I’ll admit it: My 12 year old daughter has been through some trying times in her life thus far: She got separated from us at a playground at age 4 or 5. (You’d think I’d remember exactly when that was, wouldn’t you?). She fell at school in 3rd grade and had a small skull fracture and concussion. She’s an insect magnet: Her arms and legs are a favorite for wasp and mosquito family brunches. But by far the most traumatic event this child has sustained so far happened this past Sunday night when the Internet was out for an entire 3 hours (FYI: It took the cable TV service along with it.)
I won’t get started on my kids’ ridiculous school schedule that left them out of school from before Christmas until this past Monday. Suffice it to say, it only fueled my daughter’s “victim” status. Less than a minute after the Internet outage began, she came barreling down the stairs like she was on fire or her sister had done something she couldn’t wait to snitch about.
Her: “It’s the last day of our break and I got cut-off from facetiming with Ashley!”
Me: “You’ll see her tomorrow at school. Can you remember her face until then?”
Her: “She was right in the middle of holding up a shirt she just got! She asked me: ‘This is nice, right?’ and then the screen froze!
Me: “So? She’ll wait until tomorrow to find out if you like it.”
Her: “I wonder what Ashley’s doing now.”
Me: “I’m sure by now she’s put the shirt down and gone on with her life. May I suggest you do the same?”
Her: “What am I supposed to do?! It’s the last few hours of my vacation and now there’s nothing to do! Great!”
Me: “Why don’t you clean out your lunch bag that’s been sitting in your backpack for 5 weeks?”
Her: “You want me to spend the last few hours of my break getting ready for school? That makes no sense!”
Me: “Why don’t you guys play a board game?”
Her: “Mom. Really Mom? There’s a reason it has ‘board / bored’ in its name.”
Me: “Read a book. Draw. Paint something.”
Her: “What is this… 1982?”
Two things I should probably mention at this juncture to show you what cruel parents we truly are:: 1) Her phone is an old one of mine which doesn’t have phone service and I wouldn’t let her use mine to call Ashley back and 2) My husband has a Hot Spot which gets his phone onto the Internet no matter what.
So while she was ranting and raving and criticizing us for trying to force her into pioneer life, my husband sat on the couch in front of her playing baseball on his phone. Clearly, this threw both kerosene and gas onto the fire seeing as he wasn’t only sitting there two feet away totally ignoring her, he was sitting there two feet away, immersed in his own private Internet service. As if that wasn’t sadistic enough, as she began the second stanza of her “Woe Is Me” poem, he turned to me on the couch, put his phone in my face and said: “Do you want to log in on your phone? This is the password.” See? My daughter was wrong. This was not pioneer life. If this were pioneer life, Pa would have been playing the fiddle not electronic baseball.
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