Combat Computing: Beware of Kids and Pets!

Those of you with toddlers or pets know my pain.

I’m not talking about the pain of 10 hours of Elmo each week…I kinda like the little red guy. Nor am I addressing the pain of watching Finding Nemo for the 117th time. I dig Dory (played by Ellen DeGeneres).

No, the pain I’m whining about is trying to use your computer on a peaceful Sunday morning to catch up on your reading from the week while Baby Girl watches the aforementioned videos. Maybe for you, you’re subsituting the word “cat” or “puppy” for “Baby Girl.” The pain is all the same and goes something like this…

Baby Girl crawls over to the couch where I’m scanning blogs while she and Daddy play on the floor in front of me. She reaches her grubby pudgy little fingers toward the power button with the accurate stealth of a heat seeking missile.

Just as my hubby and I shout out a simulaneous “Stop!” my screen goes dead.

I think really unkind thoughts about everyone in the room and stand up and move to the kitchen to fire things up there. But she’s a baby on a mission and she finds me and tries the whole routine again, but this time I stand up before her little Digits of Destruction can connect.

I move to the living room and my husband and I discuss this new fascination with computers. He keeps an eagle eye on her for the next 20 minutes while I catch up a little more.

He goes to the bathroom and Baby Girl sends me a sunny smile. She pats my leg and tilts her head. She follows up with a giggling growl and a cheerful coo. She climbs on to the couch and slinks scootches toward me with a sweet smile on her face. “I love you, Mommy” shines in her eyes.

She reaches for my laptop with her right hand and I shake my head and say, “Stop.”

She climbs up me and gives me a huge hug, burying her face in my chest. I think how sweet my baby is. When I lift my head from smelling her newly-washed hair, her left hand is hovering over my power button.


I’m telling you, combat training is required to use the computer around Baby Girl these days.

I have a friend who says her cat has the same M.O. I’m afraid to go back and look at a few of the tweets and comments that went out yesterday for fear of what exactly got trasmitted when I pressed Send.

If you had anything that looked like 2w4rgb q266f, I can only offer my sincerest apologies.

What was I reading and commenting on?

Quite a lot, actually. There’s some amazing writing going on in the blogosphere right now, plus I’m going through a synopsis from one of my critique partners.

The posts, in no particular order, were:

  • My Life List Club Friday post, called Playing To Your Strengths. We had some great energy going over at Gene Lempp’s place on Friday.
  • A new Saturday column called Risky Baby Business launched this weekend at More Cowbell and received way more response than I expected. (It was awesome! Thanks, y’all…especially to Laura Drake for the title, since it will carry over to the book. 🙂 )
  • Speaking of Laura, she took on plot-driven writing last Wednesday in Plot vs Character: Which Side Are You On? and the links are AMAZING. Fae Rowen’s is answering the throw down today over at Writers In The Storm and her links are wowza too.
  • Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday post gave me RIP the Author Book Tour–and why you shouldn’t be sad to see it go by Anne R. Allen and a really sexy picture of Jake Gyllenhaal. (Yum.)
  • Jessica R. Patch made me have a coffee-on-the-keyboard accident with So I Ran Over A Guy…So What?
  • Kate McNicol’s hilarious post, Deceitful Me, shows just how far a girl will go to attend one of Kristen Lamb’s classes. (p.s. If you haven’t been to Kristen’s blog lately, you are missing out! She was on serious fire all last week.)
  • Grasping For the Wind – Geek Media Round-up – this one is a week old but dang, these Sci Fi/fantasy writers gather a really cool eclectic bunch of links!
  • After our month of Dirty Fighting, it was interesting to see this post called There is More To Writing Action Than Meets the Fist. This wonderful post was written by the Naked Editor, who just happens to be Tiffany Lawson Inman, Margie Lawson’s talented daughter. Stay tuned…Tiffany will be visiting us here on More Cowbell soon!
  • I try never to miss Elizabeth Craig’s Twitterific posts – every weekend she lists all her writing links from the week. It is incredible and has become my weekend writing seminar whenever I can find the time.

I tend to catch up on my pals blogs over the weekend too – a few each week. This week included:

What posts really grabbed your attention this week? And how do you deal with the stealth bombers in your life that won’t leave you and your computer in peace? Enquiring minds always want to know here at More Cowbell!

See you tomorrow,


  1. We’re finishing our series on Dirty Fighting here tomorrow with 22 magnificent techniques listed for you. To date, I haven’t received any quick short dirty fighting scenes from you! Yoo-hoooooo…I know you have some. Please sent to JennyHansensMail (AT) aol (dot) com. I will take the top three and post them on my site. I don’t care if they’re pubbed, non-pubbed, or belong to someone else (as long as you give them credit). I will post my three faves in a blog post – rules can be found at the bottom when you click here.
  2. I have not forgotten about my latest round of webinar winners! I’ll be sending out an email this week so we can get together for an hour and gab train together.

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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32 Responses to Combat Computing: Beware of Kids and Pets!

  1. Gene Lempp says:

    Thanks for the link love, Jen. It was great being able to host you Friday 🙂


  2. Piper Bayard says:

    Hi Jenny. Love the blog. I’m so happy to say that the internet did not exist in a practical, household form when my babies were babies. Lest you think that sounds archaic, they are only 13 and 15. Ah, yes, the good old days. Instead of keeping them away from computer sabotage, I fought to keep them from eating rocks. They’re a bit more sophisticated now.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Gack, you have teenagers! Sorry, that’s my second biggest fear after the terrible twos. 🙂

      So, when does this rock-eating stage begin? You know, in the Saturday pregs post, we found out about pica in the comments. Hmmmmm….


