Here’s one for the lazy parenting file, my utter reliance on Wii to coerce my children into doing, or not doing something, depending on the situation. I know it’s wrong. I know it’s lazy, but sometimes it’s just so easy. First son loves Wii, his latest obsession is a racing game called Need for Speed, which he is astonishingly good at for an elementary student. Is that pathetic? Yes. It is. I know, and because I also know that he could sit and play Wii, or any computer game for hours at time, I Michelle O’Bamaed (is that a word) his butt and so, he is not allowed to play Wii or computer games during the week.His obsession started innocently enough, at least for his part. For my part, well, I practically introduced him to the whole world of online games in a desperate attempt to nap while pregnant with little lady. Second son was still napping at the time. Mother of the year that I am, I would put him the computer/play room, shut the door (don’t worry they’re french doors) and lay on the couch, instant babysitter. Trust me, if you’re cringing while reading this, you either had easy pregnancies or a lot of help, not twelve to thirteen hours of two rambunctious boys. The sites he visited initially were related to tv programs he watched, Max and Ruby, Wubbzy, Backyardigans, but soon progressed to games on Hot Wheels and eventually to Play Hub (I’ll blame my husband for that one.) He was allowed to play these games when he was five, but now that he is seven he is no longer allowed on Play Hub, and well Need for Speed makes Hot Wheels look like Atari. Doesn’t make sense you say? Oh, but it does, because mother of the year eventually had little lady and finally, a year later, started sleeping through the night again. Oh, what a difference sleep makes. I know, I have gotten totally off track here. This may be due to the fact that second son is sitting next to me playing angry birds, loudly crunching away at the cookie he connived out of me that was stored in the freezer. (You’ll remember the chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter cookies. I had to freeze half them. I don’t think I need to explain any further.) Mom occupied, kid gets cookie. Mom occupied, kid plays shooting games on the computer. I guess some things never change, but whatever.
The whole point of the story was to demonstrate number one’s son love of video games and his wish to preserve his right to play said games come Friday afternoon. (And sorry for the poor picture, old camera, poor lighting and it’s dark out. Unfortunately, though, it’s because the sun has not come out yet, not because it has gone down for the night. These boys are serious about their Wii.) It has been a wonderful bargaining tool in getting him to be compliant with such frivolous rules as get off your brother’s head and stop hitting him, as well as some more important ones such as stop talking back to me, and do as I say. (Wasn’t that what he was doing when he started on this whole video game obsession?)
In truth, I wish I never bought him Wii, though actually it was from my parents. (Can I blame them then?) I constantly push my children to use their imaginations, get outside, and find something to do and yet, I buy them the video games. However, when I utter that phrase, “or else you lose Wii,” I can’t help but wonder how I would get my kids to do as I ask if it weren’t for video games?