A Little More Conversation, A Little Less Action

Here is how a typical conversation with my husband goes:
Him: “Do you think we should put the good desktop computer in the boys room?”
Me: “No. Absolutely not. They already spend too much time on their ancient computer where they can hardly do anything.”Of course, we have a dispute about what was said. His version included me saying “Yes, dear.”

My boys are 4 and 6 and, I feel, too young to have 24/7 access to the computer (other than the ancient, painfully slow computer they had before). My 6 year old is about a month away from being smarter than I am and I’m sure he’ll be able to deal with those pesky parental controls by the time he’s 7. His cousin could take a computer apart and put it back together by the time she was in the 6th grade.

So of course on Friday evening I come home to find the computer set up in my boys’ room.

I couldn’t argue much because the husband did this while I was out to dinner, the second night in a row I stayed out past 10, and he watched the kids. I left the arguing to the next day.

I normally don’t worry too much about Internet security so when Yahoo! Motherboard chose the topic for its bloggers, I didn’t think I would have anything to talk about. Well, thanks to the husband, now I do.

It’s not that I’m consumed with fears that someone trolling on the internet will find my kids and want to chat. I’m more worried about what they will consume while I’m trying to get a little work done. They love to watch videos. I want them to play educational games with Sid the Science Kid on PBS Kids, but instead they “found” (which means my husband showed them) the Lego site and now they watch videos on Lego Star Wars and Batman.

These are not horrible for kids (in fact, they are awesome), but I don’t think it’s good  for the 4-year-old to see so much violence even if it’s acted out by Legos. They play Lego Star Wars and Batman on the Wii and now Xbox (which, for full disclosure, was given to me last week by Xbox).

Back to the husband. I mentioned to him that I thought the 4-year-old was being exposed to too much violence. I told him that I felt strongly that the games and videos were having a negative effect on our younger son. Sports games are fine, but no more Lego games until they’re older.

“Okay,” he said. Saturday he took them out to buy some games for the new Xbox. Of course, they came back with a Spiderman game (and Toy Story 3). I wish I had a parental control for my husband.

Lego Birthday

My brother was giving me a hard time that my blogs aren’t hard hitting enough. So today I’m going to talk about Legos.

My boys love them. For the older one’s 6th birthday we gave him a choice between going to Legoland and having a birthday party and he picked Legoland. But he’s 6 and didn’t understand that when you pick one thing you don’t get the other.

Unfortunately, I’m weak and feel guilty about not being supermom and that means throwing a birthday party, too. I’m not a crafty gal, but since we’re also not made of money, I thought I would try to save some by making as much as I could to create a Lego-themed party.

After the disaster of a cake from the 4-year-old’s birthday, I decided to be simple: chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. I made it in the shape of a Lego by using a rectangular cake and putting six cupcakes on top while frosting with it with green frosting. It was cute.

The piñata, not so much. Growing up, I made plenty of piñatas in elementary school, but all I remember was paper mache and paint. I called up my crafty teacher friend the Wednesday night before the Friday party and this is what she had to say. “What? You need to start making it now. Like, right now.” I did not.

Instead I bought a generic piñata and rigged it to look like a Lego. I found an empty box and made the kids and their friends eat 6 plastic cups full of apple sauce. I glued the apple sauce cups to the box to look like a Lego block and painted it green. Sweet, I thought, until it turned into another crafting disaster. Green washable paint doesn’t stick to plastic and it peels right off. So on a day when I was sick and should have been resting or working, I painted the plastic with faux stained glass paint and then painted with regular kids paint. It worked fine and here’s the result. Yep, you can definitely tell I made it.