‘Find iPhone’ Application? Not Activated!

A couple of weeks ago, I did something I never thought I would.  I gave the Small Child a functioning mobile phone so that I could put him on the bus to school and not be worrying that he made it safely. The problem of course is Translink… they’re notoriously unreliable, with Mr K on occasion storming back into the house half an hour after leaving saying three buses never came, and constantly complaining that they’re late and of course the whole, having to change buses at a busy bus interchange to get to school from here.  Just another one of those things I probably would never have bothered with if he were travelling with a sibling and they could look out for each other… oh, the joys of having an only child.

The Small Child has been in possession of the second hand iPhone since about March, when Mr K upgraded and was using it primarily on the wifi to play computer games and  such, and had demonstrated his capacity to keep it charged, not treat it like a toy and to the best of my knowledge wasn’t surfing for porn on it.  So, it was decided that sufficient levels of maturity and responsibility were being exhibited, and the phone was hooked up to a cheap BYO phone plan which allowed unlimited free calls to Mum and Dad.  So far all good.  But, of course, what happens once the phone is activated?  It got ‘lost’.

misplaced smartphone distress lost phone

Bugger. I had picked him up from BigSal’s after school, as per usual, and he had the phone with him then. We then drove to town to collect Mr K after work, not usual, and potential point of phone loss Number 1 occurs as they switched seats. On the way home, we decided to stop for frozen cokes because it was disgustingly hot and the Small Child took his phone into the store with him – potential point of phone loss Number 2.  Came home and Small Child checked the letterbox – potential point of phone loss Number 3. After that the Child + phone should have been securely inside the domicile… ‘should’ being the operative word in this statement.

Phone was thence reported missing when getting ready to go to school the following morning.  Mr K and the Small Child both asked me first thing in the morning if I had seen it – ‘Negatory Ghost Rider, no sightings of missing communications device’. They left for the day, sans phone, and I went back to attempting to read an article on ‘Demonic Possession and Mental Disorders of the Middle Ages’ and promptly forgot all about the entire incident.

Around midday, Mr K gave me a call to see how I was getting on and enquired if the Small Child’s phone turned up… a brief moment passed while I did a ‘Huh? HeLostHisPhone?WhenDidThatHappen?’ before the early morning conversation came back to me (yay marshmallow brain!).  Bugger. I guess I had better try and track it down.

His school has a policy of all phones at school being signed into and out of the office every day, so I called Bev in the office to see if it was signed out the previous day or had he inadvertently left it behind… no luck. It had definitely gone home with the Small Child.  Mr K had already rung both the building near where we picked him up and the frozen coke dispensary to see if an iPhone in a blue case had been handed in (yeah, as if!) and likewise, no joy there. I tried calling BigSal to see if it turned up at her place but as per usual she wasn’t answering her phone.  So I figured – it had to be in the car.  Three thorough searches, by three people of varying levels of competency later, and we determined it most definitely wasn’t hiding in the car.  We now had one very distraught Small Child who was feeling disappointed, heartbroken and somewhat guilty for losing his prized possession.

Now here is the truly stupid bit… iPhones as we know, have a ‘Find iPhone’ application and it was the ONE THING this particular iPhone didn’t have installed and activated.  I could open the application and find MY iPhone, my Macbook, track Mr K’s iPad and his phone, but for some reason the one device that was mostly likely to have been lost HAD NOT BEEN ACTIVATED WITH THIS FEATURE… sigh.  Stupid rookie mistake – we are use to administering our own gear and not someone else’s, in this case the Small Childs.  Bugger.

smartphone lost find my phone application

So, I signed into our phone provider’s website and was encouraged to find that no calls had been made using the handset or the SIM card.  I was rapidly hitting the point where I was going to have to cancel the account/SIM and disable the IMEI before we copped any bills… when Yale had an lightbulb moment of absolute brilliance.  We had tried calling it and it was ringing, but going to voicemail but at least it had some juice left.  He logged into the house wifi router and could see the phone’s MAC ID!  And, even better, when you called it, the wifi on that device activated, which meant the device was somewhere IN the house and connected quite happily to the wifi!!!  Big sigh of relief… won’t have to blame desire for frozen cokes after all.

