculator before we progress to major technology.