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Chaotic FaceTime sessions !

(29 Posts)
Cretin Sun 23-Mar-14 11:13:15

I have lived in greece for eleven years , and use FaceTime as a means of communication, I look forwards to receiving theses calls very much , they are few and far between sadly to say ....but after they have called off feel very sad frustrated , the calls consist of eldest daughter saying hello how are you at which time granddaughter aged seven puts her face into the screen shouting nanny nanny ! It's absolutely wonderful to receive such a welcome but daughter then passes over the iPad to granddaughter and that's it really ... I then speak to granddaughter who goes wandering off for minutes at an end to collect a book or something she has done at school .. And I end up staring at the ceiling whilst she goes .... It's all very lovely but .... I don't get to speak to my daughter ... It's all very chaotic ... I have tried going through the process of reading to her and her to me but she doesn't sit still at all ! Would love some one to one time Ihave suggested this that she call me when little one in bed but this hasn't happened ... I am overin England at least four times a year so we all look forwards to time together but I really feel so frustrated after the calls .... Anyone got suggestions ??

ninathenana Sun 23-Mar-14 11:24:44

Oh dear, I can understand your frustration. DGS regularly reads to other grand parents in Germany via facetime. DD sets him up with the book prior to making the connection. Could you ask DD to make sure your DGD has everything to hand that she wants to show nannie. You say you've asked DD to call after bedtime which is a good idea. If it's not happening maybe ask when it would be convenient to call her. Explain that it's lovely to talk to DGD but you'd love a chat with her too.

Gally Sun 23-Mar-14 11:35:00

I find Facetime/Skype is never what you expect it to be! I have it the other way round - lots of chat with DD but very little with the gc who shout and scream, make faces, stick out their tongues and become extremely over-excited and decide that now is the moment to want something from their Mum confused. Nina's suggestion is a good one and I am sure your DD will want to have a long chat with you in more peaceful surroundings.. 7 is still quite young to sit still in front of a screen for any length of time and hold a conversation with Granny - my 7 year old is usually baring his backside at the screen or making stupid faces shock. Good luck.

harrigran Sun 23-Mar-14 12:29:00

When GDs are with me I will put Skype on so they can talk to their Aunt but they usually just say HI, wave and wander off. The eldest GD can sit for an hour playing a computer game but can't hold a real time conversation on the same computer.
I understand it is difficult to get to talk to DD, I have only spoken to mine once in the three months since she was in the UK.

ffinnochio Sun 23-Mar-14 13:32:31

My American lot are a fairly chaotic family, so my expectations are not high regarding chat, but this non-kind-of-chat can go on for quite a long time with comings and goings and general everydayness. I like it a lot.

Yet I do feel for you Cretin. All in the expectations I guess. What I find really frustrating is when the technology fails. That leaves me spitting tacks!

Ana Sun 23-Mar-14 13:40:47

I really think you should seriously consider changing your user name! hmm

Soutra Sun 23-Mar-14 13:48:17

To Cretan maybe? I must admit I did a double take when I saw it!smile Good luck with the Face timing - my feeling is that GPs too often turn a conversation with DGC into a question and answer session - I know I am guilty of that and while the DDs love using it as a means of communication, I don't really.

janeainsworth Sun 23-Mar-14 14:27:47

We have just finished a Skype session with DS and DGS.
We had to terminate it early because DGS would not stop blowing increasingly loud raspberries at the webcam grin

Cretin Sun 23-Mar-14 14:40:27

Thanks everyone for the replies ,it's given me some ideas and I now know I'm not the only one feeling this way ! Maybe as granddaughter gets older she will sit and listen a bit more .... The way I feel is that I'm babysitting from afar ! Will be over in England very soon to see them and to go to chessington world three children one seven , one five who is quite disabled and an eight month old baby ! You can guess how exhausted I will be the next day .... Thanks again everyone

granjura Sun 23-Mar-14 14:40:42

much much better now the kids are a little older, 4.5 and 7.5- and we can have proper chats. But I also like to phone DD1 from time to time after they-ve gone to bed to have a proper chat with her.

I just could not live so far away without Skype ... the best thing since sliced bread (well much better ... can't stand sliced bread..)

NanKate Sun 23-Mar-14 15:43:46

FaceTime is a mixed blessing. Sometimes all is fine chatting to DS and 3 year old GS and smiling at the baby. But be caused there is a slight time lag I go to speak when they do and no one hears anything.

We sometimes get a teddy we have here and let it misbehave and pop onto the screen which make the GS laugh a lot, but I don't think it would work with a much older child.

To be honest I am sometimes relieved when the call finishes.

Finally it is quite useful to have noted down a few topics of conversation prior to the call.

petallus Sun 23-Mar-14 16:03:03

I got rid of Skype in the end because I found it so irritating talking to friends and family this way.

