God Forbid - The Internet Is Out!
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God Forbid  -  The Internet Is Out!

How is it that I am the adult who orders my internet service, pays the bill, have been online now for almost 20 years, and this morning I have to learn from my twelve year old son for the very first time about the silly little dinosaur game you can only play when there is an issue with your service? How did I not know about this addicting little game? More importantly, how did HE know about it before me?

As I sit here in the sudden, overwhelming peace and quiet after my kids go running out the door to catch the bus after another whirlwind morning of trying to find socks and bookbags and clarifying who will be home when, I can’t help but ponder this thought:

How in the world did I make it through the entire first half of my life, more importantly through my teenage years, without the internet when, presently, my entire family dynamic changes every time the internet remotely falters or there is a hiccup in our virtually constant service?

We are so caught up in being online and having something to keep our minds occupied that the internet providers and computer software companies have been forced to find a way to KEEP our minds occupied with this dinosaur distraction even while there are glitches and pauses in our seemingly constant internet connections.

This didn’t just happen by chance, this crazy little game that involves nothing more than a computer with power and a space bar. It evolved after hours and days and months of customers calling in to their ISP a mere 14 seconds after their internet shows even the slightest little sign of slowing down.

An even more comical question I find myself pondering is, how is it that when doctors’ appointments need made or questions about billing in regards to electricity and other necessities the responsibility of making the phone call falls on my shoulders but when the internet is out, EVERYONE in the house is ready to make the call to find out what the issue is? Suddenly, without an internet connection, you have the gumption and the wherewithal to dial the phone and have an actual A / B conversation? Funny how that works…

The notion of being ‘dis-connected’ from the world not only insights panic and frustration, it is almost unbearable. As a mother of 4 kids under 15 and a significant other who can’t go 15 minutes without a television show playing (even while sleeping), I find myself internally grumbling and moaning every time the internet light starts blinking, let alone those dreaded times when the light goes out, or God forbid, turns RED!

As the mom, I find myself playing the role of peacekeeper slash entertainer slash fixer of all things evil. This title doesn’t just include dealing with mean grumpy kids who are instantaneously bored the second that light starts to flicker and a grouchy man who begins following the internet lines around the house to ensure there has been no compromise or ‘chink in the chain’ from wall to router to computer.

It also means that, due to this untimely interruption my own plans, regardless of their worth, importance, or nature has come to a screeching halt and my time will now be spent having to continuously find things to keep everyone in my home occupied and happy for the remainder of the internet outage.

My 4 year old, while not having a PC or laptop of his own to whine about not being able to use, is still just as affected by an ISP issue and therefore just a grouchy as the rest of the crew. His constant stream of Netflix which enables him to watch whatever he wants to watch, whenever he wants to, suddenly quits streaming… or the phone that he is watching his 57th ‘hot wheels color shifters’ or ‘splash buddies’ video on for the hundred and forty third time quits streaming youtube… and at this moment, all hell breaks loose!

My twelve year old son can no longer sit and watch his latest Roman Atwood vlog while sitting in front of the TV that is streaming his choice of Netflix show. This means that a seemingly independent young man turns into a co-dependent momma’s boy who needs attention and has to sit right beside me, reminding me how bored he is and asking me to find him a new form of entertainment.

My 15 year old daughter can no longer listen to music on her phone while simultaneously texting friends, posting selfies on Instagram, playing Coco Girl on Facebook, and streaming Vampire Diaries or Pretty Little Liars on the Roku in her room. Once again, more grumbling, more complaining about being bored.

The task or situation I WAS absorbed in is kicked to the curb as I’m pummeled by cries of, “Omigod Mom, so and so and I were just texting about blah, blah, blah and now we can’t finish!” or, “Are you kidding me? We were just about to find out who ‘A’ is!”… Yes, I am, admittedly addicted to the same shows but try not to judge me too much for it.

My 15 year old stepson, after not being seen for hours upon hours due to being holed up in his room playing whatever online game or chatting with all his buddies about God knows what on his laptop while Googling whatever crazy topic he has chosen to explore on his tablet at the same time, emerges from his room looking around to see if everyone else is as annoyed as he is that his internet fun has been interrupted.

I’m actually fairly certain that some days, if my internet connection didn’t get interrupted, I could quite possibly go days at a time without seeing one or more of my kids. In fact, I’ve been known to amuse myself at times by walking by the router and switching it off and on just to see who comes running out of their room first!


Street Talk

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