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14 of 365

14 of 365

January 14, 2009

By the light of the Nintendo

Day 14 of 365

Yes, I have joined the dark side. After years and years of being an electronic free house, the Waldorf schools would have loved us, we slowly began acquiring things than needed batteries. My last hold out was hand held video game things.

A few years ago I bought Leapsters for some of the kids. But I was able to convince myself that they were educational and as such were not really hand held video game things.

Then Nintendo gave me two DS Lites last year. Everyone shared them. And we only had the Brain Age game. After awhile they had all improved their little brains as much as they could and the novelty had worn off.

As of today, everyone has their own Nintendo DS. Today at Target I calculated the price of my sanity and realized it was $258, plus tax. Yes, I Bought two more. Hopefully the never ending arguing about whose turn it is will end. Maybe, just maybe, they will all sit silently by the glow of their Nintendos and shut the hell up for five minutes. I know. I dream big.

My daughter got a pink Nintendo. And a Wedding Planner game. A game whose sole purpose is to pick the perfect dress, music, veil, and flowers for your wedding. I think you even get to pick the perfect groom, the ultimate wedding accessory.

Don’t judge me. Gloria Steinem is clutching her chest in agony right now, shouting, “We burned our bras for this?” I’m sorry Gloria. I am really, truly sorry. I have sold my feminist soul for five minutes of peace. And I am totally okay with it.

I’m typing this braless if it makes you feel any better.

Posted by Chris @ 8:45 pm  

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  1. Kelly says:

    You’ve finally joined us on the dark side. In all honesty, I don’t get that much relief with it. My son doesn’t read that well yet, so I’m constantly being asked “What does this say?” and “Can you get me to the next Mario level?”

  2. kate says:

    Even the feminist in me would have to be put aside because that sounds like fun!

  3. Lisa says:

    Oh my kids were never going to have candy or fast food…now I’m slinging bags of M&M’s into the back seat just for them to shut-it long enough for me to order their Happy Meals in the McDonald’s drive through.

  4. Susan says:

    If I were at home and not the office, I’d be answering braless. Trust me on that one.

    I hear you. I try to fight the good fight too, but eventually I just succumb. Sometimes peace is worth the price.

  5. maddy says:

    I’ve met Gloria, and she’s very cool and has a sense of humor too. ;)

    The Nintendo DS has definitely given us some peace in our household!

  6. Lilly says:

    I know this is a boring question… but do you have a time limit for nintendo use? My son had to sign a contract with me with specified hours and days of the week that he could play, before we got the xBox….. because I knew that without limits, he’d be a total addict.

  7. Alissa says:

    even I love to play the DS.

  8. maggie madison says:

    $258 is cheap for a houseful of peace!

  9. Deputy's Wife says:

    We drove to *gasp* Wal-Mart last week, over 30 miles away. It was the quietest ride we have EVER had. Thank you Nintendo. Thank you.

  10. Pam says:

    Wow, I need to get that Nintendo game for my single cousin.

  11. Sarah says:

    I got a DS for myself last year (I’m 29) and since then my mom and mother in law have gotten them too.

    If you are looking for semi educational we are fans of Picross (make a picture using numbers and logic) and Puzzle Quest (as my husband puts it: Bejewled with a point).

    My mom also got a march of the penguins game that is just like lemmings (puzzle solving)

    Enjoy the glow!

  12. Hillary says:

    We went to the dark side this year too. Santa brought a Wii for Christmas. Sigh. It pains me to go there.

    So, your little boy looks like he’s in a great position to play with his DS without hurting himself. But if your big boy keeps playing in that position, he’s really gonna mess up his neck! Or maybe I just feel stiff watching him because I’m getting old…

  13. other side of the river says:

    Thanks for the LOL…

  14. Bonna says:

    I too said that my children WILL NOT have any, video games, will not watch television, etc. That all ended once they caught on to what Dad was doing. The girl lacked hand eye coordination. The boy was born with electronics hard wired in his brain so that when he was old enough to hold a controller he became hooked. At six he can give his father much competition. The plus is that the hand eye coordination improves with play. And it does generate peace and quiet - until someone loses.

