Sunday 13 December 2015

What I Want For Christmas, By the mother of a 1-year-old

So it's the festive season again, and Facebook is again going nuts over whether we're allowed or not allowed to say Merry Christmas. Here's a clue: we are. I've never seen a convincing example of anyone, ever, being told they weren't allowed to wish someone a Merry Christmas (apart from, like, in the middle of June, because Sod Off), or of anyone actually being offended by being wished a Merry Christmas when they don't actually celebrate it. But why let the facts get in the way of a good Facebook share, eh? Also, if you have, like, Themmuns in your workplace, is it really the end of the world to wish them Happy Holidays instead? You know, I used to do some work with a Jewish guy; this one time I even told him to have a happy Hanukkah. We all appear to still be here. Makes you think.

Anyway, people keep asking me what I want for Christmas, and I have to say that once you have a child, things change, although not in the ways you might think. I mean, some mothers will say "All I want for Christmas is to see my child's face lighting up with the magic of the day". Those people can feck right off for a start, along with the "All I want is for my friends to be happy" brigade.

Most of the things I want are unobtainable, of course. Baby Smile to sleep through the night, for instance. A nice warm jumper that a) I like and B) doesn't cost the earth. My house to be about 2 feet wider so that the bedroom has room for the cot and therefore Baby Smile might actually sleep in it and not all over our bed. A extra hand, lol. But there's no point in dwelling on what one cannot have, naturally.

There also exists a long list of things I do not want:

* Anything that occupies actual space in my house. Ain't no room for THAT at the inn, let me tell you. This inn is all full right up with plastic toys in various shades of lurid. If we could turn all that plastic back into oil, we'd have enough resources to provoke an international conflict and blame it on Themmuns.

* Anything involving effort, like a spa day. I saw these advertised "For Mum For Christmas". Please, no. A spa day, like. If I'm using up a full day's worth of babysitting, I want to use my time to nap, read and color in, not go to the effort of getting dressed in proper clothes and then driving across town so I can lie naked on a bed sniffing a candle that's infused with the scent of some forest I'm not in, while someone rubs hot stones all over me. And it doesn't help if you offer to babysit, by the way, because let's face it, I don't trust you with my one and only child. If you want to try babysitting, go find someone with 4 kids; they'll hand them out like Smarties if it means they get a quiet half hour.

So, here are some things I'd like:

* A retractable clothes line. I've actually asked my mother in law for this, so here's hoping.
* A nap.
* To not be invited out to all manner of Christmas Events. Trust me, it's extremely unlikely that I'll find any of these preferable to an evening on the sofa. I can cope with Christmas Day if I get a good rest in the run-up, but all else is hassle.
* To make a gingerbread house which doesn't fall apart before being eaten. I've bought all the bits for this; just need to Google how to do the icing. Gingerbread houses are not hard to make (if you buy them flat-packed from IKEA), and they make you feel all Pinterest Mom.
* Some way of cutting my baby's nails that doesn't involve me having to either sneak up on him in his sleep (thus making him scared to go to sleep, and my life getting immeasurably worse) or trying to do it while he's awake and stabbing myself in the face while I try not to cut him.
* Self-ironing clothes which can also be tumble dried and which don't look like plastic. It's almost 2016, science. Get your act together.
* A couple more small wet bags for nappies. I meant to ask for these and forgot. Preferably ones with elephants or foxes or owls.
* A bar of chocolate the size of my head.
* After Eights. I fricken love After Eights.

That is all. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Friday 16 October 2015

How To Solve a Very Specific Computer Problem

It's too early to say "I'm back" to blogging, but, y'know, "Hi. How've you been?". I'm thinking of writing a series of posts about Pregnancy, Childbirth and Baby Management, and then making them into a book so I can make loads of money. But I probably won't get round to it.

In the meantime, a Thing went wrong with my tablet (Google Nexus 10), and i tried all the Things the internet suggested, and none of them fixed it, and then I fixed it myself, so I thought I'd throw my method out there in case it helps the grand pool of knowledge created by humankind.

So, the problem was thus: tablet charger broke. Tablet ran out of power. Ordered new charger. Waited. Charger arrived. Charged tablet. Turned tablet on. Tablet won't stay connected to WiFi for more than 20 seconds.

At some point in this process, the tablet upgraded to Android Lollipop. I think it was after charging it up, and before the WiFi disconnecting thing.

So I Google it (in increasingly irritating 20 second bursts), and I find that this is a Known Issue with Android Lollipop, and I think " Well, good, then, there'll be a solution ". But I can't find a solution; I can only find " suggestions ". I decide to try them, in the following order:

1. Switch tablet off and back on - nothing
2. Switch modem off and on - have to wait for Mr Smile to go to work before I can try this, so he doesn't think I broke the internet. Still doesn't help.
3. Switch router off and on - I'm not sure how this is different from switching the modem off and on, so I skip it. Come to think of it, I don't really know that that was the modem I switched off in step 2. Anyway, we're no further on.
4. Get the tablet to forget the network and then reenter it. This step doesn't work because my tablet is a freaking encyclopaedia of networks, apparently, and it doesn't have the " forget" option anywhere.
5. Try switching it off and on again.
6. Connect to the modem directly by entering the IP address, and change the channel the network is broadcasting on. This is almost guaranteed to end in disaster, but thankfully the tablet won't connect to anything.
7. Update all your apps to the most recent version. I'd love to do this, but I have 37 pending updates and can only update in 20 second bursts. I struggle on gamely through the first 3, and give up.
8. Fiddle with the WiFi settings. This sounds suspiciously vague, but I'm willing to try anything by this point, so I toggle things on and off at random. I come across something that tells me to press the WPS button on the modem, and I do it anyway because Sod It All.
9. Rewind your operating system to KitKat, but back up your data first. This involves a process so complex that I can't even be bothered sitting through the 300 20 second bursts that it'll take to read about it, so I give up.

So the internet is Out Of Ideas, but I am not. Here's what I did next, which fixed it:
1. Went to my sister's house. Realised my tablet was happily connected to her network. Started downloading updates.
2. Got interrupted by my nephew wanting to play the animal game on my tablet, so stopped downloading updates.
3. Went home. WiFi disconnecting immediately, and I realise I only let about 4 updates actually download. And they're stuff like the Asda app, which are hardly likely to be causing the issue.
4. Became despondent.
5. But realised that the problem seems to be only with my home network.
6. Concocted plan to get a neighbour's password.
7. Opened WiFi settings and looked at the network again. Decided to type in the wrong password, in a bid to anger it. It whined that it couldn't save the network settings because the password was wrong.
8. And then the WiFi stopped disconnecting.

You're welcome.

Saturday 3 January 2015

Still blogging

A few people have asked me recently "still blogging?" and I'm like "well, yes, but not, like, actively of anything".

I realised I forgot to announce the arrival of Baby Smile back in August, but yes, he's here now and extremely nice. I keep doing weird things since he's been born, like being almost in tears at the thought of entering a baby in a "Most Beautiful Baby" contest, because imagine if you did that and then your baby didn't win. One day I cried because he kicked his sock out of the pram and lost it, and then the following week I was walking along the same road and found it.

Anyway, I'm vaguely working on the WhyNotSmile Guides to Pregnancy and to Baby Care. They're going to be fabulous.