by Marinka on April 3, 2012

Young Ladrinka: When you’re not home, can I use your laptop?

Marinka: You mean my new laptop that I received in celebration of my being alive for 45 years?

Young Ladrinka: Yes.

Marinka: No.

Young Ladrinka: Please?

Marinka: No.

Young Ladrinka: I said “please”.

Marinka: That word isn’t really magic, you know.

Young Ladrinka: I really want to use it.

Marinka: I know. And I really don’t want you to.

Young Ladrinka: WHY CAN’T I?

Marinka: Because when you used it, without my permission I may add, you immediately downloaded images of Tim Tebow and I don’t need that kind of stress in my life right now.

Young Ladrinka: I’m sorry I didn’t realize that it would be the end of the world if I did that.

Marinka: Well now you know.

Young Ladrinka: Can I use your laptop for homework when you’re not here?

Marinka: What have we been talking about this whole time? Wasn’t it homework?

Young Ladrinka: No, I meant for sports., that kind of thing.

Marinka: Oh.

Young Ladrinka: Wait, you were saying no to homework? Wait til I tell my class about this!

Marinka: Hold on-

Young Ladrinka: Most mothers are happy when their children do homework.

Marinka: I need to think.

Young Ladrinka: This is crazy! I’m going to tell everyone.

Marinka: Let me think! I can’t think when you’re threatening me like that!

Young Ladrinka: Or maybe you prefer that I shouldn’t do homework?

Marinka: ::whimper::


What do you think?

Should I let Young Ladrinka use my brand new laptop when I’m not home?

Here’s a brief pro/con list I made.


* Sharing is caring!

* He can do his homework on the couch as opposed to at the desk, like they did during the Dickensonian era!

* He will stop asking me if he can use my laptop.

* When he starts dating that girl that I won’t be able to stand, I will remind him of the laptop-sharing and he will immediately break up with her.


* He will download images and other stuff that I won’t like.

* He will drop it.

* He will spill something on it.

* I have very few things that I don’t have to share. Shouldn’t this be one of them?

Now, I know I can make a “no eating, drinking, shirt and shoes must be worn at all times when handling my laptop” rule, but what do you think?

Should I let him use it?

(BTW, my daughter hasn’t asked because she has her own.)

In other exciting (to me) news, I am now blogging at Babble Kids about all sorts of parenting issues. Please check out my posts on precocious puberty, some insane parents calling for an ice cream truck ban and about why children no longer open their gifts at birthday parties.

One year ago ...

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonnie B. April 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm

NO!! DO NOT LET HIM USE IT! (sorry, I had flashbacks to when my 14 year old daughter used my laptop without my permission and suddenly I had Google Chrome installed on my computer and I couldn’t find ANY of my bookmarked pages! Gah!!!)


Christy April 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I say NO WAY. It’s yours! He has access to another computer. When he’s older he can have his own. He’d probably just ruin yours. 馃檪


edrinka April 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Don’t let him borrow it! I let my daughter use mine and she left it, as she put it, “a smoking ruin”. (Not literally)


Mindy April 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm

As the mother of a grown sons, I lost focus of the point of this post when I read the part about your son will hopefully break up with any girlfriend you don’t like. If he knows this, she will become your daughter in law…or worse, babymama. The ones you really don’t like you must poison. And no don’t let him use your laptop.


Roshni April 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Nevaah!!! As you said, there should be some things that you and only you have the privilege of using!


Teddi B April 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm

No way! Can’t he use your old computer?


Jessica B April 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I might sound like a big meanie, but I say NO WAY. I have ONE THING that is mine – one thing that isn’t sticky, crumby or smudgy. There is nothing wrong with keeping that sacred – selfishly unshared. If you say yes now, then he will want to use it all of the time — which means you’re eventually going to have to end up asking HIM to use YOUR computer. The desktop won’t kill him. Besides, if it breaks or runs slow, or has weird images on it and you are the only one who uses it, well – you don’t have to worry about who to blame.


Liz April 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Holy cow – did you record the conversation in my living room last night? Except that my conversation with my 11-year revolved around March Madness pictures instead of Tim Tebow.


Laurie April 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Nope. No way. You have to have something for the super-bribe at some point in time. And this is yours. He doesn’t need to do his homework on the couch. In front of the TV. Trust me, none of us do good work, I mean homework, in front of the TV.


ChiTown Girl April 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm

oh, HELL no!!! I don’t even let my husband touch my computer!! As moms, we never get anything that’s just OURS, do we? I have to draw the line at my computer. Well, actually, this is my FOURTH freakin’ laptop. Take a wild guess what happened to the first three? This time, there is NOTHING in the world that will make me say yes to “just this one time, pleeeaaassee!”


magpie April 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Um, what about the “and then he asked me that since I have a laptop now, maybe the iMac in the living room that I芒鈧劉ve been using can be his and out of respect for everyone else he can move it to his room so as to free some space for the rest of us, or at least delete my account.”?

In other words, NO.


April 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm

No. No. Not at all.

I have never been good at working at a desk and do all my best work on couches or at bars. I think you should let him work on the couch. Without your new laptop.


NDK April 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Yeah, no. I don’t even have kids, and I know this is a ‘no’. It’s too new, it’s the only thing that you can call your own, and he’s going to mess it up in some way. I’m a very sharing, giving person, and I say no. He can use the iMac.


