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Friday
Jan252008

Withdrawal

As a parent, I have grown accustomed to making sacrifices for my children. Sacrifices such as giving up my dreams of being a professional five-pin bowler by day and a tap dancing lounge act by night.

Some sacrifices have to be made whether I like it or not. Waking up in the wee hours of the morning to rouse my offspring out of their beauty sleep to usher them off to school so they may receive an education (and so the office of Children Services doesn't come knocking on my door and threaten to throw my sorry, sleepy ass into the slammer for depriving my children of an academic future) is one such sacrifice.

Oh, the things I do for my children.

Yet, I make this early morning sacrifice for my kids out of love, every day. Albeit, grudgingly, but I still I do it. Beats home schooling the little rug rats.

(Not that I have anything against home schooling. Really, I admire those with the patience and wisdom to attempt such a feat. And I'm not just saying that because my best friend's parents run a large homeschooling business, and I'll be having dinner with them tomorrow night. Ahem.)

It's just I hate getting up before even the damn birds do. I'm not a morning lover. My eyes tend to be glued shut with gook, my face is covered with dried spit and my sparkly disposition is hiding somewhere in the rat's nest I call my hair. It takes me a while to get all pistons firing properly.

Meanwhile, my children circle around me with pointy spears and poke at my tired body while chanting some ancient voodoo spell while I wait for my coffee to brew.

Good times.

I have managed to find a way to make the morning more manageable as my children fight over who gets to the last fruit cup in their lunch, who has to wipe the spilled milk off the counter, who was the one who left the bathroom light on. I tune them out as they roll around on the floor, yanking at each other's hair and ears, wrestling for supreme victory, and I drink my freshly ground java while surfing the internets.

It keeps me sane. It also keeps me from having to separate the two of them and risk having my arm chewed off.

This routine has served us well for the better part of two years. As I expected it to do yesterday morning. Except when I sat down at my computer with my heavenly cup of joe, there was no internet. The little lights on my over-priced satellite gadget thingy were dark, silently mocking me. No internet.

I wiggled the connection. I unplugged the thingamabob and plugged it back in. I rebooted the computer. I cussed. I cried. I got on my knees and prayed for mercy. But alas, nothing. No internet. Just a polite note from my computer telling me the internet God has abandoned me and perhaps I should get off my ass and actually parent my children that the morning.


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My children stopped tormenting one another long enough to wander over and see why I was smacking the computer.

"Maybe you should call the satellite company, Mom," Frac offered helpfully. Good idea. I knew I had kids for a reason.

So after waving good bye to my children and ignoring their protests that I was pushing sending them outside fifteen minutes too early (I figured they needed some fresh air before the bus came) I dug out the emergency 1-800 number (read: I ripped apart my filing cabinet until I found the teeny tiny piece of paper that contained the number to regain my sanity) and placed the call.

They were very sympathetic to my plight once they learned I was officially addicted to my internet and was in the first stages of withdrawal. But there was a problem with a thingamajig and I'd have to hold onto my panties tightly until it was fixed.

"Well, how long will that take? I mean, I'm in real danger of losing my mind out here," I begged.

The satellite company's response? Take a chill pill and we'll call you when the problem is rectified.

Gee, thanks. I fork out large amounts of cash every month for this? I get the same advice from my therapist. Dammit.


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It was a painfully long day. I actually had to occupy my time doing something other than checking my email a dozen times a day and reading through my bloglines. Suddenly I noticed just how dusty my house was, how the laundry wasn't magically putting itself away and how my refrigerator contained more penicillin than the local pharmacy.

I moped.

I played solitaire.

I cleaned out my closet.

I phoned the internet company so many damn times they started pretending I had got the wrong number every time they saw my number.

It became increasingly clear I had a problem as I sat down at my computer and started talking to my keyboard about how I missed spending time stroking it's keys.

The kids came home from school and found me huddled in the corner, rocking my laptop and speaking gibberish.

How I missed thee, Internets.

Finally, at seven pm, a full twelve hours since I was first booted out of cyberspace, I stopped mourning and placed my final call to the satellite company.

"Listen here, punk, I pay good coin to be able to surf internet porn and share the misery of parenting with other parents and you are interfering with my addiction process. Enough of this crap, you need to fix this problem and fix it now. I don't care if you need to call in Harry Potter or Buzz Aldrin, just do it. Or I will personally fly out to your headquarters in India or Timbuktu or where ever and ensure the problem gets fixed. Trust me, sonny boy, you don't want some jacked up, angry mother who is jonesing for her internet fix breathing down your neck."

Oh, ya. That'll inspire him. Threats from a junkie mom whose kids are screaming like out of control banshees in the background as they fight over taking turns playing video games.

