It was as though all of the colour had drained from the room. It was the moment I had been dreading. The three children all turned to look at me, their faces drained, their eyes angry. I gulped loudly and tried to answer their many questions. How? Why? Why now? What could be done? How would we survive Christmas?
I understood their anger and frustration. Christmas is a time for happiness and cheer, not a time to be miserable.
“Can you fix it?” The ten-year-old internet addict looked at me with wide eyes filled with hope. “You can fix it can’t you?”
Sighing loudly, I put my arm around his shoulder and explained that it was old, it had worked hard but it was gone. There was no fixing it. “So go and buy a new one!” Anger was replacing the sadness now all hope was lost.
“We have ordered a new one, but it might not arrive before Christmas.” The addict left the room after casting me one more look filled with sadness.
“We can manage without broadband without a week.” My husband added cheerfully, picking up his phone to read the news. He pushed a few buttons and sighed, placing his redundant phone on the table. This was going to be harder than we thought.
You could have heard the sound of a pin drop, the children were all sat looking at each other. It was like mass mourning. I tried to cheer them up. “We can play board games.” It was too soon for this suggestion. Arguments over which game to play followed by “I’m not playing if he’s not playing” and “I’m not playing if she’s playing” soon led me to realise that they needed time to adapt to life without broadband.
“Let’s pick a film to watch.” This was met with some enthusiasm. Hope was soon dashed when we realised that we needed the internet to download the films we wanted to watch.
“All I want for Christmas is the internet back.” The addict said.
“Me too,” said the tween.
“Me three,” said the little one, who didn’t really care but liked to copy her brothers.
Later when they were all busy playing, I quietly switched on my laptop. I knew that I could tap into my personal hotspot and use it to catch up on my blogging. I reached for my phone to find that there was not one but three connections already. My darling children (and husband) had discovered this wondrous secret and were all busily draining the data from my phone.
A day into this new existence and we were all surviving (even the addict), my husband did ring our broadband provider again to see if we could hurry the new router along a little. Well known for the tightness of his wallet, he surprised us all by offering extra for quick delivery. Alas to no avail, these things have a process that cannot be hurried. We would have to wait and see.
Two days later and we were resigned to a broadband free Christmas. It isn’t so bad. We are all talking more and looking at screens less. Maybe, just maybe it is a good thing?
The doorbell rang and it was a delivery. I wasn’t expecting anything and wondered what it might be. I heard my husband cheer and saw him do a little dance on the doorstep. The poor delivery man looked bemused and I am sure the neighbours were all wondering what the mad Welshman was up to this time. It was a celebratory dance to welcome the new router. This dance was to be performed by all of the other members of the house who all queued to get the new details quickly into their devices and to enjoy the luxury of free flowing internet once more.
I did remind them of course that their Christmas wish had been granted and that as all they wanted for Christmas was a new broadband router, I could send the presents that I had bought back now. They were all too engrossed in the world of internet to listen, so I might just do that. They did say, after all. Think of all the money I will save.