A couple months ago I found myself actually having to be productive and take the dive into domestic bliss. Since this prevented me from making mosaics with dried beans, having a Candyland tournament, or my personal favorite, playing Go Get Mommy a Beer, I let Zoe play on the Mac for a couple hours.
Assuming that she was wrapped up in a captivating game of helping Spongebob brush his rotting teeth, I cracked open the cover of my new InStyle magazine. Suddenly, she came sprinting out of the computer room and ran up the stairs, yelling "I'm so sorry! I'm really, really sorry! I didn't mean to break it! Something's so wrong!" These are not my favorite words to hear, and are pretty much the opposite of "Excuse me, but can I get you another martini?"
I put my magazine down, went to investigate the source of her sadness and discovered that she had been screwing around with the system preferences. Everything on the screen was white on black, the contrast was set up to resemble a Red Hot Chili Peppers video, the text was in 85 pt. font, and best of all, she discovered "Alex, the voice of Leopard." Alex's job is to give a play by play of what you are clicking on, and the way Zoe had it set up, he was saying everything really loud. It was like Alex with a megaphone. I guess I should have been thankful that she hadn't selected Bruce or Fred as the Mac voice, because those guys really get on my nerves.
Basically, she had the computer set up for the blind, deaf, and technologically challenged. I attempted to turn down the volume, but unfortunately she had reassigned the volume keys so that pushing them just made the windows fly around the screen.
After the computer was returned to the point where a non-deaf/blind person could operate it again, Zoe came creeping down the stairs, still apologizing, and was relieved when I told her that nothing was permanently damaged. Sadly, though, she also found out that her Spongebob time was over. And no, mommy wasn't getting out the Play-Doh either.
Yesterday, when Zach was on the computer working on English homework and listening to some piano music on YouTube, I was congratulating myself on what a fine child we've been raising. Here he was, writing insightful comments about "Flowers for Algernon" and listening to Debussy, and wait...what was that? Did I hear Alex? Sure enough, while playing around with the right-click he found the "speech" option, was highlighting text, and then laughing as Alex read it back. He then typed "$$$$$$$$$$$nvfngkvesrngviewngvouerhv; the hippo ate the lion quickly" and, while Alex struggled with the gibberish, followed by "the hippo ate the lion quickly," I have to admit it was pretty funny.
For some reason, this made me imagine someone turning on the closed captioning while watching porn, which made me laugh even more.