Look Mama, Now It’s Mine! or Learning is Expensive

The person responsible for forwarding my invoice to accounting is currently snowed in at the top of Mt. Rainier. This means I have not been paid this week. If you combine that with a vicious cold snap prompting us to shell out $400 for fuel a week ahead of plan and the extra birthday expenses this week, it means the coffers are depleted. No worries. I know what we have, to the penny. Right?


The birthday was Quinn’s. He turned four. In many ways, he’s typical – the alphabet was mastered long ago, but reading and writing are still to come. He can write his name, and spell a few things, but he’s not even close to literate . You can bet your ass though, that one of those things he can spell is ‘Humpty Dumpty.’ But this merely means that the YouTube navigation he atypically mastered at roughly the same time that  he nailed the alphabet can now be used independently to locate more Humpty videos.

I’m routinely astonished by his prowess at computer navigation – he can quite literally look something up on Google, flip over to the image search, bring a picture  up, run a Print Preview, adjust the size of the image and send it off to the printer, all by himself. This is not an exaggeration, and he does it over and over, unerringly.

If you are familiar with my Scorecard,  this definitely ranks a point in the ‘genius’ column. (Yes, I know this is shameful, but I can’t help it.)

He also routinely checks out Amazon. He happily knocks about on my laptop while I finalize my daily paperwork, checking out the Look Insides of the picture books, and listening to the audio samples in the music category.

Today, after I finished my day-job paperwork, I moved on to some writing, hoping to squeak in a half hour before it was time to cook dinner. Quinn was on a music kick, occasionally asking me to spell ‘Jingle Bells’ or ‘Santa Claus’ or ‘Old King Cole.’

I did, spelling slowly so that he had time to search out the letters on the keyboard, reminding him to hit the space key in between words.

But I was really focused on the writing, trying to recall the details of the goat incident from last summer.

My email was running behind my browser, and I kept hearing the little new message pings, but the frequency of them didn’t really register until I hit a good point to save my work. I flipped over to check the email before logging off to find message after message from the same source.


Thanking me for my purchases.

Wha. . .

Tonight, Quinn learned something new. $103.49 worth of new. (This figure has not been adjusted for absurdity value.)

I gasped, stunned by the email string, and watched in horror as a couple more trickled in.


He was so pleased with himself. Look, Mama. Now they’re mine. He proudly brought up the media player and showed me his new music.

We now own many, many different versions of Humpty Dumpty, as well as a lovely Sinatra rendition of Jingle Bells, Gene Autry singing Here Comes Santa Claus, a few whole children’s albums, and a fair number more.

Humpty Dumpty LSD

Yep. We've got that.

How could I get mad? I never told him not to buy them. I never specifically pointed to the buttons and told him no, which I have done before on other sites. (No, do not alter the safe search filter. Ever.)

This episode would not have been so bad on a different day.  A day on which we had more than 98.18 in the bank.

It is now time to add in the adjustments for absurdity, referenced above.

The last of these purchases were single songs, at .99 a pop.

Five of them bounced to the tune of $30 each.

And of course these bank fees have to be factored in to the final balance.

Grand total of this little shopping spree?


I’m so. . . proud?


5 thoughts on “Look Mama, Now It’s Mine! or Learning is Expensive

  1. Ohh no! I always worry when I see the OH’s daughter searching for things on ebay when he is logged into his account – she is 9 so hopefully understands the don’t buy without permission’ thing but I still worry when she glances round acting all sneaky! So far she just messages people from his account asking if they have a ‘buy it now’ price for things she hopes to get her dad to fork out for but it would be oh so easy for her to spend a fortune.
    I guess the lesson for you is to not be logged into your account so that even if Quinn clicks buy nothing happens!? :/


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  3. Oh I feel for you… Both on the internet purchases issue and the children with fantastic computering. My now three year old recently learner how to access the android market, choose a game, buy and download it, play it and go on to purchase about $120 of game addons. All within 20 minutes, and whilst I thought she was napping. Little genius. * shakes fist*


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