I remember power outages bringing families together. You sit by candlelight, tell spooky stories, play board games and just generally talk. HA!
I have a weird family, that used to work when they were little. Heck, we went 3 weeks without power when Hurricane Charlie decided to grace our town with his devastating presence and didn't die for lack of entertainment. We found things to do, the kids actually went outside! Woah!
Last night, at 9:19pm, according to Florida Power and Light (FPL), a tree limb broke and took out 3 transformers! I don't remember the Decepticons being so strong as to take out 3, let alone a little tree! But, that was their story and they were sticking to it. We didn't get this information until just around 2am. In the meantime.........
I reported the outage immediately and got a response that said they would have it fixed by 11pm. Okay, so we deal for 2 hours. That's not too bad, family time without faces stuck in the latest technology that mommy (err, I mean money) could buy. The youngest son attempted to play Candyland with the toddler, but struggled to see by candlelight. I gently reminded the children that there wasn't always electricity and for thousands of years, children played, read and did other activities with no invention by Thomas Edison. They tilted their heads like a confused dog, unable to comprehend such a concept.
I watched as they struggled to try to steal some sort of Internet connection from a neighbor, not realizing the outage was the entire neighborhood. It was quite amusing. Sweat dripped from their brows as the withdrawal symptoms appeared. I quietly sat in the recliner, taking in every emotion that played on their teenage faces. In and out the doors they went, checking to see if power was being restored anywhere.
This was hour number 1!!!!
Hour number 2 was spent explaining to the toddler that no, she could not watch TV as their was no power. I do mean the entire hour! A 3 year old has no concept of electricity, I have learned and she was begging for batteries to be installed in the TV so she could watch "her shows" as she loudly put it. Wow, even my baby is addicted to technology. My fault! As I went through chemo, I found Nick Jr. was the best way to entertain her while I was feeling my worst. I should have set a tape recorder to say "The TV is broken" but, that runs on electricity as well! Let's just say, entertaining a toddler through loss of power is not a fun thing!
Hour number 3 was spent doing shadow puppets for the toddler. Yes, my older daughter and I did shadow puppets and poorly I might add. Note to self: when your child is scared of spiders, it's best not to do a spider shadow puppet, it will traumatize her. She enjoyed all that we were doing up until that point. A dog, a bunny, an alligator and a butterfly. I also managed to whip out an old man, but the older daughter said it looked more like a pig. I was running out of ideas, so I tried the spider... MISTAKE!
Hour number 4 was spend answering "why" questions by the toddler. If I hear the word "why" today, I will go postal. "Why is there no power?" "Why did the TV break?" "Why do we have candles?" "Why do they have fire?" "Why do they burn?" "Why is the dog on the floor like that?" Why, why, why!!! By this time, the older daughter was in and out of consciousness, being exhausted from band camp and hot from the lack of moving air. Did I happen to mention that most of the men folk spent their time outside? Oh yes, they hung outside as if their sheer will would make the power come back on. Cavemen mentality. If FPL shows up, I can help!! (That's my version anyway) I reason that it's because they couldn't stand the heat of the house! WIMPS! The mosquitoes were horrible outside, so I chose to keep myself and the little one (who was in no way tired at 1am, but full of energy) inside. Thank goodness I had taken a breathing treatment right before the power went out, but the humidity in the air was making it difficult to breathe. Cell phones were dying, laptops were dying and insanity was striking. I found out just how short my patience is when the power is out.
Hour 5 is when I finally dragged the toddler (who was kicking and screaming) to bed. She passed out in minutes. It didn't take me much longer to fall asleep, despite the heat. I was exhausted from all the wonderful family time.
The family time that consisted of teens having nervous breakdowns from lack of Internet and TV, a toddler meltdown because "her shows" could not be watched, an endless amount of "whys", horrible shadow puppets, sweating, complaining, and really terrible songs played by my teenage son that has an odd taste in what he considers "music".
God Bless those that lived in the 19th century... how did you do it? Oh yeah, you HAD no technology and were quite used to living the life. I am sorry, but give me my A/C, TV and Internet!
Today is a pleasant day, all faces are into their latest tech-toys and all is quiet on the western front.
Never again will I silently wish for family time, it's much too exhausting!
I will never, ever complain that my children's heads are stuck in their portable devices... it's so much easier when they are and God Bless you Nick Jr.!
Peace at last! I am so glad I went to bed before hours 6 and 7, who knows what catastrophe would have ensued!!