I thought I might get a little longer. Perhaps, maybe, one more year when my computer was indeed my computer. To work on and watch on and message on, when I needed to, and not when I could prise it out of one of my children's hands.
What a crazy dream that turned out to be.
Adults might have been working from home more than ever before this year, turning corners of lounge rooms, bedrooms, laundries and sunrooms into makeshift mini-offices. Lugging big screens home under their arms and strengthening their modem connections and fretting about how their necks and shoulders are going to get through all this typing from the lounge.
Yes, adults might have been doing all that, but don't be fooled that the children of the house think that all that technology isn't theirs.
"Can I just search up..." my daughter will ask over breakfast, and end that request with answers as varied as "What grass is made of" to "Whether dogs can eat carrots" or "Does Guy Sebastian gives private singing lessons?".
Or she'll insist she needs to listen to music that brightens up her day, and the family computer's Spotify is the only one where she can see her playlist.
Or she'll go for a straight-up educational land grab: "Mum, I have a school project and I need to finish the slides on your computer."
Hard to argue with that. Even though she's 10. And when I was 10, my homework didn't involve anything sophisticated enough that adults needed a password to make it work.
In 2020, many families realised they didn't quite have enough screens for everyone if they were all going to be doing everything from home, all the time. So, we did our best, we tag-teamed, we dusted off old technologies. We made do.
But as it became increasingly obvious that if I ever wanted to get my work done, I would have to either a) Buy myself a mum-sized lockable cage or b) Face the fact my daughter needs a computer.