>Smart home li ving

The full hor­ror of re­lo­cat­ing gad­gets

Mac|Life - - HOME LIFE - hits Jen­nifer Phin

Any­one who has lived with young chil­dren knows The Se­cret Place. It’s that cher­ished area in your home that, given the chance, one par­ent will es­cape to while the other wran­gles the kid into bed or the bath or, on re­ally des­per­ate days, the car to grandma’s house. The Se­cret Place has an old couch, a TV or lap­top, and a ready sup­ply of sugar-laden snacks that oth­er­wise only ap­pear in your child’s wildest dreams.

Our Se­cret Place was in the corner of our at­tic, and proved the perfect hide­out for me and my hus­band to take turns in. “Where’s Daddy? Um… well he cer­tainly isn’t up­stairs watch­ing

Game of Thrones and gorg­ing on gluten-free brown­ies, that’s for darn sure.”

But now our kid is two and can eas­ily out­wit us, the joy of The Se­cret Place is over. I con­ceded de­feat last week and de­cided to move the TV into our bed­room – if we all have to watch Elmo, at least we can watch him in bed. In a not-weird way, of course.

Ha. Ha­haha. Mov­ing the TV set was the easy part. But while I had fac­tored in con­nect­ing up our Ap­ple TV and the Fire TV stick, I’d for­got­ten we need a ca­ble for free-to-air TV and, cat­a­stroph­i­cally, that all three are con­trolled by a Log­itech Har­mony smart re­mote, which has charg­ing sta­tion re­quire­ments and a mystery black box of its very own.

“Watch, mama? Watch TV in bed?” My kid was lit­er­ally leap­ing with ex­cite­ment as I scoured the walls for power out­lets when I got a text from my hus­band: “IN­TER­NAL SPEAK­ERS MUTED, YOU NEED TO CON­NECT THE EXTERNALS.”

I was done. Even if I got ev­ery­thing con­nected, I’d never fig­ure out the smart re­mote setup. I turned to my daugh­ter.

“Shall we read a book in­stead, honey?” Her lower lip trem­bled. Her face dark­ened. And there was nowhere to hide.

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