Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ipad in the Sink: What We Learned from a Wet Ipad

The ipad is living in a large bag filled with rice right now. We miss it terribly.
On Monday night, my husband walked into the kitchen with Lilli's precious ipad wrapped in a towel, saying, "Wellllllll… I don't know, Jennie." I looked at what he was holding, and I knew instantly what had happened.

Lilli had put the ipad in the bathroom sink and turned on the faucet.

Lilli loves the bathroom sink. I wrote awhile back about her love of the running faucet and the toothpaste tube. She loves to put something – anything – in the sink, turn on the water and let it run over the object.

A few weeks ago we caught her in the bathroom with the ipad in the sink. But the water was not running. Phew! A close one, we thought. We keep the bathroom doors closed at all times, with childproof safety handles on the doorknobs. Lilli can't open the doorknobs that are childproofed. But the other night, Chloe accidently left the bathroom door open. She's only five. She is so good about closing it almost all the time. But it only takes one time. Lilli saw her opportunity and went right in there with her ipad.

I did not see any of this, but a mom just knows. I can hear a sound in the next room and I know which child is doing it and what they are doing. It definitely is a gift God gives to moms when they have a toddler. I saw how it must have happened in slow motion-replay in my mind, Lilli placing the ipad down in the sink and turning the faucet handle. Praise God that she can turn on the faucet – something she could not always do – but did it have to be the ipad in the sink? Oh I am so bummed.

The first day, it was definitely not working. We plunged it into some rice and zipped it up. I checked it on day three, and it was still not working right. The screen seemed to be a little "blinky," and I was not able to turn it off. I dumped the rest of the rice we had into the ziplock bag. It might have been overkill. But I felt a little desperate. More rice can't hurt, I figured. Now it is day seven. It seems almost back to normal. I put it back in the bulging bag of rice, to be safe.

As usual, I try to take what I have learned from this unwanted experience, and I hope sharing it with others will be helpful, or at least good for a laugh.
Lessons learned:
  1. How to get the Otter Box off. We knew we needed to get the ipad out of the protective Otter Box to dry it, but since we were not the ones who put it on, we had no idea how to take it off. Since I am such a "Quick, go to the computer and Google it!" kinda girl, I found a youtube video within seconds, with someone demonstrating how to get an Otter Box off the ipad without breaking it. So we watched the clip and took it off easily. Apparently lots of people have tried to yank it off incorrectly and ended up cracking it. Does anyone else just love being able to type in the most random thing and find someone else in the world who can solve your problem? I felt a little silly typing "How to take Otter Box off" in the search bar, but there it was. A beautiful video just for desperate parents and a wet ipad in a wet Otter Box.

  2. What to do and not to do if your ipad gets wet. Do: dry it off, turn it off, put it in a big ziplock bag filled with as much rice as you can bury it in, and LEAVE it there for DAYS. Do NOT: turn it on, charge it, or do anything stupid like hit it with your hand, bang it on the counter, or yell loudly at your spouse or your kids. (But who would do that?)

Anyone with any small children in their lives at all who ever buys any sort of               electronic device at all, ever, should always purchase that silly, seemingly unnecessary extended warranty that will cover any crazy kind of unexpected damage. When I bought our third mini DVD player a few months ago (after Josh stuck his finger in one and messed with that neat little shiny laser thingy in there) I went up to the guy at the Best Buy checkout and said,

"I need insurance that will cover this if my two year old son breaks this. Do you have a plan like that?" It turns out, yes, they do!

I hesitated and said, "What about if he sticks his fingers in and touches all the parts inside and breaks it?"

Yep. Covered.

"What about if he throws it?" Yep. Covered. He can smash it, bury it, and throw it in the bathtub and it will be covered. Oh, yes I will take that plan, please.

4. Always keep large bags of rice and gallon size ziplock bags on hand…especially if you have kids. And sinks.

Guess what else I learned from not having an ipad for a few days? We need to have more than one method to communicate with Lilli. We have focused mainly on the ipad for months. But now that we do not have it, we have had to get creative. We have tried using the laptop with Lilli. We pulled out her old picture exchange communication book. Morgan has made index cards with familiar words and has Lilli point or pick them up when she wants something. We pulled out the old Dynovox.

Then, we put it back.

The Dynovox, in case you are wondering, is a communication device. We actually got it through the phone company a few years ago, for free. Many parents have unfortunately gone through speech therapy evaluations, paperwork, and waited months or even years for insurance to pay for this device for their child. It is heavy, slow, and you have to program it. There are no "apps." You cannot slide your fingers across the screen to switch things around.