  15. Robyn says:

    Wait till you road trip with them. Santa brought them on Christmas morning here. The next day we made the 8 hour drive to my parents and I swear it was the quietest trip we have ever taken. Worth their weight in gold.

  16. Beth says:

    Ooohh…someone gave me the Wedding Planner game when I was engaged (as a joke, I hope). Quite silly, of course, but little girls L O V E that game! I hope she enjoys it!

  17. Jen says:

    Oh, and in the car, I can live with the beep dwiddle beep bop if it means glorious peace! I have always been a hold out, who needs TV in the car??? But now, with the DS’s… I’m eating my crow and I totally get it. Anything for the peace! My daughter (kindergarten) loves a game called Lovely Lisa. She has to do chores, work, and go to charm school to earn points to buy clothes and make-up. The charm school portion is almost educational if you squint your eyes real tight - manners/music/keyboarding. For work she has to do things like paint fingernails and add sparkles, get it, she’ll love it!

  18. Lori says:

    Yes, I was once the girl who said I would never allow my tv to babysit for me, then I discovered that Barney allowed me to take a shower.

    Most recently, my daugther received a nintendo DS for her birthday. I swore I would never be that parent who allowed their children to play video games in a restraunt. You know what? I quickly discovered that I could have an actual conversation with my husband. I’m so ashamed!

  19. Mary says:

    I have no children,but when I do, I have sworn that they will be raised in a wholesome organic environment, free of too much electronic stimuli……ya right. I visit a group of kids and I go….um….TV?

  20. sarah says:

    We are still at the holding out level…sort of. We still share one computer between 5 people and the kids “educational” computer games slipped into Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. (I tried very hard to think it was good for engineering principles?!) But, my husband recently read some book about TV/video games rotting kids brains (who knew?!) and so now he’s on a Waldorf-type kick. Only 30mins of TV a day (which apparently, we adults have to watch with them to interrupt them constantly with insane and annoying questions to stimulate their thinking). No, I’m not joking. Really. Not. Joking. And they have to practice their writing and reading to earn time on the computer.
    I’m absolutely certain this will only last until May at the most when he starts long service leave and is home to deal with the CONSTANT WHINGING!!! Maybe I’ll get myself a DS to drown them out?!

  21. PollyS says:

    I don’t think anyone would judge you for wanting a little bit of peace. I’m still at the Leapster stage. And it’s worth EVERY single penny.

  22. Headless Mom says:

    Funny. My sanity is worth the same, and bought at the same store.

  23. laura says:

    actually i am laughing with you. our family of 7 was electronic free until i finally succumbed last year and when i succumb i DIVE in head first.
    btw, i have to say i am enjoying your daily posting of your project 365. i am doing this for 2009 as well although i am not formally posting them everyday on my blog. still you are inspiring me as we get started here.

  24. momzen says:

    I am still holding out. Don’t know how much longer I’ll make it though. I’ve already given in to fast food, candy and toy weapons. (Yeah, I was really anal…) But, gah! I can’t stand looking at my kids when they’re hypnotized by the screen. Scares me.

  25. Shannon says:

    We also joined the dark side a few years ago. Keeps them quite in the car. They can also all race each other if they get games that can download, for two to four players. Another tip is to only buy used games at a place like Gamestop or EB games. Sign up for their emails and they send a coupon every week.

  26. Sharon says:

    You can’t put a price on 5 minutes of quiet. Leapster and Gameboy, I love you!

  27. Katie says:

    $258 is really a small price to pay for peace and quiet. I had a craft fair to do last year and paid the same amount for me to be able to talk to the customers. Everyone said my kids were so well behaved afterwards. Um, did you see the little glowing beeping pieces of plastic in front of their faces?