My threats must have worked. That or the fact I rebooted the system the proper way, not just shaking the box and yelling "A pox on your head!"

Let me just say, having the door unlocked and thrown open to allow me to enter the sweet heavens of cyberspace was almost as good as uncorking a great bottle of wine seeing my husband walk through the front door after weeks of being absent.

Okay, who am I kidding, it was better.

Besides the high from finally being able to peer into my online world and check my email, I was also pleasantly surprised to discover I made the final round for Best Canadian Blog in the 2008 Weblog Awards. Otherwise known as the Bloggies. Thanks y'all. My ego is duly stroked. So go vote for me, or don't, but head on over and check out the other nominees. There are some great blogs up for awards.

Win or lose, this will give me an opportunity to pretend I'm Cate Blanchett while I'm in the bathroom, practicing my acceptance speech and my "Damn, I lost and the camera is on me and I'm going to have to pretend that I'm not crushed and give one of those stupid 'it was just an honour to be nominated' speeches that everyone knows is fake and dear God, I wonder how much my therapist is going to charge me for whining about losing to some kid in freaking Saskatchewan and I'll never be able to show my face in public again."

I wonder if I'll still fit in my prom dress.
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Reader Comments (47)

Congrats on the nomination. I voted for all of my favorites. I understand the withdrawal pains. Not long ago, my computer was possesed and would turn itself on and off without warning. It might last 2 minutes or 2 hours. I threw a fit and now have a new computer. Hubby got tired of hearing my complaints and seeing me go bald. Good Luck with the Bloggies.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjustmylife

Bwahahahahaha!

I thought that I was the only one who had Internet Withdrawal when it mysteriously stops working (along with the phone. Hello Internet Phone, sometimes I hate you). Luckily for me, my husband has (I believe) 2! different internet providers, you know, in case one craps out.

I also have been known to *ahem* steal my neighbors for a day or two WHEN I WAS GOING THROUGH WITHDRAWAL, DAMN YOU CRAPPY ISP!

You are now my personal hero. Have I told you that before? Chronic sleep dep and years of drug use has made me unable to remember anything other than my middle name. Which is.....uhhh.....shit, I changed it when I got married. Apparently I don't even know that anymore.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Becky

I can't believe how hooked most of us are, especially those of us old enough to remember college and the start of a career WITHOUT the internet or laptops or cell phones or___________... And, I'm not even that old! The internet, my one true drug, well besides wine.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSouthern Goddess

I already voted for you.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah, Goon Squad Sarah

How do you think you got to the finals? We've been voting for you all along!
I think I voted for you after the finalists were announced. Right after.
We can always tap into our neighbours' network if we have downtime.
But then, we have neighbours nearby. In the country, you would have to take the laptop into the car and drive around. It isn't pretty.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwitchypoo

Congratulations on the nomination, you got my vote! I've been remiss in not delurking sooner but better late than never and I've been linked to you for ages so that my readers (all four of 'em) could find their way here, too. Ah, the power of the internet...when it's working.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJocelyn

Oh yes, I have gone through this withdrawal. I have cried, cursed, threw things... yep, been there, done that!

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMisty Dawn

The final straw that made us switch from DSL to cable was Labour Day weekend 2004. Internet went down Friday evening, and didn't come back until Tuesday afternoon.

We refer to that period as "the time we were forced to talk to each other a lot".

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSciDi Dad

I voted! I voted! I heart you so, you crazy Canadian Redneck!

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjasmine

Oh the horror. I just can't imagine. Thank goodness you survived w/minimal emotional damage, right.

Heading over to vote now.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWorker Mommy

The horror of when our internet was down during an arson attack of our neighbourhood, had my husband abandoning us for the internet cafe. We were happy that our internet provider got the lines back up and running even before our phone was connected. Priorities right!

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJana

I would lose my ever-lovin' mind! Of course, since I have no phone, I couldn't even call them...omg, I think I'll start drinking now in case this ever happens.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

I voted for you, but evidently the award needs to be renamed the Doocies, because she's in EVERY category almost.

And no Internet is HARSH. All that 3 dimensional reality is way overwhelming. I prefer my reality to be 2 dimensional and largely text based. LOL.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKyla

Drifted over from Jan's blog...congratulations on your nomination! That's really saying something, there are so many hellishly good Canadian bloggers.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Rock the Vote baby ;)

And let us not talk about those dark hours (sometimes days) that darken our connections okay? Too scary for folks like me.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermotherbumper

Congrats on the Bloggies thing - most excellent! Now to make sure your computer stays up and running so you can incessantly check the award site...

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBOSSY

girl, am voting for you now. and i bet, in fact, i think i know, you wake up pretty.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjen

oh please, you are WAY hotter than Cate Blanchett!!