Someone I know whose family moved abroad uses Skype to speak to the GC and he often seems exasperated with the outcome (GC dart around not talking etc)

rockgran Sun 23-Mar-14 16:46:28

The last facetime we had involved the five year old giving us a guided tour of their house - very fast! I felt seasick! He then jumped up and down on his bed (with the ipad) then shut himself in the wardrobe. Hilarious but not very informative. The little one kept saying "Can we go now?" as he had just acquired a new toy which was more interesting than us. I think you have to have nil expectations and just accept that for a fleeting moment you had "real time" contact. Sometimes our son gets up very early to talk to us on his own which is more satisfying in terms of information but I do love to see the little ones' faces. Feeling a bit tearful now!

Cretin Sun 23-Mar-14 16:57:41

Yes , exactly how I feel but also feel so very guilty that am relieved it's over .... I will try to lower my expectations ... I feel almost like I'm babysitting from greece as I can hear my daughter talking to other people in the background... Shall try not to expect too much but it's very hard when you have been waiting for the call for weeks ... Have tried the text to my daughter can I call ? always the wrong time ... Gentle reminders would love to FaceTime you when time allows etc ... All to no avail I'm afraid ... Maybe it just duty that she calls and not really for that lovely mum daughter chat that I would so love to have ... Now by mutual consent she face times when she remembers me ! So I am always eagerly awaiting calls and when they turn out chaotic I get so disappointed ... Vicious circle I think ?

rockgran Sun 23-Mar-14 17:20:21

I feel your pain, Cretin. I am waiting for my son to answer several questions but there's never a good time. I'm always wondering and waiting. Any communications we have are never enough...well not for me, perhaps for them. Glad it's not just me. confused

tiggypiro Sun 23-Mar-14 21:44:33

I know and use skype but what is facetime ? Is there s difference? One better than the other ?
I was born in the last century as my kids keep reminding me ! ( I can now type slowly with two fingers which is an improvement )

Grannyknot Sun 23-Mar-14 22:00:21

If it's any consolation, it can go the other way as well ('re frustration). My SIL who looks after my MIL who has Alzheimer's, when I Skype her, has me watching my MIL being spoon fed, whilst she wanders off to do something else. She thinks I enjoy watching my MIL sleeping too confused.

rosequartz Sun 23-Mar-14 22:55:52

We have given up on skype. DD1'S connection is terrible, the picture gets stuck and then jerks around, DGS skids past at full speed, calls 'hi' then disappears. I would rather chat on the phone and picture them in their home.

Soutra Sun 23-Mar-14 22:55:53

As an example of how the children (DGC) take Facetime/Skype for granted, DD rang me this afternoon and I had a chat with DGS1 (nearly 4) who could tell me what he had been doing, but DGS2 (2 and a bit) was desperately trying to show me his "Minion" socks which I had sent them last week, Bless him he couldn't understand why Granny couldn't see him!

rockgran Sun 23-Mar-14 23:17:50

Facetime is just Apple's version of Skype (tiggypiro) and it is easy and free to use if you both have an Apple product - iphone, ipad or Mac, etc.

hespian Mon 24-Mar-14 08:19:25

We find our connection through FaceTime is much better than Skype. We have really slow broadband as we are in the sticks and there is no chance of "Infinity". I totally agree with others about these forms of communication. We seem to spend our weekend hoping for contact but almost feel worse after if/ when we have spoken. It just highlights how we are not really in their lives.sad

Experigran Mon 24-Mar-14 09:19:24

I think all this communication is double edged. I emigrated to Australia in 1969 and there was no instant communication. so what did we do? We wrote letters. I used to write a little every day, like a diary and post it home once a week. My mother kept all my letters. They were very detailed. What my first impressions were. What everyday items cost and how they compared to home. Copies of these letters are now in the archives of the Sussex University for the use of future historians. My memories have been featured in a modern history book and in June I am to be interviewed for a project to be staged in the Victorian Museum, Melbourne. I can't help thinking that letter writing is more durable than Face Time and much more rewarding. When I re-read them they trigger so many more memories.

When we first got the telephone installed in 1970 we had to book an International call 3 months in advance so that all the intervening telephone exchanges could be coordinated. We booked one for my mother-in-law's birthday, but did not tell her. On the appointed day we placed the call and listened to it being connected in all the different countries until it reached Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. The phone rang and she answered. "Happy Birthday Mum" "Oh son!" Then silence. Nothing. We waited for a few seconds and then imagined the worst. She'd fainted, had a heart attack. We got back to the operator. Our news travelled all the way back through the various languages until it reached Bembridge again. The little exchange was about a mile down the road from where she lived and the man at the exchange went there to see if she was ok. She was, but the phone had broken down! This was duly fixed and they gave us a free call the following day. What would happen now? How much does technology do for us? I wouldn't be without it, but I also feel it has robbed us of a great deal too.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 24-Mar-14 09:48:47

Couldn't you do what I do, at the end of usual phone calls. Ask the last grandchild to hand the i-pad over to Mummy so you can have a chat with her?

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 24-Mar-14 09:50:05

I mean, just put up with the wandering grand-daughter for five or ten minutes, and then firmly request to speak to Mummy.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 24-Mar-14 09:52:45

I do think they like to have us on the end of a phone/skype, just for the company. Yesterday my phone conversation with DGS2 went quiet. I called out "are you still there?". Silence. Then I heard the sound of the lav flushing. hmm