  28. Patti says:

    We have the hand-held systems for the long ride to Grandma’s but I traded my video-free TV in this Xmas for a Wii. And you know what? The kids actually play it TOGETHER!!!

  29. Wendy 2 says:

    My oldest daughter (12) is begging for a DS and would have gotten one for Christmas had we not gotten a Wii. That wedding planner game is right up my 5 year old’s alley, she would LOVE that. I may have to look at getting each of them one for their birthdays. Peace and quiet is PRICELESS.

  30. Tammy H. says:

    My girls wanted the game Cooking Mama. I told them, HELLO, you already have me right here. I’m Cleaning Mama and Carpooling Mama too. What else could they possibly want? (We actually bought Cooking Mama, and it’s way more fun than me!)

  31. Keyona says:

    My 5 year old really want’s one but I wasn’t sure if she was ready since she has a V-Smile pocket. Hell, I want one for myself, maybe I’ll buy one for us to share.

  32. Brigitte says:

    My goodness, you forgot your training bra? ;-)

  33. Lucinda says:

    We bought a wii last year. My kids are begging for the DS. I didn’t even know what it was. If I had, I would have skipped the wii I think. As of now, children are saving their pennies because I told them they had to buy their own. Evil, I know, but boy will they work for money! lol

  34. Ani says:

    Into every parents life a little peace must fall.

    The heck with those who would claim otherwise.

    My imaginary compromise is that for every three brain-wasting games there must be a brain-growing one. So we have Brain Age and Big Brain Academy and one other…Focus/Vision something or another? Guess I need to go work the Brain Age some more.

  35. Rachel says:

    I want a DS for ME! They have a Cooking program that comes with like 250 recipes and you get a “personal chef” to walk you through it and read you the recipe as you cook. Totally Freaking Awesome. If my husband and the boys are lucky they might get to play with it once or twice…

  36. Katie in MA says:

    I was going to construct my comment around a really funny joke about which picture you chose to post - but then I was afraid it would be taken the wrong way. :)

    Hope you got at least two minutes of peace (and if you got more, I’m jealous!)…

  37. The 6-S Ranch says:

    I plug my kids into their DS at the grocery store. No more running around, fighting, and begging for toys or gum. Just three little zombies walking along.

  38. Katy Yo says:

    You are hilarious! I’ve been reading your blog for a year now (ever since I found out I was pregnant) and you’ve inspired me, taught me, and amused me. Thank you! Keep it up. :)

  39. Kristin says:

    I too caved and bought the educational Leapsters, about 4 years ago. Then I went off the deep end and agreed to a Wii last year. My 4 year old insists he’s getting a DS for his birthday in July. My then 13 year old just may hate me even more than he should at that age ;)

  40. Bre says:

    We joined the darkside too, and it was all my fault. I wanted a DS for Christmas because of the cooking trainer game. Well, I got it, the kids saw how much fun it is and they both wanted one, so they both used their Christmas money from great-grandma to buy their own. Which I’m actually pretty happy about. I get the peace and quiet, the kids get their mindless entertainment, and the thing is small, so less crap laying around. That’s win-win-win in my book. I was worried my son would want to buy 150 bucks worth of Legos. Dodged a bullet there.

  41. tracey says:

    dark side? you wanna hear dark side? i am a nintendo ambassador and LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT! The DS lites, the games, the Wii, more games…i could go on and on. and, i am 100% unapologetic! dark siders unite!

  42. Suzanne says:

    And I am reading it braless..

    After several years of saying no, I finally bought my 9 year old a DS for Christmas this year. And had I known the peace and quiet that came with it, I would have caved three Christmases ago.

  43. Lauren says:

    No judging here. I swear it’s the best $129 I ever spent.

