Sunday, October 21, 2012

I've Got A Penguin.....

"I'm dead!  Quick, freeze me!"

"Stop jumping on my head!"

"Could you please pop my bubble?"

"I've got a penguin but I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT!!!!"

When the kids were little, we didn't allow video games.  We didn't have cable.  We had a good video collection, and rented new ones as needed.  I always felt that the games were a bad idea - they discourage exercise, and limit imagination.  And commercial TV was just that - endless commercials, creating a desire for things that were neither necessary nor healthy. 

When the foster kids arrived, LittleMan considered his older sister to be his mom.  He slept with her, and it was her job to keep him quiet so biomom could do whatever biomom did.  We decided, that at five years of age, he was old enough to learn to sleep alone; and she was too young, at thirteen, to have to be his 'mom'.  The first night, he cried for his sister for 45 minutes.  Then, he began to beg for a video game.  Not his mom.  Not the grandma he'd been living with before we got them.  A VIDEO game.  It was how he calmed himself down, and how she'd kept him quiet.  It confirmed for us that we were on the right track in forbidding these things.

But time goes on, and things change, and when the Wii came out, we decided that this might be the exception to the no-video-games rule.  The games we chose were things that the family could do together - bowling tournaments, darts, tennis and the like.  Rock Band Hero was played by up to four people and taught the kids to appreciate some classic rock.  And all the games required movement, so no zombie-like screen-gazing.

A couple of years ago, I bought a more traditional game, Mario.  None of my kids had ever played it before but it looked interesting because it could be played by up to four people at one time.  I've never played, but it's hysterical to watch the kids play it, and pretty funny just to listen in. 

By the way, you need to throw your penguin at the fish.


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