the smell of my desperation has become a stench

When anything bad happens, I blame Apple

It’s no surprise to anyone that Jon pre-ordered an iPad the moment it was announced that they would be available. Last week it arrived, and I haven’t seen him since.

I am not kidding.

You think I am exaggerating. I do that a lot, yes, I will admit to dabbling in that practice from time to time. This is not one of those instances. What would be one of those instances? Oh dear, let me take a look back at everything I’ve ever written: THAT.

So I’m picking Leta up from school the other day, and it was one of those days when it wasn’t snowing, one of those rare, gorgeous days when Utah teases me into thinking that the Mormons were onto something when they settled here, and I let her play with her friends on the playground as I talked to some other parents. Some who read this website and have asked Jon how his vasectomy is healing. Jon loves this life.

And in the back of my mind, all I can think about is HAVE TO GET HOME. HAVE TO GET HOME. Because I’m thinking, Mariah is going home right now and leaving Marlo in the care of Jon. And Jon has been permanently attached to his iPad since it arrived. And right about now Marlo is crawling over to the fireplace and is eating ash because he’s on the couch playing with the NPR application.


And I’m trying to concentrate on the conversations I’m having while keeping an eye on Leta, and my brain will not let me envision anything other than Marlo choking on ash.

Not because Jon is an incompetent father. He’s amazing. He does more with and for our kids than probably any other father I’ve ever known. No, it’s just that he’s a really competent geek.

Finally my brain won’t let me stand there any longer, and I yell to Leta that it’s time to go. She’s sulks and asks why, and I can’t help but blurt out BECAUSE DAD’S IPAD IS KILLING MARLO.

Turns out she was fine. Nothing to worry about. I run in expecting to see a horrifying, bloody scene only to find Jon sitting next to Marlo on the floor, a stuffed animal in her mouth, his right hand scrolling through the USA TODAY app on his iPad.

Lesson for today (this should be read in a sexist and condescending, albeit incredibly relieved tone): men can multitask, too!

  • Daddy Scratches

    2010/04/16 at 2:10 pm

    Yeah, we iz not az stoopid az yu girlz thinkz we iz. 😉

    PS: I have iPad envy.

  • katliz

    2010/04/16 at 2:19 pm

    My husband pre-ordered the 3G version. When it arrives in a few weeks, I’m sure I’ll never see him again. Not that I want to, considering every time I see his shiny new toy, I am going to consider the vacation or home improvement project we could have had instead of a new electronic device.

    Yup. I’m a trifle bitter.

  • eleanorstrousers

    2010/04/16 at 2:19 pm

    I knew the iPad would be the death of us all. Could Jon let me know whether he would rather have a baby or an iPad? Cause I’m a woman of a certain age and my budget only allows for one.

  • Anu

    2010/04/16 at 2:23 pm

    Ummm….fine I’ll say it!! I agree with you 🙂

  • McMissis

    2010/04/16 at 2:30 pm

    I’m going to have to disagree with today’s lesson.

    Case in point: last night when McMister was listening to a voicemail and I asked him to move his legs off me. He almost exploded he was so upset with me, and his voice reverted to a 13-year-old’s pubescent screech when he asked how to replay the message.

  • Blahggy

    2010/04/16 at 2:32 pm

    See? Technology kills. It’s true.

    It’s kind of the opposite in our house. I was on Twitter the other night and my husband goes, “Let me see what it looks like.” Although I am not nearly the nerd that Jon seems to be, but probably wouldn’t mind it.

  • Loakalina

    2010/04/16 at 2:37 pm

    1. My husband works for Apple.
    2. He got his iPad the day it came out.
    3. Haven’t had a meaningful conversation since.
    4. I feel your pain.

  • Greta Koenigin

    2010/04/17 at 3:13 pm

    When you think about it, a child is just another application. Steve Jobs knows this. And he just created the Baby Bjorn of the technical world.

  • Lornadoone1972

    2010/04/16 at 2:48 pm

    This sounds so familiar – my husband stood in line on MY birthday, the day the iPad was released, to purchase one for HIMSELF. Needless to say it has been in his hand ever since… and in our bed. I found him assisting our 14 month old with his dinner on Tuesday evening – baby spoon in one hand – iPad in the other. SIGH

  • Rebecca Siewert

    2010/04/16 at 2:48 pm

    Glad Marlo survived! My husband just purchased a new smart phone of some kind and I haven’t seen him in a few days!

  • spedrson

    2010/04/16 at 3:00 pm

    My husband is not a techno-geek, but if he gets a new book – forget about it! I don’t see his eyes for the next week!

