Last Days of Being Two

Zane was crying a bit after being put to bed last night so I went in to talk with him. After a few minutes I said, “Did you know that tomorrow is your very last day of being two years old? What are you going to do?” He paused a minute and replied, “Play?” I continued, “And then Saturday you turn three years old. What are you going to do then?” Surprisingly he didn’t say “play” but answered with something a bit longer and involved and which, me being way past three, I’ve already forgotten. I told him about his party and we talked about all of his friends who are coming over.

We hopped into the gazebo last night to get away from the bugs and play in the sand. We escaped most of the bugs, but apparently the netting isn’t no-see-um netting and they managed to get in a few bites. After dumping all of the sand out of pockets and sneakers we headed inside to make popcorn. Zane’s a total slapstick guy, so popping popcorn with exploding and flying kernels is right up there with the funniest of comedies or anything else that makes rude or abrupt noises. Bowl of popcorn in hand, he sat down to enjoy a movie.

I’ve mentioned that we got an iPad, which really means that Zane has an iPad. It’s great in that we now have a totally portable entertainment and learning center. He can sit at the table and watch a kids movie or youtube videos of trucks. Sitting on the potty he can learn counting and colors with Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, draw pictures or read a book. It can also be used for all of this while driving down the road on a trip. Faith can play solitaire or mahjong and I use it for web, email, facebook, games, and watching movies.

It’s a pretty fascinating and versatile device. Where parents might have bought a variety of “learning” computers (leapfrog, etc..) that used proprietary cartridges and books and styluses, here’s one device that can do all of that without any outside peripherals. It grows with the kid, picking up new learning applications is quick and cheap. Instead of lugging around portable DVD/CD players and discs you buy or rent them on the iPad, or sync the ones you own from a computer. No mountain of AA or AAA batteries, it recharges from a small wall socket, USB port on your computer or car adaptor. If you are near a network, or buy the 3G network version, you have easy access to pretty much everything the web has to offer. Navigating and exploring google maps with a large touch interface is unlike anything you have EVER tried before. Set it on the counter and you can instantly transform it into an animated picture frame of all your photos, or an information console showing the weather, news and time.