May 30, 2013

Partially Untethered

Our kids think they are devious.  And they ARE definitely smart about some things.  However, they are currently in a "no electronics" mode of their own making.  Some child took our iPad last week and hid it in the not-usual place.  The usual place is under the cushions in the family room sofa.  My husband and I have the "Find My Phone" app that allows us to see where our Apple products are located as long as they are turned on and force it it make noise until it is found.  We got the app because I frequently misplace my phone but it works for any Apple product.  We sounded the alarm through "Find My Phone" and heard.....nothing.  The clever child had turned off the iPad so that the app couldn't locate it.  However, what they didn't know is that the application continues sending out a signal so that, when the device is turned on it will eventually make noise AND it will record the time at which it last found the device.  So we went to bed knowing that the iPad would eventually make a sound.  What we didn't plan for is that we would sleep through the event.  So the unknown child quickly turned off the sound at 9:34 pm (according to the app) and at some point, crept downstairs and put it in the usual hiding spot, where my husband found it the next day.  All while my husband and I slept soundly.  So far, kids 2, parents, 1/2.

However, that little trick has caused us parents to reconsider our electronics habits for the kids and has caused this mom to reconsider her use of electronic devices, since our kids are so good at copying us.  So, until the guilty party/parties confesses their "crime", all electronic devices are confiscated and held for ransom in the parent's room and all electronic activities are terminated.  One child started to "investigate" who committed this dastardly deed until I explained to her that, since she was a suspect, her investigation constituted a conflict of interest, which, because she is argumentative, started a whole legal discussion.  The culprit has yet to confess, though it really is only a matter of time before they crack.  We went camping this weekend, which is usually an electronic free zone (if you don't count posting pictures on Facebook as electronic time) and they don't miss that time as much.  But school is almost out and summer is coming, which in this part of the country means that you stay indoors after 9am unless it involves swimming.  Eventually, they will either learn to live without electronics or, driven mad by their electronic-less lifestyle, they will crack.  Bwahahahaha!

For my part, I decided to take Facebook and Pinterest off of my phone so that I have one less distraction from my surroundings.  While we were camping, I used my phone to make a few texts, check email and to write down some of our camping experiences, but that was it.  And let me tell you, it showed me just how Facebook has become an unhealthy habit. Several times over the three days, I went to my phone to check up on Facebook and realized that I couldn't.  Facebook must have missed me, too, because after two days of inactivity, it sent me an email telling me of all the things I was missing (9 notifications and several big stories among my friends!).  Thanks, Facebook...NOT!  And then I started wondering if Facebook missed me more than my kids.  What a sobering thought, even if it probably isn't true.  So even though I missed Facebook on my phone because of the habits I have developed, I can say that I didn't miss the time I was able to spend with my kids watching them play at the campsite and all the reading I was able to do.  It is one small step for momma which hopefully will lead to one giant step for family time.

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