Valerie was brought back from her thoughts by the loud voice of her kids in the living room. Timothy, 7 years old, was once again having an argument with little Kate about the TV control. Tim, of course, wanted to watch The Simpsons and Kate wanted to watch for the 10th time the DVD of Frozen, her favorite movie now.
She stood up from the chair where she had been working all afternoon, writing reports to be sent at night for her boss, Mr. James Robson, manager, from Cullinger and Cullinger’s Business, a famous company of cars and accessories in the United States and some other parts of the world.
Valerie thought it was a great idea to work as a telecommuter because she could work from home while she could watch the kids, take care of home, without spending time at the crazy traffic jam and receive a very good salary, to pay all the house’s debts and buy food, clothes, and all the things the children needed, but the fact was that she became a slave, always surrounded by job, no weekends, no holidays, no time to go shopping, or to parties, movies… nowhere! The kids complained and they were right. They only left home to go to school and always locked at home because: “Mommy has to work.”
She thought about giving up so many times, but she needed the money! At least if that stupid Henry hadn’t left her alone to raise the kids… or if he, at least sent money to help her… after all, they were his children also and… mommy, MOMMY!
All right, all right, I’m going! Kate, let your brother watch the cartoon he likes now and later you watch your movie, ok?
Oh, my God! Do not cry, sweetheart! Tim, let your little sister watch the movie, she is so young… I know it is not fair, I know, listen, I … wait, and if we turn off the TV and ask for a pizza and eat together? Uh? I know we can eat pizza watching TV, Kate, but we could do it in a different way tonight… we could sit on the floor as if it were having… a picnic. No, we cannot eat outside because it is VERY COLD! Ok!!!!!!!!!!!! No pizza, no picnic! You will eat your cookies and drink milk and watch Simpsons together and then go to sleep! Why??? Because I said so! Understood??
Valerie came back to her job while little Jane tried to swallow her pride and Tim smiled as a winner. She felt guilty but, sometimes, a mother has to show who is on the command or the children would not obey anymore. She started typing the report when the sound of laughs called her attention. There were them: Jane and Tim laughing together from the cartoon!
That’s the beauty of the childhood: no anger is kept, everything is soon forgotten… because they are innocent, they have nothing of the bad feelings of the adults.
The scene made Valerie forget her job and remember herself and her sisters when they were young and had so much fun playing with the snow during the winter while dad and mom watched them so proudly and later they always had hot chocolate and cake prepared by grandma and mom. Valerie’s kids had never had that! She only had to go on working and working and working!
That was so wrong! Completely wrong! They needed to grow up healthy, happy, normal kids! And then Valerie realized they, all of them, Tim, Jane and even herself were slaves of technology!
She and her computer, Tim and Jane with TV and all the products that TV commercials offered and made them ask her to buy: cookies, clothes, cars, dolls, games, TV made the innocent kids live according to its own rules: Buy it, consume it, have it, and she, Valerie had to type it, do it, work on it, earn money to buy these that TV orders to your kids. The slavery of technology! Nooooo! Enough! That was the end of that!
Tomorrow she was going to talk to her boss. She was going to the company and ask to be fired and change her life completely! The children would have a natural and healthy life. No more slavery. She would come back to her parents’ house and get a new job earning less money but being happy at least! Yes, welcome new life!
Well, she was just going to finish this report, after all she was almost at the end of it and she deserved the money for it as she had worked on it all afternoon. Ok, done! Ooops! Another one has arrived, oh, it is very small, just one hour and it will be ready and look! They will pay well! But it will be the last report! Promise! Tomorrow, life will change… Oh, more work to do… now I will have to spend the night awake…
About the Author
Ivanir Regina dos Santos is a Portuguese/English Teacher from São Paulo – Brazil.