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Michigan, United States
a registered yoga teacher, and a Thai/Yoga Bodywork practitioner.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

When Moms collapse

I was so excited about history today. I found a few stream-able videos about China on Netflix. One is called "Wild China," about the various landscapes within this vast country. It has bitter cold, desert, rain forest, grass plains. So rather than blah-blah about this with text, I would put on a video and the kids would be entralled for the 50 minutes of episode 1.

Guess we should have told Computer about our plans. Yes, I'm personalizing it with a capital letter. After the way it behaved today, I'd like to call it out by its proper name and stomp its motherboarding circuits!

The video won't stream. It locks up. For, like, three minutes. I can't even Ctrl-Alt-Del out of this fit. So I press the power button, shut it down, and bark at the kids to "go brush your teeth or something."

I turn the computer on again. It rolls around the idea of rebooting. It flashes some images at me. It files its nails (or the electronic version of bidding time while my patience melts). When it decides to come back, it staggers through the video in the visual equivalent of stuttering. The audio plays seamlessly; the video does not. It hops from one...still...shot...to...a..noth..er. I click off the HD option. It begins to play, synchronized again.

Then it locks up. I slide from the chair to my knees and put my forehead on the computer desk. Mommy's collapsed, children. Go make your beds while I shake sobbing with anger.

It's been about 20 minutes since we began this endeavor. So much for high speed internet.

Nate feels bad. I hear him asking Madelyn if she feels bad. Based on his outburst, apparently she does not. Then Nate offers to put dishes in the sink for me. Dear little man. He knows I'm cured with a dose of housework-done-by-someone-else. I feel the grip of insane anger loosening.

"No, buddy. I'm okay." (Weak smile). "This is why I practice yoga, isn't it? It doesn't make life easy; it's supposed to make me able to manage when everything goes wrong."

From the hallway Madelyn chimes in with a Brian Regan reference:
[Sappy soothing voice]:"Simply place your foot on the small of your back...and breathe.
[Comedic panicked voice]:  I CAN'T BREATHE!"

Now we're all smiling--for real.

It feels more like a lesson about Sisyphus than about China, but we go back to the computer and try again. It comes up. I deselect HD option. It plays...for most of the fifty minutes. With eight minutes to go, it locks up again. And-- we have lost interest in ending this video properly.
Rice field terraces on mountain sides. "Wild China, Episode 1" (BBC)


  1. a classic meltdown moment and beautifully told!

  2. Nice role reversals, Nate and Madelyn. Nate as empathetic, feeling type and Madelyn as clown. :)