  3. Piper Bayard says:

    Just read your dirty fighting blog. What a great contest! I will look forward to reading your entries.

    I love Holmes’ favorite saying on the matter. “Never hit a man with your fist when you can get someone else to hit him with their car.”

    And my favorite saying? “If you’re in a fair fight, you’ve got bad tactics.”


  4. Piper Bayard says:

    Thanks for the shout out. 🙂 Keep the cowbell coming.


  5. Laura Drake says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Jenny!
    I can’t believe the little imp is getting manipulative already!
    Hey, think of it as training for when she’s sneaking out of the house in high school – oh. Sorry for the visual – you have enough to do – including my synopsis! 😉

    Why oh why do you foster friendships with people like me? tee hee.


  6. Wow, lol, Baby Girl is certainly peristent. She’ll make a fine novelist someday Jenny!
    Fun post and so many terrific links to check out. I can see this is going to be a busy week. Thanks for the blog love too. I really appreciate it.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I think she’d make a good novelist too, Kate. She’s already madly in love with her books so she’s off to a running start. You are most welcome for the linky love…I cracked up at that post. Plus, you know you helped the weekend shine with that ego boost at the bottom of your post.


  7. I am sputtering oatmeal over here! Your baby girl is crafty good. The “give mommy love hit with the other hand” move is classic. Great post and thanks for the shout out!


  8. Stacy Green says:

    🙂 I have a five-year-old, and it never stops. Between Grace and the dogs, someone is always vying for my attention. Grace wants to do whatever I’m doing, and if I laugh or have a visual reaction to blogging, I must tell her what I’m reading about. She’s a talker, and when she’s around it’s virtually impossible to get much of anything done. Sometimes I go into the kitchen for a bit more peace, but then all three dogs are crowding around me and arguing amongst themselves.

    Your baby girl sounds like a smart one. You have your work cut out for you!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m never letting her read this comment, Stacy. She’s already got me nervous. I’m going to just believe that it stops, OK? I’m being delusional, but it works for me. 🙂


      • Stacy Green says:

        Yeah. Here’s what Grace did last night: She’s not allowed her DS or iPod in her bed on school nights, right? She got a new DS game last night and begged to have it in bed, was told no. So later she and I went to get ready for bed, and I had her pick up some things. Somehow, her pillow pet got shifted, and I spied something blue underneath it. Guess what it was? Yep, the DS, hidden and ready to go. When I tried to tell her that it was wrong, and it would have worked any way because we would have heard, she said, “no, because I would have turned it down!”


  9. Baby Girl loves her momma. 🙂 Your story made me smile….and miss our baby niece!

    Thanks for the link love, darlin’!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Baby Girl does love her momma. But it’s a close second whether or not she loves my computer more. (kidding…Daddy is totally in there too!) You are always welcome for a link – I’d be completely behind on popular culture if not for you and Clay Morgan.:-)


  10. LOL

    Thankfully my wee beasties were beyond the toddler “if Mummy has it I gots to has it too” stage when I got my first laptop. The dog…now she’s a different story. That 70 pound beast wants to be a lap dog for all she’s worth.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      OMG, you experienced moms are scaring me. Baby Girl is just becoming a real toddler and she wants EVERYTHING we have. I’m having secret iced tea, secret toast, secret computing regularly right now. In fact, I’m learning that if I eat something in one hand, I’ve got her snacks ready in the other.

      I know Amy and Jamila are laughing right now because you do the same thing for your pets! *moaning*


  11. amyshojai says:

    Thanks for the shout out! And yep…substitute “cat” for “baby” and I’ve been there, done that. *s*


  12. jamilajamison says:

    My cat is a self-centered, needy sort of fellow, and regards all objects that require my attention as enemies. If I’m grading papers, he does his best to knock of the the stack and sleep on them. If I’m reading a book, he tries to maneuver himself in front of the book so I have to scratch his ears instead. And when I’m on the computer, he does everything that he can to sit on the keyboard, or on my arms (if I’m stretched out on the bed), or in my lap so I can’t see. 😀

    Great linky roundup for the week!


  13. Baby Girl is loving mom and dad’s reactions. She’s so adorable. Maybe she wants her own blog or at least her own computer to play on like her mom. What do you think? Baby Girl’s Blog: Diapers, Mashed Nanas and Bedtime. Lol.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Pfffttt! She ain’t getting her little fingers on the computer any time soon. Lord knows what she’d send where. On the up side, she’s wa-a-ay into her books so there is hope for her being a budding writer already.


  14. Roni Loren says:

    Thanks for including me in the mashup! I’ll have to check out some of the other suggestions I missed. 🙂 And I hear you on the kidlet and buttons. My son is famous for turning off my computer when I get up to get something. So frustrating.


  15. I think I have you all beat—my cat insists on lying on my computer when I’m working and then I have my 6 yr and 2 yr old grandgirls vying for my attention begging to watch The Duck Song on youtube or play with Nick Jr. I feel guilty if I have to say no. So, when I do say no, the 2 yr old sneaks up and hits all the keys she can before I can shoo her away. Where’s Grandpa when I need him? Lots of links I missed this week -thanks for listing them for me! And, yes, Jenny it doesn’t get better til she turns 17. 16 is sort of like 2, with a nasty mouth and a bad attitude. Mom is so uncool and not very bright until daughter turns 23. Good luck!


  16. Oh gosh! That reminded me of my baby cousin. When she and her parents were visiting us one time, she sat next to me while I was writing. Before I knew it, she starts reaching out for my keyboard. My aunt reached to her before she could do any damage.

    So that’s what it was all about.


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