how to find lost iphone

We checked everywhere. The Small Child had Drill Sergeant Mom looking over his shoulder as he cleaned his room, but alas, we found nothing but dust bunnies, old Pokemon cards and muesli bar wrappers.  We cleaned and checked the kitchen, the living areas, dusted the bookcases, went through the kitchen cupboards – looked everywhere.  And somewhere in among this hunting for the illusive iPhone, the Small Child told me he had a dream the night before that someone had taken his phone and broken it.  Which ordinarily wouldn’t mean diddly squat… except that, well, his mother had a known propensity for frequent sleep walking around his age and it now seemed very likely that the Small Child had gotten up in the middle of the night to put his precious iPhone in that most dreaded of locations known as ‘somewhere safe’.  Bugger!  The poor child was forced to give up all his secret hiding spots where he keeps his childhood ‘treasures’ as we continued the hunt for the phone. But alas, the curse’d iPhone was no where to be found.

We searched high and low for this thing (well Mr K and Yale searched ‘high’ and the Small Child and myself searched ‘low’).  We even called in backup to try and help locate it thinking that more eyes on the problem would help. We knew it was on the network, we knew it was on silent (school policy), and we knew the battery was probably running low by this point.  Executive decision made to wait until nightfall, turn off every light in the house and call it hoping that the touchscreen lighting up would be enough to give away it’s location.

how to find your phone no finder ap

If you’ve ever been on a long car trip with children then you’ll feel our pain here… instead of ‘Are we there yet?’ being repeated every fifteen minutes, we had a constant rendition from about 4:30pm – 8:00pm of ‘Is it dark enough yet?’  We eventually turned out the lights and took up positions throughout the house and called the damn phone again.  Convinced it was in the Small Child’s room, I vigilantly took up my post there expecting a flash of light… but no.  The plan did however work!  The iPhone that was previously known as ‘Steve’ and shall be henceforth known as ‘My Precioussss’ was located on the bookshelves in the dining room.  The exact same bookshelves I had dusted several hours earlier in our futile hunt for the Too Carefully Stashed iPhone Incident of 2012.  :S  Whoops. My bad.

I think there’s a few morals to this pathetic ‘First World Problem’ saga… firstly, maybe kids don’t need the stress of obsessing about expensive electronics, so we just shouldn’t give them these things, no matter how sound or well intentioned our plans may seem.  Second…hug an IT geek today!  We would have given up on the iPhone and perhaps even stupidly replaced it if we didn’t KNOW for certain it was in the house somewhere.  And finally, I wouldn’t ask me to help with the dusting if I were you… I’m obviously blind as a bat, off with the pixies or stoned out of my gourd.  :S


Our parents worried about music lyrics.

Something is seriously wrong with the world, I read a news article recently out of Atlanta Georgia –

13-year-old accused of stabbing 2-year-old sister to death

Police in DeKalb County have charged a 13-year-old girl in the stabbing death of her 2-year-old sister.

The young girl was stabbed multiple times and her body was found by her father behind the family’s townhome on Monday, DeKalb County police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said Tuesday.

Police are withholding the name of the 13-year-old who was taken into custody. A court hearing was set for Tuesday afternoon.

“She’s gone on to glory now,” the child’s father, Shelton Ray, told WSB-TV.

“Now it’s up to me to make it to where she is,” he said. “Like I tell all my children, they have to get themselves into heaven. I have to get myself into heaven.”

The toddler had multiple stab wounds, police said.

The girl’s siblings, all under the age of 5, were home at the time of the incident, authorities said. Parish says the toddler was attacked inside of the house and investigators do not believe the other children witnessed the slaying.


Published November 21, 2012 – Associated Press

Anyway, I sent it to a friend with a “WTF is this father on?  He’s either on crack or religion… or both!” comment attached.  Mind just a sec, while I just step over the indignation of anyone offended by my backhanded swipe at religious nutters, and feel free to lambast me for the inappropriateness of that comment later after I’ve gotten on with my point.

My friend read the article and then expressing the expected incredulousness followed by: “Makes me wonder if the kid was confused when the 2 year old didn’t respawn”.

Respawn?  Respawn?  I think that might literally be the most alarming thing I have ever heard regarding the potential impact of computer gaming on children.  The idea that video games could be so pervasive in children’s lives as to blur the lines of reality so badly as to cloud a child’s ability to perceive consequences to MURDEROUS actions is just beyond scary and disconcerting. Even if it were nothing to do with the case study above, the very concept of children being so immersed in gaming and so unable to identify reality is truly shocking and absolutely horrifying.

