Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Sound of Suckling

I have held the post of "resident I.T. guy" in the household even though I'm not a guy…even though I'm not the one working in the tech industry. Solving computer problems drives John crazy – John, the calm, even-keeled one. For some reason, I kind of enjoy this kind of problem-solving.

So disaster struck yesterday in this internet-dependent home. I had no internet connection! I turned on and off my modem and checked all the cables. Should’ve worked, but didn’t. I thought I’d give it twenty-four hours to resolve itself and give myself twenty-four hours to survive without the internet. I was happy to give up e-mailing for a day, but I felt like I had my hands behind my back when I needed to look up where all the parking garages are downtown (met up with Maylin’s classmate and mom for library and ice cream, toting Stefan). Eh, it was all right. The old-fashioned way of just driving around and looking worked just fine.

[By the way, that playdate was so much fun! Maylin got her own library card (she signed it herself! oh my girl!), picked out a book, and played games on the computer. Then we had ice cream at a gelato place on Shattuck Avenue. The guy behind the counter (who was quitting because he lived out of town) was so friendly and generous – let us taste whatever we wanted. I probably tasted at least five flavors, while the girls probably tried almost ten each. (Let’s indulge once in awhile!) I think I had more fun tasting than actually eating my final choice – a medium-size of pink “rose” and purple “violet” was a bit much, but the girls were happy to help me finish. We had the entire cozy, yet modern shop to ourselves! After seeing two people drop off employment applications, I considered applying myself (just kidding). As we left the shop, a man on the street saw our gleeful bunch and commented, “Looks like a lot of fun.” And yes, what could be more fun than taking two cute kindergarten girls out for ice cream – the girls were certainly giddy on the happiness of being together and the sugar.]

Anyways, back to the I.T. story. This morning, it was time to resolve the internet problem. Even though Stefan looked a little sleepy, I thought I’d chance it and make the call to AT&T. But first, where to find the right number? I looked in my files and couldn’t find it on any of my documents. Argh! I need the internet! I remembered that our neighbor was kind enough to let us mooch off of his network, so I did that to find the number on ther internet. It seemed like forever, but I finally found the customer service number – completely buried on the AT&T site. Once I called them, there were the menus to sift through, the automated trouble-shooter, the very nice tech support agent (I was able to do the tests because I had put Stefan down in his crib), and then finally, the maintenance guy who recognized the sound of a baby suckling on his mother’s breast.

How did this happen? Well, since I was being put on hold for the maintenance person, I thought I’d take the opportunity to nurse Stefan – that poor hungry, sleepy boy. In the middle of the feeding, of course, the agent begins talking and asks me to check the lights on the modem while he performs a circuit check. I had to explain that I was unable to do that while nursing my baby. He said he thought he had heard something. Yikes! He recognized the sound! That phone’s a little too good. He began talking about how his wife nursed their three kids and how the babies worked so hard that they had sweat on their brows. I really didn’t expect this much information from an AT&T employee, but I was enjoying it. In the end, he ordered me a new modem after determining that mine was defective. Yay. You know, I don’t think this conversation would have occurred in France, where breastfeeding is not very popular and where telephone customer service is something to be avoided at all costs. (I’ll have to tell you my electricity story, which I think was pre-blog. That was a nightmare. I was saved by a wonderful neighbor.)

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