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterali

A day without all those tubes and things that connect you to the great big world of other cyber addicts. I'm not sure I could go an entire day without medical intervention.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEm

Well, those nominations kinda made up for a day without the internet, didn't they? Congrats!

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarrie

I love you, RNM!
MWAH.

I vote for you with all my emails daily!

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlli ~Mrs. Fussypants

Found you through Bloggies, voted for you and put you in my favorties. I like what I see :)

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjanethesane

you could always head on over to the library and use the free internet there, but i warn you, you'll have to wait for all the old men to get their wordwhomp fix first.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkgirl

We don't have school busses. If I turned on the computer in the morning, my kids would be tardy every day!

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ Juggling Life

Voted for ya'. You're the best blog in my bookmarks.
And I can relate to your addiction problem. Admitting it is the first step, right? Right?
Anyone?
Bueller?

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer McKenzie

Will vote pronto.

As for that little addiction you mention --

I went through three days of hell during the power-outage episode until my parents arrived for a visit and my darling daddy fixed the little wireless box-thingy so that I could resume sitting on my ass.

Thank god the man's just as addicted. He sprang into action just as soon as I told him there would be no internetz during his visit.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterArkie Mama

Congrats on the Bloggies nod; I voted for you. But I'm slightly bummed that I have to wait until MARCH EIGHTH to find out that you won.

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermamatulip

You got my vote.

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMinnie

I hate when my router takes a crap.
On my way over to vote ...

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJ.

By FAR the most interesting entry I have ever read in my life. By far.

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJake

Oh woman, been there~at least I still have the work computer to rely on, but a lot of stuff is blocked. Congrats on the nomination and I am glad you are up and running again.

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterqt

No interenet! And for 12 hours! I feel for you!

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCasdok

So, you're saying you look FABULOUS in the morning? ;) I VOTED, of course!

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHaley-O

Oh, you poor baby. Can I get you anything? Water? Booze? A cold compress for your forehead? That must have been just awful. I hope you don't have post traumatic stress disorder. I know I would if I were in your position.

Congrats on your nomination! I already voted for you so what do I get in return? ;)

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Chicky

Ok, I know that I have been OFF THE PLANET for the last week or so, but that is only because I replaced my internet addiction with viewing seven seasons of The Gilmore Girls.

If I hadn't, I would have shriveled up into a tiny ball of shrieking agony.

THAT said, I missed your guts, YAY on the bloggies and I totally think that everyone should wear their prom dresses during one of the cocktail parties at BlogHer

(After you have already debuted your assless chaps and stiletto's, of course...)

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLoralee

You'll fit into that dress and I bet you'll look good. I totally understand the addiction and I'm just a novice blogger without Reputation to uphold and all that. But I feel this 'blethic' or blog ethic to my blog (a work ethic, a way of treating people with a nice blend of snark and sweet) and if I am unable to go online, I explode. And make others go with me. Happy you're all plugged in.. . .

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary

But did you threaten to have the tech support anally raped? Cuz, that's how I roll.

*ahem*

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarcastic Mom

You already had my vote T :-)
Good luck!

January 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramypalko

We keep trying to cut back and somehow, I keep justifying the innernetz. Some gibbreish about "That's how I get 80% of my business," and "I just took the Board position for the new Birth Matters Blog!" I NEEEEDDD my innernetz!!! Here's hoping DH never makes me drag the kids to the library to have internet access, and that you remember how to re-boot the right away from the start next time. :-)

January 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeatherN3Boys

OMG! That is a horrible, horrible fate to deal with! For the record, I'd have been losing my mind too (what's left of it)!

January 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Congrats and thank God you finally got through to tech support how desperate your situation was. I don't know how you survived almost a whole day.

January 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHRH@JuneCleaverNirvana

I'd vote for you for anything - best bowler, lounge act - you name it.

January 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOh, The Joys

Glad you're back, T!

I voted for you.

January 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGunfighter

Hi! I got my vote too, hope you will win.

January 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

Congrats on being a finalist! And it never hurts to have emergency vodka and trashy celebrity mags on hand if the ISP goes belly-up on you again.

January 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralison

Prom dress, hell buy a new dress.
I'll forgive the homeschool comment, I am not one of those uptight home education moms....I am a caffeine deprived psychopath who is also too sleepy to send my offspring to school so educating starts by no clock here.
Glad we got you back before you really lost it or something ;)
And of course, you got my vote...you rock.
The Mama Bear

January 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPenelope Anne

That's just inhumane. Mine went out the night before my day off last week, and I thought I would die. Thankfully, it seemed to come back on around midday, so sanity was saved, after all.

January 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkittenpie

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