Unfortunately for the Small Child when I picked him up after school on Friday, the first thing out of his mouth was a request to play a video game called Just Cause II which, like most of them, I have never heard of, and don’t have the time or inclination to investigate its suitability for his age group etc.  Last week’s obsession was Dark Siders II and prior to that it was Team Fortress II (don’t know where we were when the original release of all these games come out but everything he is into seems to be into its sequel at the moment).

kids inappropriate content

We had a conversation, one which reoccurs from time to time about having balance in your life and not becoming obsessed by computer gaming and having other things to do with your time.  When gaming comes up I always like to have a chat with him about my intense dislike for the over exaggerated reliance on violence in these computer games for entertainment and my concern that they densensitize kids, like himself, to real violence.  I also frequently reiterate my refusal to allow first person shooter games for an 11 year old and do my best to keep him away from those, taking every opportunity to point out that guns are not toys, shooting at people in computer games is not fun nor is it funny, and as such I believe it should not be considered ‘entertainment’.  He’s a pretty switched on kid and I strongly doubt that he would ever fail to distinguish between reality and gaming…. but as a parent, you worry about how extremely impressionable and malleable their young brains are – and input indubitably affects development and output – how can it not?

How to deal with it though?  So many games, so little time, a new title to obsess over every week, so little inclination on my part to get bogged down in the minutiae of each game to determine appropriateness for a child of his age and maturity?!?  Did I mention that I don’t really consider myself a gamer?  I’ve played a couple of SuperMario games on Nintendo from beginning to end, and there was a flitration with Banjo-Kazooie and a short lived Donkey Kong thing for a while, but the closest thing I played for any real length of time was Farmville for ages as a ‘zone out, I’m on a heat pack’ distraction from chronic back pain a few years ago.  Note how ‘cutesy’ all these are.  And the complete lack of weaponry, death, destruction, red mist and shoot ’em all goals of these games.  I just don’t understand the appeal of a game that wants you to annihilate other characters, human or otherwise and he said “None of it’s real anyway, Mum.”

Ok, so it sounds like I don’t really have to worry about the Small Child blurring the lines of reality and fantasy worlds he engages with in computer games.  But you know, being a Mom, it’s kinda my job to worry.

Poof! Whaddaya want? Poof! Whaddaya want?

Remember back a bit with me… to the days when you were a 10/11 year old kid.  If you’re around my age you didn’t have computer games, you didn’t have big screen tvs, you didn’t have hand held devices, and you didn’t know what a mobile phone was, let alone constantly nagging your parents for one.  You probably had a bike you shared with your siblings, you probably had a few sports balls that had seen better days, you probably had things like skipping ropes, yo-yos, and bags of marbles and pieces of elastic to play with.  Maybe you even had a hoola hoop?  Or if you were really lucky half a dozen jigsaw puzzles or board games in the cupboard and a swing set or a trampoline outside.

Now imagine that you had $50 in birthday money to spend…

Yep!  $50.00.  So twenty odd years ago that was probably only $25, but it’s a veritable fortune for a little kid who doesn’t get pocket money yet!  The world (or in the case, the toy shop) could be your slimy edible mollusc!  You could have gone mad with the joy of it, the mountain of toys you could have bought home.  The luxury of being able to buy yourself, your own brand new toys!  Can you just imagine it?  I can barely think what I would have done with a pile of money that big when I was that age.  New games, new basketball, new shoes, a record maybe, some lollies, something shiny (long story) and maybe have some left over shrappers to go in the piggy bank.

Mom:  Well, kiddo what do you want to get with your birthday money?
Small Child:  Buy the latest computer game (which he’ll be bored with in a few weeks).
Mom:  Seriously?  Can’t you think of anything other than another computer game?
Small Child:  Umm… maybe more Lego?
Mom:  Do you need more Lego?
Small Child:  Nope.  Not really. I don’t play much with the Lego I have.
Mom:  What about some books?
Small Child:  I’m reading a series from the library so I don’t need any books.
Mom:  I can’t believe there’s nothing you want except more computer games.
Small Child:  (literally shrugged) Well, I just don’t need anything.

birthday money spend toyshop

And there you have it.  While today was World Hunger Day and fast food restaurants across the country (oh the irony) were collecting money for the under privileged in developing nations, my son can’t think of anything to do with his $50 worth of birthday money – because he just doesn’t need anything.  After further debate we decided to save it… even though he doesn’t have anything he wants to save up for because, well, he couldn’t figure out what else to do with it!

