I blame YouTube. YouTube is the parenting equivalent of performance enhancing drugs for athletes. It allows us to think that we can do ANYTHING.
Because of YouTube, I have fixed my dryer (okay, mostly fixed my dryer – I still needed help), my air conditioner (okay, mostly fixed my air conditioner – I still needed help), my swimming pool, changed my brakes (okay – that one didn’t work, my neighbor did that one), and found where the spare tire in my minivan was located (WHO PUTS A SPARE UNDER THE FRONT OF THE CAR?!?).
The point is – YouTube makes me believe that I can fix ANYTHING.
I’m not handy. At all.
I have a coffee cup full of my son’s broken toys that I have somewhat glued together, but they look like the mutilated toy’s in Sid’s room from Toy Story. When things break, my kids seek the aid of other parents – their friend’s parents. True story.
But somehow my wife thought (and I believed) that I could fix the cracked screen of an iPhone. Why? Because there is a YouTube video for it.
After 2 hours and 50 minutes of unscrewing screws too small for the Whos in Whoville, unplugging and replugging wires, and gently coaxing the new screen nearly back into place, I found myself 5 minutes away from fatherhood glory. I was going to fix my daughter’s broken phone and she would adore me.
I decided it would be smart to test the screen before snapping it back into place. I turned the phone on, tested the sound, the screen, the camera.
All I had to do was snap the screen back into place and accept my spot in parent immortality. I had done the unthinkable – fixed an old phone, under budget, and actually made it better than it was a day ago.
Except the screen wouldn’t fit.
I would coax it out and then back in. I used all the fancy tools that came with the screen. I was so close.
Then suddenly something happened. I dropped a screw.
The screen went black.
“No, no, no. This isn’t happening.” I muttered to myself.
I finally got the screen back on (sans a few screws, but why do you need all the screws anyways?), but it had a few weird stress marks on it – you know the kind you get if you stick a magnet on a tv screen (shut up, you know you’ve done that before). So I coax the screen off again and try to snap it back in, but, like Macbeth’s armor, it doesn’t fit.
At this point I am well past the three hour mark. My wife convinces me to give it a break. I concede and accept defeat,
The next morning, I did what I should have done to begin with – I took the phone to the experts. They agree to take a look at it and promise to get back with me once they are finished.
Two hours pass. My phone rings.
“Yeah, dude. Sorry, but, yeah, I’m gonna have to declare this one unrepairable. I got the screen back on, but the motherboard (he used a more technical name) is toast. Don’t worry. I won’t charge you. Just let me know when you want to pick up the phone.”
Time of death – two hours after daddy touched the phone.
I felt very much like Charlie Brown when I walked in to pick up the device. The young man (probably half my age) grinned at me and warned me that when you open devices like this up you run the risk of ruining them. I promised the young man that I wouldn’t do it ever again.
Once more, I reflected on my brush with parenting greatness. I was the parenting equivalent of Scott Norwood pushing the field goal wide right, Ernest Byner fumbling at the goal line, Bill Buckner watching the ball dribble between his knees.
I was once again Charlie Brown. But the sad thing was, I was so close. It wasn’t my fault.
I blame YouTube.