  • freckleface

    2010/04/16 at 3:03 pm

    Isn’t the iPad just like a very big iPod touch? I’m sorry… just not seeing the appeal! I always considered myself a nerd, but I guess I’m not nerdy enough for this one 🙂

  • poopinginpeace

    2010/04/16 at 3:04 pm

    You and I have the same brain activity. I can’t go anywhere without thinking things like one of the girls has climbed up on the kitchen counter and is playing with knives, while my husband sits absorbed in the latest bout of computer scrabble or fantasy baseball. He is also a great father who pays attention and plays with the girls all the time. I don’t know why I always think he isn’t watching them. Maybe it’s because when we’re around they rely on us to do most of the watching. Either way-I totally get it.

  • giromide

    2010/04/16 at 3:08 pm

    Oh, crap! I forgot I have a family! (scram)

  • Heather718

    2010/04/16 at 3:08 pm

    Just please don’t let him end up on this website:

  • Leball

    2010/04/16 at 3:16 pm

    I’d like to clone your Jon there as I am taking applications for a competent, geek like, multitasking father. 😉

  • vida23

    2010/04/16 at 3:17 pm

    Um, ditto. My man uses one half of his brain for babysitting, and the other half for Mac-anything. Like a duck taking a nap.

  • kidthings

    2010/04/16 at 3:26 pm

    Been there. I am there. My husband is very much Steve Jobs’s bitch.

  • JennfromCanada

    2010/04/16 at 3:35 pm

    If my husband doesn’t have his smartphone in hand then he’s got his face in his laptop. We aren’t Apple owners (except for 2 ipods) but I completely understand how you iPad widows feel.

    May they come up for air someday. Have a great weekend!

  • Wombat Central

    2010/04/16 at 3:41 pm

    We see this on a smaller scale in our house, as my DH is always gazing lovingly into the screen of his iTouch.

  • kitchenbeard

    2010/04/16 at 4:06 pm

    Right hand on the iPad. What was he doing with his left hand?

  • thegirlmama

    2010/04/16 at 4:15 pm

    It is only my husband’s rule of never buying the first generation of anything that is keeping him from running away with the iPad. (The fact that it is simply an enlarged iPod Touch has, somehow, not crossed his consciousness yet. Shhhhh…don’t mention it.)

  • Laura Jones

    2010/04/16 at 4:27 pm

    They actually asked about his vasectomy? They didn’t say something like, “God I wish my husband would be considerate enough to do that.”

  • mommica

    2010/04/16 at 4:27 pm

    Only some men, apparently…

  • pitbullsrock

    2010/04/16 at 4:28 pm

    Science geek chiming in here… don’t be an iPad widow – be a joiner – two apps that Jon (and all other iPad owners) need to purchase especially if you have kids – The Elements – makes science fun – complete with Tom Lehrer’s Element Song and Star Walk – turns your iPad into a personal planetarium – go out on the deck on a clear night and oh and ah with your kids. Really lemons -> lemonade.

  • Midnight

    2010/04/16 at 5:08 pm

    I’m in the exact same position as thegirlmama above…as soon as the second generation iPad is released, my husband will be gone.

  • jboucher032

    2010/04/16 at 5:25 pm

    My partner is like this with mountain bikes. I’m sure when we decide to have rugrats it will present a problem. Right now I love when he disappears in his man cave (gargage)and leaves me alone for hours!

    I’m also very excited about the change in weather in SLC. Bring on the heat!

  • Steve O

    2010/04/16 at 6:15 pm

    We men love our toys. Wife asks . . Do you love me?
    Muffled reply . . yaaa or grunt . . (Back to tinkering with new toy)

  • everkelly

    2010/04/16 at 6:30 pm

    We haven’t gotten one yet (we are slow, and we like to wait for stuff to go on sale), and this is sort of what I’m afraid of. I would be more excited about the ipad if 1) it didn’t have the word “pad” in its name and 2) if we bolted it to a wall so it wouldn’t creep into every room of our house begging for attention. But then — that’s the point, right? Glad to hear that your family is handling this with grace. I’m sure we’ll get there… eventually.

  • RoseTattoo

    2010/04/16 at 6:37 pm

    I’m the geek in our family. As we speak, I have my Macbook in front of me, my iPad to the left of me and my iPhone to the right of me.

  • erinj1976

    2010/04/16 at 7:05 pm

    My dad got his iPad last week and I think I have been replaced on the family tree.

  • JodiN

    2010/04/16 at 9:33 pm

    I’m an iPad widow too. The only time he wasn’t using it since it arrived was when I stole it to read a couple of books using the Kindle app. I had to read pretty fast, or I’m convinced his head would have exploded.

  • Karyn

    2010/04/16 at 10:38 pm

    *Trying to get over the fact that Jon reads USA Today, just when I thought he was the perfect man, sigh*

  • Stilus

    2010/04/17 at 2:02 am

    You may have found a male who can multitask, but I haven’t! My husband can do one thing at once, and if he gets sidetracked we’re stuffed!

