About a month ago a box arrived. From Amazon, of course. (Where else?) I opened it to discover two computer cameras. I didn’t think a lot of it, until my husband came home later that day.
“What’s with the cameras?”
“I am putting one up in the office to keep an eye on things when I’m not there.”
“What about the other one?”
“I’m putting that one up at our front door.”
“Well, you might want to think twice about that. I just read an article about hackers breaking into the online feed and watching people through their baby monitors.”
“I just want to be able to keep an eye on things when no one is home. You can access it from anywhere in the world.”
“Yeah, so can the hackers.”
The cameras stayed in their boxes for a few weeks, and I figured that idea had gone the way of the dodo.
Last week I was sitting at the desk typing my blog and I suddenly heard a clicking sound. It took me a minute to figure out where it was coming from. I looked over near the printer and there, sitting on top, was this:
It was aimed right at the computer where I was typing. The red lights were on and as I moved my face in front of it, it clicked again.
I sent a text to my husband.
“Are you spying on me?”
“Seriously. The security camera is plugged in, and it keeps clicking.”
I stuck my face in the camera.
No text. Either he didn’t see me, or he wasn’t gonna own up to it.
I decided to put a hat over it.
That’ll show him.
When I finally talked to him that afternoon, he insisted that he had plugged it in to see how it worked, but that it wasn’t really hooked up, and he wasn’t spying on me. He told me to unplug it.
I’m not convinced that SOMEONE wasn’t watching me. Those clicks sure sounded like a camera taking pictures.
Maybe our camera was hacked. After all, the viral scan we ran the next day came up with 82 viruses. (Kids- please don’t click on anything that says “100 One Direction ring tones” or “video game cheats.” Trust me on this.)
I started thinking about what someone who hacked our surveillance camera might witness, and the thought wasn’t pretty.
Here’s a sample of what might be viewed on an average day:
8:10am- I amble down the stairs in my “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirt and boxer briefs. There’s a 50/50 chance I have mascara smudged under my eyes and my newly trimmed bangs look like this:
8:20am- After several calls upstairs, Parker races down like Speedy Gonzales- on amphetamines- and Zoe clomps downstairs like an elephant who has just awoken from a coma.
8:25-8:40am- Arguments ensue about who has to put the milk away. I debate putting it away myself VS making both of them put it away as a team. I also consider bonking their heads together.
8:55 ish- Parker comes downstairs wearing clothing that is mismatched and weather inappropriate. I send him back upstairs for socks, which I have filled his drawer with the night before. In spite of the balled up matches that are plentiful to choose from, he comes down wearing one knee high dark green sock, and one white ankle sock with a football on it. I relent. I send him back up to brush his teeth, which takes way longer than it should because he refuses to try the new toothpaste and insists on standing on the 99.999% empty old toothpaste tube in order to extract the last remaining scintilla.
9:05am- I am yelling for Zoe who has not been seen or heard from, but is now calling down asking me to make her a lunch… 5 minutes after she was supposed to have left for school.
9:06am- I push them both out the door. An imperceptible twinge of guilt for not walking them to school crosses my face, and leaves as quickly as it came.
9:06- 9:30- I sit at the computer and drink coffee while perusing Facebook. Wait, did I say 9:30? I mean 10:30. 10:45. 11.
Throughout the course of the day I may be seen sitting on top of Mt. Laundry moving clothes from the washer to the dryer, as my back issues have made bending over to load and unload difficult. The good news is that the higher the laundry pile, the easier it is to reach the shelves where I keep the light bulbs and extra trash bags. Laziness meets ingenuity. Who needs a step ladder?
I have about an hour of productivity as the caffeine kicks in, where I’m like Magda from “There’s Something About Mary.”
Around 1230 I rummage through the pantry looking for something to eat. Finding nothing, I grab a handful of dry cereal and shove it into my mouth and head to the fridge. Not being a leftover person, I usually don’t see anything there either, and make the decision to get dressed and go out.
Around 1 I throw on Jeans or yoga pants, depending on whether I have decided to go through a drive-thru or actually walk into a restaurant. If it’s jeans, it’s probably the loose-fitting capris I bought two sizes too big when I was pms’ing last month and felt like a whale. This will likely result in a moon shot towards the camera as I bend over to pick something up and my pants fall down. I don’t like belts.
At about 3:15 I come bursting through the door with grocery bags. I have 5 minutes to unload the groceries and get the perishables in the fridge before I have to pick up Zoe and Parker from school.
At 3:23 (3 minutes late) I go racing back out the door.
At 3:40 Parker comes in, throws down his backpack, slips off his shoes in the middle of the entry way, and heads for the step, where he will sit in the time-out he earned walking home from school.
Zoe and I walk through 2 minutes later and one or both of us will likely be the recipients of a stuck-out tongue from the time-out zone. One of us will ignore him, the other will respond in kind. I’ll let you guess who.
At 415 I receive a text from Nathan asking to be picked up from tennis. This necessitates me getting back in the car. Zoe and Parker convince me they can be left unsupervised for the 10 minutes I will be gone. (Dear Hackers, if at all possible, could you email me the footage you captured between 420 and 430? Thanks!)
At 445 there is a great amount of chaos as either Zoe, Parker or both need to get dressed for soccer practice. Parker insists that he has no clean soccer socks in his drawer. It takes him 3 unsuccessful attempts before I go upstairs and find them on the first try.
I tell him we are going to be late, he tells me, “It’s your fault if we’re late.”
I ask, “How do you figure?”
He responds, “If you weren’t making me go to soccer, I wouldn’t be LATE for soccer.”
At around 7 or 730 we all come stumbling through the door again. I try to figure out what edible thing can be cooked in 20 minutes. There’s crying at the kitchen table as Zoe attempts to do her homework. Dinner is loud and boisterous, there’s usually a standoff with Parker over what he will or will not eat, with threats of no dessert.
At about 830 I try to escape upstairs and my husband, sitting at the desk in the living room says, “Where do you think you’re going?”
“Laundry.” I answer.
Whenever I want to escape the chaos of the kitchen, I say I need to put away laundry. And it’s always true, so that’s convenient.
Most nights things in view of the camera have settled down by 930. Unless, of course, Sydney and her friends show up. That’s usually about the time they want to start watching movies or marathons of old episodes of “One Tree Hill.”
At about 10 you might see Jeff and I sneaking down for a late night treat. Sometimes I hide the best stuff for after the kids have gone to bed. I don’t feel one bit guilty. (Tip- I have found that hiding anything in the laundry room ensures no one but me will ever know it’s there.)
So there you have it. Probably not worth hacking into our online surveillance cam account.
In a few weeks we have to stay in a hotel while our hardwoods are refinished. Jeff wants to set up a camera in our bedroom to see if the workers go where they aren’t supposed to. I kinda hope they do. Maybe they’ll try on my lingerie and wear it around the house.