You can't go back to a Dynovox if you have had an ipad. It is like using a rotary phone after having an iphone. (What's a rotary phone? You ask. You're young, go play with your iphone and don't worry about it.)

I kept telling myself that we would hang onto the Dynovox in case anything ever happened to the ipad. Well, now I know that if anything ever happens to the ipad, we will just…have to replace it with another ipad. I called the school and told the principal, because it belongs to the school. I told her about the bag of rice, and how we were going to wait and see if that did the trick.

Tomorrow we shall pull the ipad out from its slumber in the rice. I have high hopes! Every person I read about in internet land said that the rice trick worked. If it works for us, we will only need to worry about one other trick: how to keep Lilli from putting the ipad under the faucet again.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Playground…No Big Deal

I have this trapped feeling much of the time.

It's awful. It's mostly attitude. I think I can't take the three kids somewhere because it will be too hard. And don't get me wrong, it is hard. Jasen said last week something about how if Lilli could help with Josh, that would make all the difference in the world. But Lilli needs as much help as Josh. Actually, she needs more help. So when I wonder why other moms can take their three kids somewhere and not have a mental breakdown, I have to remind myself that another eight year old without special needs might – might – be a big help to the mom. Unfortunately Lilli's needs make it feel like I have toddler twins sometimes. And do moms of toddler twins and a five year old go out very much? I wonder.

Today Chloe begged me for several hours to go to the playground. I kept saying no. Then I said "Maybe when Daddy gets home." But Daddy gets home too late to go to the playground most nights. Chloe is five, but already she is beginning to "get" me as a mom. She says things like, "Don't worry, I'll help you, momma," and "'I'll watch Joshie and Lilli so you can have some 'alone time,' Momma!" Today she said that as I pulled the vacuum out of the closet. I think she thinks I like to vacuum. "Alone." She's funny.

Chloe started to bargain with me. "I'll help you, Momma, I will! I'll help watch Joshie at the park and I'll help you." 

OKI had to psyche myself up to take them to the playground by myself. I thought, well, we will have to drive there, no big deal. We can walk there. It is not even a block away. But it is down a huge hill, and I knew I would struggle to get Josh and Lilli to listen to me and walk with me up and down that big hill next to the road when every neighbor is driving home from work.

So I put them all in the car to drive a block. Because they were strapped into their seats and I feel like I have control when they are strapped in. As soon as we got there, Josh got a mischievous look on his face and started to run towards the road.

Half an hour, we can do this, I thought. Just a half hour.

I put Lilli on a swing and gave her a push. What a wonderful thing, that she can sit on a swing by herself. There is no handicapped swing at our tiny playground. Lilli outgrew the baby bucket seat swing a long time ago. So we were forced to teach her to sit on a swing and hold onto the chains herself. Many times situations like this make us accommodate and grow. I wonder if we would have taught her to swing by herself if we did have a handicapped swing at our playground. It took a long time, as in, a few years. But now she can hold on and we push her gently. It's awesome.

After about five minutes, I was feeling confident. No problem. I can handle this after all! As I pushed Lilli, I looked over just in time to see Josh try to "slide" down the climbing wall on his bottom. Yeah. He cried. He probably won't do that again.

I looked at Lilli, who was silently swinging. "Oh Lilli," I said to her. "You are so quiet, thinking deep, important thoughts right now, huh?"
She smiled.
"Are you listening to those birds, trying to identify their calls? I know you probably can since we have that wonderful bird clock at home," I joked. She smiled again.

Lilli takes it all in. I know she is thinking hundreds of thoughts that she just cannot verbalize. I try to include her in the conversation as much as I can. It is a challenge. But I know she appreciates it. I often try to imagine what I would feel like if I suddenly lost my voice and had no easy way to communicate. A few weeks ago, I took the kids somewhere. I can't remember where we went, but I do remember that I was stressed, and that Lilli typed something to me. She typed, "You think you can't but you can."

Yes Lilli, you are so observant. People think you aren't looking at them. But you see more than most people see.

The trip to the park was uneventful. No one got hurt or ran into the road. No one had a meltdown. I can do it. Sometimes. I think maybe I need a mini cheerleader to tell me that I can do stuff.

No, nevermind. I have Lilli and Chloe.

These pictures are from previous trips to the playground. And I had Morgan with me to help.  I can't take pictures when I'm by myself with the three of them. Josh is too fast.

Love this. A dream come true with Lilli holding on by herself. We have to push her because she can't "pump" her legs to swing, but still. It's good.

Lilli and Josh

Wanted to show the climbing wall that Josh slid down like a slide today. Ouch. Also, pretty cool picture of Morgan helping Lilli climb it!

Sisters on the swings. Chloe does all the talking. Lilli does all the listening.