Monday, February 6, 2012

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There Is No "I" In Wii.

The Monster House has become afflicted with the Wii addiction. I'm told that this is a serious condition, one in which withdrawals can result if quitting is not handled carefully.  I have to tell ya.. I'm leaning toward the "Cold Turkey" version for my monsters.

For the last 17 years of motherhood, I have avoided all things video game in my home. I didn't want it, they didn't need it. I wanted to have children that knew the meaning of fresh air, sunshine, playing outside with friends, and mud pies. Snowmen, forts, and bike riding. Bicycles, hula hoops, and pogo sticks. Jump rope, hopscotch, and ice blocking in the summer. In short, I had no desire to allow my children to become zombified, glazed over lumps of humanity; faces devoid of expression while their little thumbs danced over a game remote, with no motivation to get up and socialize with their peers in person.

And then, Christmas before last, one of the monsters' aunts thought she would boost her aunt status right up there to "Saint" with one great gift that the monsters had been salivating over... without asking for parental opinion/permission/blessing. Now. It turns out that it wasn't as bad as it could have been, because she bought them a previously owned Wii. And when we got it, it was missing the motion sensor. Gee, darn. Darn, darn, DARN. Notice my lack of real distress.

I thought we had escaped the Wii. I really did. And then, a couple of weeks ago, #1 got a package in the mail. "Better late than never!" it said. And when she opened it, there was screaming and dancing and excitement the likes of which is never seen around the Monster House, save for Christmas Morning. It was a motion sensor.

For the last two weeks, conversations in my home have been something like this:

"So-and-So, I swear to you if I have to tell you to get off the Wii and come do your chore one more time, the Wii is MINE. Mine, henceforth and forever, amen! I'm your mother. I command you."

"MOM! #3 has been playing the Wii and he won't let me have a turn, and Aunt Whatshername said it was for all of us! MOM! Mooooooooom! #3 isn't sharing!"

"Mom! I'm starving! What do you mean dinner was 2 hours ago? Why didn't you call me? You did? 57 times? Oh. Well, then why didn't you make me a plate and keep it warm until I was done playing the Wii?"

"MOTHER! #1 came in and turned off the Wii! She's not the boss of me! I said I would do my chore after I got to level ninety bazillion! I just made it to level 4 and she turned it off!"

My children, previously accustomed to coming home from school, getting a snack, doing homework and chore, and then meeting up with friends, are now ruled by a gaming system. And I hate it, hate it, HATE it. I hate seeing the very real distress on their faces when the console overheats and they have to wait for it to cool before they can play again. Because heaven forbid they read a book, or speak to each other in voices that don't resemble the gentle tones of a banshee.

I've read all about how Wii can help with hand/eye coordination.  I have read eleventy million arguments both pro and con. For me, I'm not willing to give up my family to a gaming system, of any kind! And so, being the mean, horrible, nasty, terrible, unrelenting, uncompassionate, cruel woman that I am, I have abducted the Wii remotes. I will be writing the ransom note later and duct taping it to the TV screen.

There is no "I" in Wii.. er, "We". WE are a family, not a gaming system. It's likely that the ransom will be met for the Wii remotes. And it's likely that  I will allow the monsters to play with the Wii again...someday. But we're going to get real comfortable with a kitchen timer, first. And, I'm not above abducting that motion sensor, either. The time has come for me to reclaim my monsters. Oh, they're gonna HATE this. There will be begging, and pleading, and promises of glitter and rainbows if I will just let them play for 15 minutes. Me? I'm comfortable with my decision.
Wii remote image from the Google

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