  44. Michelle says:

    We managed to stay video game free for 8.5 years. Then we really went hog wild and bought both the Wii and DS in the same year. The DSs were bribery for my two boys quitting sucking their thumbs. Worth every penny. We do really limit their time. 15 minutes a day. They can earn extra time, with extra reading.

    Works pretty well.

  45. Denise says:

    “F” Gloria, what about me and my feelings. I am your biggest fan. You KNOW this. And yet you purchase a wedding planner game for that child? My heart… it is broken. Sniff.

  46. Maddy says:

    Road trips, that’s all I’m saying!

  47. PastormacsAnn says:

    Your daughter’s Pink DS and Wedding Planner Game don’t set back feminism at all. What sets back feminism is the 22 year old woman who is selling her virginity to the highest bidder. All she wants is “financial security.” Oh, yea. sure.

    We love our Nintendo DS’s and we all have one. It’s not so dark over here on the dark side - the DS’s give off plenty of soft light.

  48. Bronwen says:

    Dark Side? I think as soon as my son was born and saw his father he was already there - my husband is a gamer by hobby and a software engineer by profession. I shudder every time my husband shows my two year old what game he’s playing on the computer! Oh well I am reassured that at least husband will be one step ahead of son for maybe a couple of years at least! :-)

  49. Mindy says:

    How’s this for the dark side? My son and I were sitting in the same room and talking on pictochat to each other. He tells me things on that, that he wouldn’t tell me face to face. (He is 10 and held a girls hand…”it was awesome” he said.) It was great.

  50. Lottifish says:

    Haha, I always laugh when I see kids buy that game because I AM a wedding planner and that game just doesn’t do the job justice :p

  51. Gretchen says:

    My daughter has the wedding planner too, and loves it. It is all about making the bride happy and if she isn’t happy with everything you can redo her entire wedding. Wouldn’t that be great if we could actually redo some of the horrific things we have worn/made people wear at weddings?
    Enjoy the peace and quiet . . .

  52. iris says:

    gamers are the jocks. welcome to the new world. ;)

  53. Heidi Johnson says:

    that is the best money ever spent. You can never put a price on QUITE!!

  54. Maria A. says:

    My children - - OK and me too - - love My Sims and My Sims Kingdom for the DS. Not like the computer version. Very cartoony and harmless . . . and addictive.

  55. Lisa says:

    Welcome to the dark side! LOL!

  56. Common Mom says:

    We, too, recently started down that slippery slope of video games. We were video game free until this past Christmas, when g’ma and g’pa got the kids a Wii and Santa brought Dude and Princess each a Nintendo DS Lite.

    Star Wars Legos and Hello Kitty Shopping here we come!

  57. Kathi says:

    . . . and that is one of the things I like about you–you are willing to change your mind and not be all sanctimonious about it. You are so NORMAL and HUMAN!!!

  58. Qtpies7 says:

    You know, when my mother in law gave all 5 (then only 5) of my kids their own Nintendo game boy thing with games to share, I wasn’t so sure about that whole idea. But when the silence hit, I wondered what on earth people are thinking when they say those things are not good? Are they nuts? It saved me from needing the little blue happy pills! It also probably saved some backsides from being spanked many times. They aren’t getting into trouble when they are busy playing.

    Now, there is such a thing as setting limits, but to not have them? Not going back to that.

  59. Melissa says:

    lol!! Are we twins?? Isn’t the peace the little hand held things bring just WONDERFUL??

  60. Tracey says:

    When we go camping with our friends, 14 kids will all be crammed into one of the larger tailers…all 14 with a DS, all ‘joined’ together playing Mario Kart….the sound of all the hooting, hollering and laughter just makes me smile :-) Not to mention the peace, quiet and ‘adult’ time by the fire!!
    p.s.My 14 year old got his first Nintendo handheld on April 22, 1999..the day his baby brother was born, LOL!! It was a gift from the ‘baby’…we wanted to ensure a smooth start to their relationship, ha ha!!