What a sad state of affairs… children should be full of dreams and yearning and other covetous thoughts like that.   :S



Relationship Status: It’s (Becoming) Complicated

Things you really don’t want to hear from your 10 year old son over dinner…. “What’s so bad about two girls one cup?”

mario children internet access something awful 4chan

Jesus kid!  Where the hell did that come from?  :S  Apparently The Small Child was watching some YouTube videos made by some moronic 25 yr old men pretending to be teenagers, or at the very least carrying on like halfwit teenagers, who regularly make clips about computer games, technology and other ‘stuff’ under the guise of entertainment/comedy.  They call themselves ‘Smosh’ and they have been making these videos since 2006, so there’s a significant back catalogue of adolescent drivel available on their YouTube channel moulding the minds of our youth.  I managed to sit through less than half of the clip on the front page of the channel before deciding it was crude, coarse, common and vulgar, not to mention boring and completely lacking in any comedic engagement, with the deliberate intent of appealing to the lowest common denominator – therefore rendering it no surprise their audience is probably made up of many 10 yr old boys.  It’s complete and utter puerile shite and has no right existing let alone chewing up bandwidth!

It’s bad enough that you have to watch out for the kids accessing pornography and other abhorrent phenomena (thanks Neil – that phrase is making increasingly regular appearances in my everyday vernacular!) on the internet without worrying that they’re picking up on hideously inappropriate memes while watching what should be innocuous video gaming vlogs.  I can’t ban him from using the internets… that’s just not practical.  We love the internets here!  We don’t know how we used to live without the internets… for keeping in touch, for researching things we are interested in, for settling dinner party disputes, and just for fun and games and entertainment!  With several computers in the house, smartphones and laptops, media PCs and the like, we are a family of typical technophiles and feel lost and disconnected without our daily dose of internets lovin’.

And while we all know the internets has a Dark (oh, so very dark!) Side… for me personally, that has always been ‘over there somewhere’ and mainly for ‘other people’.  In the deep dark recesses of 4chan.org and somethingawful.com and rotten.com, and other places I have no desire to frequent, is a helluva lot of content that I just don’t think my 10 yr old needs to be exposed to.  But what do I do about it?  I can set the safe searches, I can put his PC in a communal area of the house… but where there’s a will there is a way. 🙁     And the idea that my kid is going to go searching ‘two girls one cup’ while I’m not watching simply fills me with dread.  What sort of lasting impression will that special little bit of internet horror leave on a not yet formed, or informed, little mind?

And so starts a new stage in my relationship with the internets… the love/hate stage that would normally be a precursor to the divorce/banishment which simply isn’t a realistic option in this case.  🙁



The whole Universe was in a hot dense state..

About three years ago, when he was about 7 or 8, the Small Child was all excited about space… we talked about the Earth and the planets, gravity and temperatures, space shuttles and moon landings.  I obtained a series of documentaries on various aspects of space to feed his enthusiasm.  We watched documentaries together about the sun and the solar system, nebula and black holes, stars and supernovas and the final episode in the series was on the Big Bang Theory of the creation of the universe.

big bang theory universeI remember a couple of days after we watched the last episode in this documentary series, the Small Child turned to me in the car on the way home from school one day and out of nowhere asked me, “Mum, if the Universe was created by the Big Bang explosion, how did God make the earth in a week?”  I smiled quietly to myself, but was absolutely bursting at the seams with pride that the Small Child’s had not only noticed the anomaly in the information he’d acquired but his inquiring little mind was attempting to reconcile the two concepts, “I don’t know kiddo,” I said, “but I’m sure glad you asked.”

catholic school science whole universe hot dense state

Skip forward several years and this morning, Mr K was talking to the Small Child about this week’s transit of Venus and what an amazing place the Universe is.  He asked the now 10 year old Small Child if he believed that God created the Earth… The Small Child, who was barely paying attention as he was engrossed in a new computer game responded, “I might go to a Catholic school, but I’m going to go with the science…it’s more explicainable.”

His vocabulary needs some work but the sentiment is there.  🙂