There are many challenges to being a modern parent. So many things have changed. All my mum and dad had to do to support my studies at school was provide a desk, a few pens, some paper for me to work on and a library card and keep me from watching too many repeats of MASH and James at 15 on the television. Now, kids have youtube, facebook, video on demand, DVD boxed sets, mysterious stuff some kid gave them on an ebola infected USB [allegedly], itunes to go shopping for new music 24/7 and smart phones that can deliver all of that to them wherever they’re hiding out at the time.
There is nothing I hate more than my role as Senior Tech Support Office for the education and entertainment enterprize that operates from our home. Mrs Cricket is no computer whiz, so there is only one place to go when someone needs to pronounce:
“The network isn’t working.”
“The printer isn’t connected to the network.”
“The [insert name of app that is purely for entertainment and couldn’t be used for school work] isn’t talking to the internet.”
“There’s no paper.”
“The parental filter won’t let me onto this site I need for my homework.”
“We’re out of ink. Why don’t we have any?”
“Your software isn’t compatible with this file I was working on with [insert name of nerdy friend with loose morals as far as software piracy goes][allegedly] at his place. And it’s due tomorrow!”
“He’s taken my USB.”
As someone who was working when personal computers first started to take over, and started with the internet when www stood for “world wide wait” and baud meant something other than what you are when you visit grandma’s, I have little patience for these youngun’s who think that it is their birthright to work with lightning fast 100% reliable network connections.
The golden rules have always been:
- If it can go wrong at the wrong time, it will.
- Nothing is compatible with anything else. Start with what you aim to finish with, so choose wisely.
- Printers are possessed by the devil, and will happily eat important documents before closing down in a fit of pique when you call them names. Especially five minutes before the school bus leaves
Tonight the network is playing up, with the various wifi devices in the house (there are at least twelve, counting phones) running a pitched battle over who can communicate with the world. An ancient history assignment and an itunes purchase appear to be collateral damage. I have no idea how to fix it.
Still no call to Son2.0 from the lady about them playing a gig. Disappointment has set in. I’m guessing she went home and asked her daughter if she wanted three 14 year olds to play acoustic numbers at her upcoming 18th birthday party, and did not get a good response.
Read the next entry in Dad’s Cricket Diary here
This work of fiction © Dave Cornford