Wii Summer Games

I felt like a terrible mother on Thursday. I had promised my boys we would do something fun, but I didn’t really give them the full story. I planned to take them to the gym in the morning and then the pool (the fun part) in the afternoon. They had so much going on this week that I thought a quiet day would be good for them.

But I still had to get work done even though they were home with me. So I spent Thursday morning telling my 5 and 6 year old boys to “be patient” and “we’ll leave in 5 minutes” over and over. By the time we got to the gym we were all tired. I ran on the treadmill for the first time in a long time and it felt terrible. I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t get into a groove. I felt like I was going to throw up, but I had paid for an hour of childcare at the gym and I was determined to get my money’s worth (and my boys love it there).

Still feeling sick, I dragged the kids out of the gym and to the grocery store. We went home and after lunch I put on a movie for the boys and fell asleep working on my laptop. I never nap, ever. I woke up as the movie was ending and felt so sick we had to skip the pool.  So much for the “fun” part of the day for the boys.

That day set the bar low for Friday, when my kids claimed I was the best mom in the world. I took my boys to Redondo Beach for the Wii Games: 2010 National Championships. It was awesome. We went to the press event on Friday morning, which was nice because I was able to talk to some of the competitors before they were whisked away to play.

Julie Williamson was thrilled when her 14-year-old son, Josh, and his friend won a spot in the Wii Games. Nintendo flew them out from Burton, Ohio and put them up in a hotel in Redondo. Josh gets to compete with other teen teams in his division to win prizes including a custom Wii remote. The competitors try to get the highest scores playing hoola hoop in Wii fit and basketball and bowling in Sports Resort. Josh’s dream is to someday work for Nintendo.

John Venegas, 16, also loves Nintendo and describes himself as a hardcore fan. He practiced every day before he made the trip from Arlington, Texas with his mom.

“I’m so excited,” his mom Yanira Vanegas said. “I feel like I’m at Disneyland.”

My kids weren’t competing for anything, but they felt the same way. The Wii Summer Games tent had two levels, one to watch the competition and another to try out the games. Each time the kids played a game, from Wii Fit to Super Mario Galaxy, they got a coin sticker. The coin stickers bought prizes. I know they were happy to play the games, but I think they had the most fun running around the kids play area and waving at Mario and Luigi.

The games will be going on from 11 am to 6 pm Sunday. Here is a little video from the opening ceremony. The quality gets better a minute or so in.

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.