The Summer of No Video Games
In our modern age, we have developed a word I don’t quite recall from my own childhood: playdates. We always had lots of friends over to play, but they were usually impromptu occurrences whenever we’d be driving our own parents crazy inside, so they would say, “Go outside and play,” at which time we would run into all neighborhood kids that had also been kicked outside. : )
This still happens, of course, and we are fortunate enough to have good neighbor kids for them to play with!
Today I allowed Joshua to invite two friends. I let him invite two on purpose. That creates a group of 4 boys, as opposed to a group of 3 boys. With three, conflicts are much more likely to happen.
My plan worked rather well, and I was rather pleased with myself.
But here’s the part that makes this news: last weekend we unplugged everything in the basement, and we are not plugging the Wii back in.
I kept waiting for some strong backlash and cries of agony from the children, but there really hasn’t been any. Last night we sat down all our little boys, and Alan told them his plan of unplugging for the summer. He explained that he wants their summer to be about playing outside, going swimming, playing Legos, reading, using their minds, and playing with their friends.
Joshua said, “Well, can we just play computer then?”
Caleb said, “iPad?”
Now here’s the only catch. The boys have now saved up enough money to each buy themselves a Nintendo DS, second hand, at Game Stop. Alan hasn’t decided if he wants to let them do it though. Caleb seems slightly indifferent, even though he’s the only one of them that has enough money to buy games for it too. Joshua, on the other hand, is waiting on pins and needles and asking me constantly when I’m going to take him to the store and whether or not Daddy and I are finished deciding yet.
For now, they do still have the Playstation handheld (PSP), made about 6 years ago, and fairly obsolete. Games for it are seriously cheap, though, which is a bonus. They have two games for it: Baseball and Toy Story 3.
Their friends all look at it with interest, since it’s different from what they all have. Literally ALL of Joshua’s friends have a Nintendo DS or 3DS. Caleb’s crowd is still younger and easier to entertain!
Results so far: Not bad!
I had four little boys at my house today, (one left early, so he didn’t get to be in the picture) back to entertaining themselves the good old fashioned way. They have played baseball (using nice, safe wiffle balls–we have a whole bucketful. : ) ) in the backyard, played the bugle, jumped on the trampoline, and they are now being superheroes. Joshua and Caleb are both wearing costumes. Part of Joshua’s costume is Daniel’s swimmies, worn on his head like a hat…. Their buddy “didn’t need one b/c he has on a Minecraft t-shirt,” making him already super. Ha!
Caleb has gotten a little too good at losing our balls over the fence. Of course, he would be THAT kid. That’s another timeless problem!
I think these playdates may be important to saving our sanity this summer. For some reason, play automatically becomes way more fun when someone other than your brother (or sister, for some) joins in. Of course, the key to a happy play date is to have a kid over that is okay with the whole “no wii” thing….and isn’t a “trouble maker.” Believe me, they already exist, even at this age.
Quote of the Day:
Caleb is running around here, wearing his Captain America costume, and shouting, “My name is Captain Stinky Star!”
Exciting Upcoming Event:
I’m taking Caleb to the party store after their playdate to pick out invitations and such for Caleb’s three-week-early birthday party. We’re getting this out of the way before the arrival of John David. But Caleb has told me multiple times that he wants me to “wrap the new baby up like a present” for his birthday.