No, really. I *do*. I try to balance it, but--I mean, he's it for me, it's not like I will ever have another kid. And there's the squee of getting some seriously awesome toys--yes, no kid needs a Playstation and a Gamecube and a freaking Gameboy, but you know, let's say a certain adult in the house really likes Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, and the multitude of Zeldas, okay? And there's nothing on earth as fun as leggos and logs. And hey, so maybe we have the same taste in DVDs and TV shows, so boxed sets are a present the whole family can enjoy! I'm raising him, I figured to make life easy for me, I might as well condition him in the right direction. So you know. Balance.
However. Christmas shopping. I got him a building set and some organizing things from Ikea and a Discovery Zone thing where you grow your own amoebas or whatever, art supplies, and was looking vaguely at the Nintendo Wii thoughtfully, because new Zelda (which can also be found for the Gamecube starting on the 11th, but still), and my mother got him a fairly nice telescope, so I was thinking, hmm, let us be practical this year.
So I ended up getting him a laptop.
Okay. My defense is, he's been using my old desktop, which my youngest sister also uses, and she's screwed it up pretty thoroughly. I've gone through and done mass deletions and a few fixes, but it needs a full format and reinstallation. She also goes to really inappropriate sites, and considering I'm a porn writer and saying that, you see why I wince a lot. Inappropriate sharewares, weird chat rooms, places that are kind of guaranteed to wreck your hard drive, and myspace, which I object to because she friends people that scare me. And worse, and this is what gets me, she does not respect the computer. She doesn't clean the cache or even help clean the keyboard, I ended up creating two identities for the computer to keep him from being able to access her stuff, and *that* bottlenecked easy downloading from yahoo games and Disney and other sites if he was logged in. When I first got the desktop, I'd given my mother my old computer, and when I got John, I put the desktop as open to all and used it to centralize the network in the house. After I got Mom a new computer last year, I gave my sister the one Mom was using so she'd stay off the desktop and I could give it exclusively to Child--and then she promptly sold it for twenty-five dollars.
Oh my GOD did that piss me off. I don't sell my computers. I cannibalize them for parts or give them to other people. Wow, I'm still pissed about that now. So I could never move the desktop from my room to his because a.) it runs the network, b.) I don't want her in his room and c.) having to look at it reminds me to clean it out regularly and lets me keep up where she's going so I can block sites if necessary.
So this solution works. It gives him his own computer he can use, it's small enough to fit on his desk, it won't require me to move around the router and the desktop, and when I move his stuff off the desktop, I can format and reinstall with a clear conscience, since I won't have to worry about him losing any of his stuff. And to be fair, it was really inexpensive, since I got it as stripped down as I could so I could pick what software would be installed and frankly, he's *nine*. He doesn't need a graphics gaming card, a DVD burner, or a 120 G harddrive.
But I just really wanted him to have it, too.
But pretty much, I feel like a parent destroying the values of their child. OTOH, Christ, he's going to have *such* an awesome Christmas day.