And Then Disaster Struck

Day 45 of the #100DaysToOffload Series:

Today was a pretty normal Wednesday for us here at the Stone house. At least the new normal for us. I was working from home, and my wife was taking a VoIP call from her boss. My kids were scattered through the house engaged in either game play or video watching. All in all, it was a pretty quiet and happy afternoon.

And then disaster struck.

Of course I'm exaggerating for effect here. It wasn't a real disaster, but you'd never imagine it was short of the end of the world as we know it based on the reactions from my kids.

The Internet went down.

*gasp*

All through the house there were roars of rage that videos cut off, and anguished cries of sadness that children were cut off from their video game avatars. I'm not even going to mention what my wife said after her VoIP call with her boss unexpectedly quit.

After rebooting the cable modem a couple times, we were back up and running of course. Total downtime was around ten minutes. Nothing substantial. The thing that struck me was one of my kids coming to me and telling me that because the Internet was down they had nothing to do.

Nothing to do?

I realize that my childhood was different growing up in a small rural town in the middle of a sparsely populated state. My parents assumed I had plenty to do if they handed me a shovel and told me I could use the hose.

My kids I'm not going to turn loose in my backyard with a shovel and a hose. It's just not going to happen.

There is still plenty to do in our house that doesn't require an internet connection. There's toys. There's books. There's a cabinet full of food and a handful of siblings to terrorize.

My kids have become too dependent on the Internet. I admit that's mostly my fault. They have to occupy themselves for the most part while my wife and I work. We're home, but we're not always accessible. They're forced to fend for themselves for the most part.

I want to encourage the self sufficiency, while discouraging them from digging holes in my back yard.

Do you work from home? What activities to you do with you children that they can also do themselves that don't require access to the Internet? I want to be prepared the next time disaster strikes.