Jen Anderson
April 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I believe the iMac he was trying to get custody of will suit him just fine. It’s not like he never did homework before you got a birthday present.


April 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm

No way! Do not let anyone use it! Congrats on your Babble gig!! xo


Kelly April 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I love that this is unanimous. No.


April 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I can’t call my iPhone my own thanks to my children but my laptop is all mine. Mine mine mine-mature yes? My dh will ask before touching it even if it’s just to update it. There’s no sticky fingerprints, spilled goo, dents, scratches, etc. if anyone touches it scary mommy comes out. You have to have something that is yours alone and your family members should respect that.


April 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I’m wondering why you would ever go anywhere without your new Air. It’s almost like going out naked. And that worries me.


Thea April 3, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Yeah, I’m going to add to the chorus of no’s. I’m betting he only wants to because it’s shiny and new. There is no homework for someone his age that necessitates using a shiny new laptop that happens to belong to someone else.


K-Line April 3, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Um, hell no. He can borrow his sister’s computer, surely.


Melissa April 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm

HELL NO don’t let him use it! We have the same situation at our house, and my kids know the laptop is for mom and dad only! They have other ones they can use, and I don’t want their crap cluttering up my stuff!


Gretchen April 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm

No, and hell no. He can sit at the archaic desk. That laptop is yours, ALL YOURS.


kimberly April 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I can’t give you a big enough No.


C Smith April 4, 2012 at 12:01 am

The day I got my laptop several of my kids asked to “play” it. I gave them such a look of utter disbelief, that no one has had the nerve to ask since. They don’t even touch it to move it from the desk when it is charging. There are some things that should just be sacred. An expensive electronic that is allll yours, that no one else has ever touched is one of them.


Stephanie April 4, 2012 at 2:20 am

My husband let our 4 year-old twins use MY iPad.

Its screen is now mostly red and shaky.

Do NOT give in to the stuff wreckers!


Heather April 4, 2012 at 4:58 am

First, happy belated birthday! I’m very jealous of your awesome birthday dinner. My jealousy is my gift to you.

Second, I like to be a radical so I’m going to say YES, let him use the computer but only when you’re home. I let my kids use my Macbook, and we both know I am the yardstick which all mothers are measured against. Of course, my Macbook is the only computer in the house (when dad isn’t home with his laptop), so unless I want to raise children like it’s 1992, I have to let them use it. Okay, hell, tell him the iMac is his and everyone is happy.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes April 4, 2012 at 7:06 am

Woman where is your deviousness? Tell him that of course he can use your new laptop, you are his mother ,you care for him and won’t deprive him of anything he wants! Then take the laptop with you whenever you go out before he gets a change to spenc some alone time with it.


deborah l quinn
April 4, 2012 at 7:16 am

NO NO NO. and again NO NO NO.
no. nonononononononono



Deborah J April 4, 2012 at 7:40 am

No, just no.
If you think the homework rationale is hard to say no to…my daughter was going into hospital. What sort of heartless monster would I be to deprive her of contact with the outside world in her time of need?

On the second day she was there the laptop slid from her table, bounced off the edge of the bed… and hit the ground. There was an audible gasp from the four witnesses. The corner got seriously mangled and the disc tray no longer opens. *Sniff*
I am not a heartless monster, just a laptopless one…


Marinka April 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Well at least you were in the hospital already when the accident happened! Oh.


RebeccaNYC April 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

NO WAY!!! That is YOUR LAPTOP. No touching, no looking at it, no thinking about it. And the fact that his sister has her own? Not pertinent to this conversation. He asked if he could use your laptop. What part of NO did he not understand? Stick to your guns, or you will look weak. You KNOW what happens then.


April 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I’m with everyone else on the no. What did he use prior to your acquisition of this new beautiful birthday one? I imagine its still viable!


Marinka April 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Wow! I am really shocked by the near-anonymity of the responses! And so was Young Ladrinka when I told him about it last night.

He doesn’t understand why you all hate him so much.

And he wrote a little something in response. It’s coming soon!


April 4, 2012 at 4:14 pm

You didn’t let him write it on your new laptop, I hope?


dusty earth mother April 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm



Dorothy April 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Oh, hell to the NO! Some things are yours and yours alone. Age does have its privileges, you know. But kids will always push the boundaries. No kid touches my laptop. My husband doesn’t even touch my laptop!! It’s mine, all mine, so there! No deals. I get to have something to myself. No dirt, fingerprints, no food, no drinks, no dropping from anyone else (and if I do it, well at least it’s my doing). And you know the kid will do one or all of those despite his rationales.
Be strong.
Also, put a password lock on it so he can’t sneak use it. LOL!
We love our kids but my laptop is mine. I don’t play with his stuff.


RebeccaNYC April 4, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Me, a native english speaker needed to look up a word you just used. “near-anonymity”????

“an脗路o脗路nym脗路i脗路ty ( n -n m -t ). n. pl. an脗路o脗路nym脗路i脗路ties. 1. The quality or state of being unknown or unacknowledged. 2. One that is unknown or unacknowledged.”

As Mrs Slocum would say….”I am unanimous in that”

Yes, I would say your readers have reached a near-unanimous decision. Don’t touch that laptop Ladrinka.


heather... April 5, 2012 at 3:18 am

oh my god NO. NO. NO.


Jodi F. April 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

Short answer: no.
Long answer: no.


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