Hazard sign


Fostering Blog – Living without the Internet

14 March 2017

wifi hazard symbolThe move to the new house has been surprisingly smooth, without some of the stressful dramas that have happened to close relatives. We had no complications with the estate agents, no issues with moving schools as we were staying within the same school zone and our biggest complication seemed to be that the new property had no dustbins and talking to the different local council departments was like herding kittens through a glass maze!

That was until we discovered that we had no broadband, internet, Wi-Fi or TV on Demand. The world imploded, the sky fell in and a black death of doom descended upon our house. Life was not worth living without YouTube and Instagram … according to M and J was no less dramatic living without Cartoon Network (Adventure Time sees us through breakfast whilst Lab Rats Elite Force is the after-homework TV show of choice). I was not immune as I work from home and emailing my clients is something I usually do between baby feeds, nappy changes and Tummy Time.

Our broadband provider tried to explain that their hands were tied as the previous owners had incurred a debt on the line meaning they were cut off. I listened with half an ear, whilst they negotiated installation times, with Baby S tucked into my shoulder as I tried to think how I was going to explain their answer to a very frustrated and socially isolated teenager! M asked me every day with a big sigh WHEN there would be Wi-Fi and J was punishing me by talking nonstop about the Hulk show on Disney XD and did I have ANY clue what he was missing? Hubby and I were frustrated by having to speak to the utility company every day and the exhausting task of dealing with Wi-Fi deprived children.

We were sympathetic to their pleas and even managed not to laugh when M dramatically cried from the top of the stairs that her life was over and we didn’t have a clue as we didn’t even have TV when we were kids. I explained whilst resisting the urge to check for wrinkles in the hallway mirror that not only did we have TV, but we even had VHS video recorders and Walkman cassette players. She stared at me in horror before rolling her eyes and slamming her bedroom door.

We broke out the board games but the kids saw through that tactic and refused to participate longer than 15 argumentative minutes, we watched terrestrial TV for half a minute but that was even more of a battlefield. I’d like to say we happened upon an old family favourite show or activity and ended up smiling sweetly around the table as I crocheted a head cosy as the children learned to play the piano while they discussed world peace. This did not happen.

What did happen was a gradual acclimatisation to a world without a screen. This meant that M went out more to the actual outside world as home was just boring and instead of clicking and sharing celeb news she read a real paper magazine. Last Saturday afternoon she sat at the breakfast bar eating cereal out of a packet and slid the magazine over to me pointing out how 3 different celebs had worn the same sheepskin jacket. This lead to me leaning over reading it with her and us sharing snippets of chat about our week. Then after school one day this week, J snapped open a pack of Top Trump cards which have been unopened in his room for over a year. Instead of eating an afterschool snack flicking between Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, he started reading car facts to me as I cooked.

Hubby uses emails at work but I’ve had to impose on my brother for Wi-Fi or try to work with a baby and a laptop at a coffee shop. Baby Flat White juggling doesn’t work. However, I’ve managed; working through jobs then uploading them all at once while having a break with my sister in law. The added bonus are the cuddles Baby S gets as I work. There has been a little silver lining in a Wi-Fi free world but I haven’t suddenly found the urge to move to an uninhabited island and knit my own yogurt and can’t wait until Wednesday when we’ve been promised a link to the real (online) world. Besides how long is it reasonable for a person to live without The Walking Dead?

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