    An example of this would be the fact that my whole house now reeks of smoke, because he got carried away on his laptop and forgot about basic things like not burniing the kitchen down.

  • Leask

    2010/04/17 at 2:15 am

    Heather, if you start spreading the word that men can multitask, we’re going to start to be expected to! Does your madness know no bounds?

  • debtank

    2010/04/17 at 4:31 am

    Geeks can multi-task too…har har.

    Had my weekly therapy appointment and come to find out that introverts are only comfortable doing one thing at a time. Of course, this is a generalization, and I am sure not always true…but it explains a lot about my DH…

    Is Jon an introvert at heart?

  • SuzRocks

    2010/04/17 at 7:02 am

    I better not let my husband read this. He’ll use it as proof that I am not allowed to get one. He gets mad enough at me- and I’ve only got my iPhone to distract me!

  • chicagolynn

    2010/04/17 at 8:31 am

    My husband works for Apple. The employee discounts are nice, but it would be nice to have conversations about something other than technology. He’s waiting for the 3G version. Here’s hoping it’s back ordered.

  • lissak

    2010/04/17 at 1:18 pm

    I was just having a conversation about this…. my husband to this day cannot talk and drive, else he will not get off the parkway at our exit (turn at our street etc…)… He gets extremely annoyed when we’re watching TV and I’m doing a puzzle/reading/knitting because HE CAN ONLY DO ONE THING AT A TIME, so he assumes I can and he gets to the point where he can’t enjoy himself if I’m multitasking. (have I mentioned he’s a little OCD/geeky as well?) I’m sure once the 2nd or 3rd gen Ipad comes out, hubby will have one.

  • mignon

    2010/04/17 at 5:52 pm

    For the record, as a Yale grad, I spark fear in my children by telling them that Harvard forces students to take their finals AFTER THEY COME BACK FROM CHRISTMAS BREAK. My 4-year-old has nightmares about it, so my job here is done.

  • mignon

    2010/04/17 at 5:54 pm

    Oh, oops – wrong post. I guess I can’t multitask as well as Jon. And all I have is a Droid. So second-tier, aren’t I?

  • JSD723

    2010/04/17 at 7:26 pm

    I hate to say it, but reading this post and through all the comments made me feel good. Good in that I realize I’m not the only wife who comes second to Apple products! Not that it improves my situation any, sometimes it’s just nice to know I’m not alone!

  • the niffer

    2010/04/17 at 7:38 pm

    Ditto JSD723.

  • HDADDiva

    2010/04/17 at 11:49 pm

    Not gonna lie… I’m barely able to stand the anticipation of receiving my 3G iPad.

    But I don’t have any kids to distract me from it… I may be stuck to it for days, not even able to stop dorking out to shower.

  • Megan Ellen

    2010/04/18 at 5:32 am

    My husband came back from a US business trip to Europe – where the iPad release has been delayed a month – with an iPad. He’s been gleefully playing with it ever since, taunting his geek buddies who have to wait for theirs (this has been made worse by the volcano shutting down travel to the US).

    He said it was a present for me, but who does he think he’s kidding? 😉

  • Raerica

    2010/04/18 at 10:36 am

    I’d love to have an ipad, but I have an macbook, and an ipod touch so I think i’m okay for now.

  • joyluck76

    2010/04/18 at 1:11 pm

    Gwenneth Paltrow might take issue with your blog title. But, she’ll probably be over it once she reads the post. 😉

  • JillyMack06

    2010/04/19 at 6:43 am

    Whenever something goes wrong, I blame Sarah Palin. For example: Ugh, this month Sarah Palin is the worst, I hate having cramps or GD Sarah Palin, I’m running so late. I picked up this handy little trick after the teaparty she spoke at…I find it highly effective and quite amusing.

  • suzanne

    2010/04/19 at 8:21 am

    I have to comment here since I can’t on Churck’s photo – but I cracked up! My two kids and I have spent about 3 weeks yelling FORSYTHIA! in the car. As you know, it’s pretty much the first thing to bloom in the Spring, at least here in Georgia, and I just love its yellow blossoms heralding the coming of the azaleas, dogwoods, etc. Love it!

    My kids are 7 and 9 and on the way home from school when it first started blooming, we would play a game like who can spot some forsythia mostly because it kept them from fighting with each other. My daughter kept yelling PERSIFFIA and then my son would tell her how wrong she was and after a couple of weeks, she could pronounce it correctly although she stated that it sounded better her way. She thinks they should change the name. Anyway, I adore Chuck and if my kids saw this pic, they would both yell FORSYTHIA!! LOL

  • Serenity Bohon

    2010/04/19 at 9:08 am

    I love how this post ends. Competent father, Check. Competent geek, Check.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more