Now, let me preface that by saying, if I've told her once I've told her one million, five hundred, sixty-eight thousand times,"Do NOT drink liquids around your computer!"
Let's just say, I walked into the room to see her sitting at the table, tears-welling-up in her eyes, frantically trying to dry up a puddle from not only underneath her computer but on top of it. Yep, she'd spilled an entire glass of milk directly onto the keyboard, which as you know, on a laptop sits directly above the motherboard (or whatever it is that makes a computer work). I immediately grabbed the computer (the screen was already black and milk was literally pouring out of it), snapped the battery out and began drying it off the best I could, all the while preaching a hellfire and brimstone sermon about why kids should listen to their parents.
By this time, Olivia was in full-blown-melt-down mode: sobbing, apologizing, agonizing. As I looked at her, tears streaming down her face, I started having flash-backs of when I was a kid and didn't listen to my parents. I immediately remembered how devastating it felt when things had gone awry. How, as soon as I messed up, I knew it; I didn't need anyone to beat me over the head with it. I knew I'd have to suffer whatever consequences I'd brought upon myself.
Just as Olivia would.
I suddenly got a lump in my throat as my tone of voice began to change. I started talking to her instead of preaching at her, all the while googling "what to do if you spill milk on your laptop." I explained to her that there was a good chance her computer would never work again, but I'd do what I could to help salvage it.
Google didn't offer much help. Everything it told me to do, I'd already done. Bummer.
After finding a box big enough for the computer to fit in, I poured part of the rice in the bottom of the box, opened the computer, sat it in the box and poured the rest of the rice over the keyboard. "Now we just have to wait," I told Olivia.
The reality of what she'd done had completely set in at this point, but she was calm. Reflective. I knew she'd already learned a valuable lesson. I knew she was wishing 10 thousand times over that she'd listened to me and not sat that glass of milk beside her computer. I knew she was agonizing over the fact that if her computer didn't work again, Mama wasn't going to buy her a new one.
I, too, had learned a valuable lesson. By me focussing on what she was going to learn from this, rather than what she'd done wrong, it took all the frustration out of it. The situation immediately flip-flopped from a negative to a positive.
Over the past couple of days, Olivia and I have had several discussions about this. She's learned more from that computer and glass of spilled milk than I ever thought possible. However, we've both been dying to see if the laptop was dead or alive. So, after being buried in rice for two full days, we pulled it from the box, wiped it off, plugged it in, and pressed the power-putton....
It sprang to life without a glitch! Amazing.
The moral of this story is two-fold:
- Rice has magical healing powers when used on electronics.
- Don't cry over spilled milk. Seriously. Even if you spill it on your laptop. There's a lesson in there somewhere.