Hailey and I formed a Skyping relationship long before she was two years old.
She would sit on my daughter’s lap while we exchanged the news of the day between Seattle and St. Louis. One of my favorite memories of my infant granddaughter is Hailey leaning into the computer screen, coming closer and closer, and planting a kiss on the monitor. Miles away, I felt that kiss!
As she got older, we shared many a computer moment. I would open a Word document, select a very large font and the cap lock, and she would type letters and say their names. Later, I added the lower case; she learned how to put a space between the words and eventually learned how to use the shift key to make question marks and capitol letters. She loved the delete key and found it magic when she not only could delete letter by letter, but whole sentences and even the whole page!
The most fun, however, was when she learned how to change from one color to another; she banished black forever. She discovered that she could select a color from either a color wheel or a box of crayons. She especially loved selecting a crayon and then typing its name — fun words like “maraschino” and “strawberry” and “midnight” would be typed in the color the crayon named. Not only was this a computer skill but also a vocabulary builder!
Another fun way we used the computer was to “text”: I’d write her some sentences and hand her the computer and then she’d write an answer or create her own sentences. She also learned to use the chat feature on Yahoo Messenger to carry on a conversation. A word underlined in red meant to check the spelling. She is a budding author!
Hailey also learned to treat Grandma’s computer with respect; the few times it was in danger, it was put away for another time. She became careful holding it on her little lap so it wouldn’t fall off. She just turned seven, and I’m not even cautious anymore; she is growing up in a cyber-filled world and already is at home. There are two things she will always associate with her grandma far away: baking cookies and using a computer!