February 01, 2012


The iPad is becoming a frequent point of contention in our household and the cause of considerable amount of stress for me. I'll start with the smallest point (person) and then go on to the bigger (older) ones. No, I am not going to say I have conflicts with r~ about how long she can be on the iPad. Thankfully that day is not here yet. She is a pretty good kid that way and hardly ever demands to play on the iPad but she has recently gotten into this routine of face-timing when it's night in America.

It's a long story. She doesn't like the dark much and asked why the sun had to set and why it was not bright and somehow we landed on the topic of it being daytime in India while it's night in the US and she got fascinated by this concept. So, when it is night here, she would say, Oh, it's dark here which means thatha paati will be awake, so let's facetime with them. And soon, it became a routine for her. Oh, it's night here, let's facetime to the extent that she would refuse to talk to her grandparents on the phone. "No, only facetime!".

It's quite interesting watching her interact with her thatha paati on the iPad. Although she has spent considerable time with her grandparents face to face, now her routine is to chat using the iPad and so, she doesn't treat it any differently from face to face. She'll usually demand for facetime and then proceed to do her normal activities as if her thatha paati were right in the room with her. It's not "different" for her to interact with her grandparents this way. Today, she said, "Let's take thatha on a walk into the night!" and I asked her how and she said, "Joiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, like this" and she showed me how we would carry the iPad with us into the night which means that thatha is coming with her for a walk into the night :)

Anyway, coming back to the contention points, the second is k (of course). Every morning, I get up a little earlier than k and r~ so that I can get her lunch box ready while they catch up on some more zzzs. And after screaming out their names 22 times and opening the curtains and playing loud music, k will sleep walk his way into the kitchen, look around for his glasses and/or coffee and then sit down with his...iPad while I fume in the kitchen, calling out a constant stream of instructions that usually lightly bounce off his ears and fall onto the carpet. And when I questioned the necessity to make the iPad an essential body part this early in the morning, he said, well, isn't that what our dads did? They sat with the newspaper -- that's the only difference! This actually made me laugh...the other day, I was drawing with r~ and I found a picture that reminded me of what he said. So, I drew it out on a piece of paper and gifted it to him as a reminder of how thoughtfully he had held up to his side of the argument:

It came out pretty well I thought. He asked if I thought that's where he was heading at the top (notice the baldness), I hadn't thought of that :p

So, the third point which is most likely to cause some heart condition in me has to do with my parents and the iPad. Usually a facetime (chat) session on the iPad goes like this:

Me: "Amma, can you come on facetime, r~ wants to chat..."

Amma: "Now???"

Me: "Yes."

Amma: "But, can't I  just talk to r~ on the phone?"

Me: "No." (With r~ screaming into my ears all along, "Facetime, facetime, thatha, paati, facetime!!!")

Amma: "The iPad is in the bureau..."

Me: (With slightly elevated pulse rates) "Why?" -- This is like the point in BBT where the Leonard warns someone not to ask Sheldon Why.

Amma: "Because it is expensive and lot of people come in here. It will get stolen. I can't find the bureau keys..."

Appa: "Amma is looking for the bureau keys to get the iPad out. What is r~ doing? Oh...I hear her. What is she saying? Hellooooo...helllooooooo paaaappa..."

Me: "She won't come on phone pa..." (Thaaaaaaaaaaaathaa, paaaaaaaati...wheeeeeeee -- now she is just screaming just because it is fun)

Amma: (Somewhat breathlessly) "I took it out..."

Me: "Ok, can you come on facetime?"

Amma: "It's not working"

Me: (Enter gritting teeth stage) "W h a t  do you mean, it's not working?"

Amma: "It shows a red broken battery and won't even start"

Me: (Coming close to matching r's decibel level) "Why is it not charged?"

Amma: "I can't leave it charging forever. The iPad will heat up...also if it is left outside..." (repeats the whole reason about burglars targeting iPad2's in India)

Me: "Put it on charge now"

Amma: "I did. It's still showing a broken battery."

Me: "Aaarg"

After sometime, I have calmed down, had some cold water, managed to give r~ some fingerpaint which she is using as floor paint but at least she is quiet now. I call India again.

Me: "Ok, iPad charged?"

Amma: "Yes. It doesn't work."

Me: "???"

Amma: (Patiently expands on her terse statement) "Nothing works"

Me: "@#@##$%"

Amma: (Excitedly) "Shall I come on the laptop? It will only take 2 minutes?"

Me: "No, we bought the iPad for a reason....what doesn't work?"

So you can see how it goes. Thankfully, that time L~ was home and he deduced that the internet connection was down and so fixed it (which in India, you do by restarting the modem. Five times a day.)

I haven't even touched upon me remote debugging from here and teaching my dad how to increase volume on the iPad or the time they lost the charger and spent more than the iPad cost to replace it -- need a part 2 to this post :p


Anonymous said...

ifamily & iconnections :)

kamal said...

I like the sketch.

© Ramya Sethuraman, All Rights Reserved.