Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids

The Power of Wii

This Christmas, in a bid to bridge the technology gap between parents and kids, we gave Leah and Ty a Wii.

My dad was the only relative with us for the big day, and he saw first-hand the reaction when they opened the box, complete with flapping arms and big eyes. Their surprise was genuine because a few months earlier, their dad had told them he would contribute to a Wii fund if they started saving their allowance. Only they kept getting sidetracked with other purchases. And I think somewhere along that line they gave up, decided their house would be the only house in town without a current gaming system.

When I bought the Wii in November, the sales guy assured me I would like it as much as the kids. He told me my husband and I might sneak off to play Wii Sport when the kids weren’t looking. Hasn’t happened to me yet, though I suppose anything is possible, but Curt is quite the golfer. It started during the sloppy post-Christmas snow, when we gave in to the Wii and let the kids play it ad nauseam. We all played.

The verdict? It’s fun. I know, I think it’s weird—this virtual sports play that some people, I suspect, actually think mimics real exercise. (My daughter has taken to asking to play it with, “It’s exercise, Mom.” Uh, no it’s not.) And I have a friend who vows he won’t get one because he thinks the idea of virtual sports is twisted.

It’s still fun. And here’s the thing I didn’t really expect, even though it’s the thing that drove us to buy one, so I’m not sure why I didn’t expect it. The Wii gives us another medium for hanging out with our kids, one of whom is a hair’s width away from giving up her family for her friends.

Now suddenly she and her dad have a new way to hang out: Wii golf. They love it, and they’ve both gotten really good at it, and they’ll disappear into the TV room to play together, cheered on by the virtual crowd. Leah, who’s starting to roll her eyes at the idea of family board games (bored games), who doesn’t want to watch the same movie that Ty and I do, who can’t excuse herself from the dinner table fast enough, seems to have found a way to hang with us. With dad.

I seriously doubt I will ever sneak off to play by myself—or even with Curt—but when the kids ask if I’d like to play baseball? Sure, why not? It’s raining outside. Again. Hey, can we play tennis?

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