...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Play Dates of Today

I realized today that I am "Old". Which is a shock to my system as I'm really not that old and think I'm fairly savvy in the ways of whats cool, not to mention I spend my free time killing dragons and Orcs on the computer. Oh wait... that's only cool to me. Some might actually find that geeky. Whatever. My kids think its cool.

But I have a limit when it comes to computer generated gaming, both for myself and my kids. There comes a point where you (I) say OK, put down the Wii/DS/PC/remote. Get your butt up and outside or in your room and play with all those toys you beg for and earn with my tortuous ways also known as "Chores". It amazes me how much whining I hear day in and day out of how I never let them have what they want and they really really really want this cool new toy that costs $99.42 and OF COURSE they will play with it until they're old and end up in a nursing home, when you and I both know it will be forgotten in a week if that. Not to mention the fact I'm pretty hardcore about toy buying: unless it's Christmas or your birthday, or you have done something really cool and amazing and I want to show you my appreciation, any toys brought into this house throughout the year will be earned with Allowance money.

So today Xavier is having a play date. It's not too often we have kids over without their moms because J works from home and it's hard to keep a few 7 yr olds (and a 2 yr old... AND a 6 month old) happy and quiet enough in case J has a conference call without me losing what little sanity I still cling to. Not to mention during regular school time Xavier doesn't get home until 4:15 and then does homework and we do dinner soon after. Just no time during the week. But with it being track out I thought I could handle a house of 4 kids for a few hours so long as the older kids allowed Ashe to join in (which was agreed upon by both 7 yr olds).

Of course MY idea of a play date seems to be very misguided for this time and age. I was thinking forts, games, playing with those toys that are begged for all year long. Playing outside (normally but it's very wet out here today so indoors it is). You know, actual physical playing. Instead I was informed that Xavier and his friend R were going to want to play Wii for 3 hours.
"Why not Mom? We'll be quiet. R wants to see Lego Indiana Jones!!!"
"No. No Wii. Pretend you guys are Indiana Jones instead."
"MOOOOM, Wii is fun! Plus it makes us move around too!"
"Build a fort. Play with your 452 Bakugan. Have a Transformer War. If you guys are bored by lunchtime maybe you can play Wii towards the end. But that's it."
"UGH! No fair! You're so mean Mom!"
"Yup. You have no idea. I'm just the meanest."
"Yeah!" (Sigh)

So that conversation was yesterday as we were preparing for his play date. This morning as I'm trying to nurse my coffee and wake up I get hit with:
"Mom, can I call R?"
"Sure, whats up?"
"I want to ask him to bring his DS over so we can play."
"Why are you looking at me like that Mom?"
"No! No Wii, No DS! What part of go play with your toys do you not understand?"
"DS IS a toy!!!"
"No, it's not! It's not a kind of toy you can play with your friends together. You two can sit there and play your own little game side by side, but not together."
"Uh, Mom, yes we can. DS' can hook up together through the Internet."
"Well we don't have wireless Internet here to do that."
"We can try!"
"That's not my point! My point is you have a ton of other things to do instead of sitting on your butt and playing video games. You can do that any day. But you have a friend coming over and you guys need to play...together!"
"MOOOOM!.... Fine! Can I at least ask him if I promise to build a fort?"
Insert the famous Puppy eyes here "Please?"
"Fine!. But no playing it all day!"
"OK thanks Mom!"

And so now the two of them are playing DS downstairs, in the fort they built, side by side, waiting for lunch to be ready. I guess I shouldn't complain too much. At least I won half the battle. They did make a cool fort. And I might just be small enough to squeeze in it once they're bored and move on to something new.


Kristy said...

This is really just preparing them for what the real world will be when they grow up - people sitting physically side by side but performing all interactions through an electronic device. I'm old too I guess, because while I try to get Z to play more with the physical toys, I know its a loosing battle!

Dan Frey said...

To be fair, Lego Indiana Jones is super fun.

The Mrs. said...

wow your clinging to your sanity too?! glad to hear im not alone.

You know what I hate about playdates (and my kids are only 4 and 3 (and 3mths but he isnt having playdates) is that everyminute is to be planned out. When I was a kid if I had a friend over maybe my mom would do one craft or something with us but other then that it was go play together. Now days the moms round here expect every minute to be planned out. Whats so bad about kids going out and playing with sticks together?

sorry that was a ramble, i feel a post coming on....

Rhaven said...

That is one thing I never realized how fortunate I am now that you mention it, is that the Moms I know, we let the kids tear around and have fun while we only step in to ensure no one pokes an eye out. I think I would make my kids hermits if I had to oversee an entire "Scheduled" play date. Whats the point? Play date is to play, not to structured things. Mmmm posts. Cant wait to read it!

Crystal said...

Just to let you know - from my 7 year old and all the neighborhood friends - they can actually hook together and play without wireless internet availability on several games. They do it at our house all the time and our internet settings don't let the DS hook up.

I know that wasn't your point at all - but I thought I'd let you know.