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."
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.