Saturday, June 16, 2007

Game On!

Our Number One Son had some ear surgery earlier this week. This was the second surgery he had to undergo since the first one didn't fix the problem. Ethan was a bit more apprehensive for the second go round. For some reason he was afraid to breath the anesthesia gas to put him under. In the end he was brave and put the mask on. His bravery did take a little cajoling though. We reassured, asked nicely, pleaded, bargained, used reverse psychology and negotiated. After about twenty minutes of this the doctor said, "Well, we always could do this another day." That was not an option.
Out of desperation we offered to get Ethan a new Gameboy, if he was brave. Ethan did a double take and said, "How about an X-Box?" This isn't a contract negotiation for a pro athlete. Suffice it to say, Ethan settled for the Gameboy.

I know it isn't always the best thing to buy things for kids when you want them to do something they don't want to do. But Ethan is a good boy and he graciously allows us to limit his video game time. He can only play for an hour or so on Fridays when his chores are done. He gets to choose either a game online, a game from one of those joystick retro games that plug into the television (aka Pac Mac, etc), or a game on his early nineties Gameboy from a garage sale. For as much as he likes video games, he really is appreciative of what he does have.

So after he went under the anesthesia the doctor said the medicine usually has an amnesia effect and he probably won't remember a thing. Cool!
A couple days later I asked Ethan if he remembered anything about his surgery. He said, "Yeah, I remember the Popsicle I got afterward." Alright, so far so good.
"Anything else?", I asked tentatively.
"Hmmm. No, nothing else."
Whew, we dodged a bullet on that one.
"Oh yeah, I also remember that you were going to take me to Gamestop for a new Gameboy."
Cue the 'Price Is Right' loser music. Whah, whah, whah, whaaaaaaaaah.

Alright, so we're caught. It's OK though. He really deserves one anyway. The next question was, when are we going. "We can go on Thursday. Is that OK?"
Everyday until Thursday was filled with Ethan telling everyone and anyone where he was going on Thursday.
Well wishers came by to ask how Ethan was. "My ear is OK. Did you know I'm going to Gamestop?", he repeated to all. That story was much more interesting to him than his ear.

When Thursday afternoon came, Lady Di called to the living room, "OK, get your shoes so we can go." Usually this needs to be said four or five times before the television loosens it's hypnotic grip on him. This time he had his shoes on and was sitting in the van before Lady Di finished her sentence.
On the drive to the store, he was very excited. "Are we really going to Gamestop? I can't believe we are going to Gamestop!"
As Lady Di pulled up to the store she noticed the 'door ajar' light on the dashboard. She got the van into park just in time to see an Ethan sized blur swoosh through Gamestop's front door. Lady Di said Ethan was like a kid in a candy (video game) store. He saw lots of things he liked. Lady Di picked out the game we were going to get him. Ethan then started a conversation with the sales clerk trying to talk the clerk into upgrading him to the game that was twice the price. Lady Di didn't fall for that. He picked out a Star Wars lego game and a Mario game to play on the way home.

That night, when I came home after work, I tried to play one of the games. I must not have good thumb-eye coordination, because I couldn't get the hang of it.
Well, we finally caved and bought him his game. I think this will have an overall positive effect on his chores. Now that he has a good game to play, we will be able to leverage that into more work. The driveway does need to be sealed.

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.