Sometimes I wish there were computer shortcuts to parenting. Not parenting via computer, but that I had the option to use certain key combinations to address kids’ behavior the way you can a computer’s behavior.
For instance, if I’m working on a tedious project in the garage, and all the boys come pell-mell tumbling into the garage and start doing their impression of a stirred ant mound, I could just ctrl +alt +del and use the task manager to stop them before they knock everything off the work bench.
An added bonus of having a task manager menu to be able to view all current tasks this way would be the ability to identify which kid was doing what activity in the other room. Ctrl+alt+delete: I see boy number 3 is working on flushing action figures down the toilet. End process now.
Or think of the power of the refresh button. When I walk into the bathroom and find what appears to be the aftermath of a tornado, I could just hit F5 (ironic) and refresh what I’m looking at. This way I could easily tackle the mess, or rather wouldn’t have to.
Think of the time my wife could save by hitting ctrl + c (copying) after making a PB&J sandwich for lunch and then ctrl + p (pasting) it four more times for each kid.
Different keys perform different actions on different computer systems, but on the one I’m currently typing on Fn + F3 is the shortcut for turning the volume down. Man, could that ever come in handy.
Or what about dragging and dropping? If I could just point my hand at a boy, use the grab function, and then pick them up and move them wherever they were supposed to be (probably to bed) what a back, time and effort saver that would be!
It doesn’t stop there. If they step in dog poop and run into the house — I could select undo (literally).
If they say something embarrassing in public, I could quickly tap backspace and give it another go.
When they’re fighting with each other or just on each other’s cases and need some time apart, I’d just hit the spacebar until they were all adequately separated.
And what parent wouldn’t want the instant solution of the escape button? You’d never have to fear a long car ride, a public tantrum or a doctor’s office meltdown again.
Of course, I’ve saved the best one of all for last. The sleep button. Sigh. If only there were a sleep button in real life.
Harris and his wife live in Pflugerville with their six sons. Please email comments or suggestions for future columns to [email protected]