Let's just say I have crossed into unfamiliar and unchartered territory. And it all began with a simple Wiish.
Yes, it was truly that simple - as simple and unthreatening as a Wiish. You know the kind of wiish - a shooting star, fallen eyelash or a four leaf clover. You see, just like any other parent, I am on a long and exhausting journey to discover the secret to perfect parenthood. There are so many pitfalls and trials with parenthood that one truly wonders if it's ever been done effectively. But like most others still believing it's possible to be a great parent, I bought into the whole idea of FAMILY FUN. And that's where things took a downhill slide. . . .
After days of asking well thought out and sincere questions about different game systems to every college aged gaming male in the tri-county area, I concluded that a Wii would be the best system for our family. I read online reviews, asked questions, and scoped out the availability and age range for various Wii games. I reasoned the hard part was now over. My days of research and study would now pay off in a big way as I have now issued an official decree that "Our family would be purchasing a Wii."
(And let thechuckling begin. . . . )
After hitting the Best Buy, four different Game Stops, two Targets, Toys R Us and even a Walmart, I soon learned that the Wii game system is a hot ticket item and is rarely in stock. How did I miss this? I asked all the right questions and read all the right articles, so how I did I miss the pertinent fact that the sytems are in short supply? Just a minor set back I reasoned. Afterall, the pen is mightier than the sword, and I would just out think the Wii shortage.
After engaging in friendly chat with the Walmart worker for at least fifteen minutes, I soon found myself in possession of the prized information - they would be getting a shipment of Wii's in at midnight. TWENTY ONE to be exact. I marveled at my own creativity and wit. Yes, I could out think the shortage.
My initial plans of making a midnight run to Walmart soon began to lose allure as the evening progressed. After visiting the Best Buy, four Game Stops, two Targets, one Toys R Us and Walmart in one day, I had driven about two hundred miles and probably walked just as much. I felt my tired bones creak as I crawled into bed at 9:30 pm. I could lie down for just two hours - Yes, a two hour rest would leave me refreshed and ready to tackle the WalMonster at midnight. At least that was the plan - until the two hours were up.
Okay, I'm still a great parent - even if I'm not a perfect one. And truly, would it matter to the kids if I got the Wii at midnight or at 7:00 am? Nope. The'd probably be asleep either way, so I could totally be the hero here. When the baby (who was one year old) woke around 7:00am, I fell into my old routine: Diaper change, bottle and breakfast. I was just about to hop in the shower, when that little voice in the back of my mind (you know, the one you like to pretend you don't hear) said call Walmart. It was barely 7:00 am, and they had just gotten 21 Wii's at midnight, so I figured I was only calling to put myself at ease. HA! Imagine my suprise to find out all 21 Wii's were gone - sold out - no more.
How did this happen? Did Walmart not realize my plans? What went wrong here? It couldn't have been my plan. It was fool-proof. Well, the Fool part was right.
I called Seminole Walmart and Walmarts all over OKC. All of the Wii's were gone. And I felt myself slip another few notches down the perfect parenting scale. I had this whole day planned, and that plan included the wii!
After many more phone calls, I found a few units at Target. YAY! The Norman Target got 40 Wii units at 9:00 that very morning. It was only 9:30. My begging and pleading for them to hold a unit for me fell on deaf ears. Policy prevented them from holding hot ticket items. *sigh* If I left immediately, sure I could make it to Norman before they all sold out.
With my hair still wet from my shower (absolutely no time to blow dry here), I loaded all three kiddos in the car and left for Norman. The Gods of fate smiled on me as I traversed Highway 9 with ease and managed to drive the speed limit nearly the entire way. I only got slowed up around Thunderbird Casino. I was making great time.
And my journey was further blessed as Target had two beautiful Wii's left when I got there. I felt my pride swelling as I moved up two notices on the perfect parenting scale again.
I further celebrated my good fortunate and perfect parenting by taking all three chidren to Olive Garden. It was, afterall, my birthday. I reasoned that I had spent my entire Birthday morning in the pursuit of the perfect family game system, so I did, afterall, deserve a treat. The children were well behaved. Bebe waved and said "bye bye" to every passerbye, who of course, marveled at her cuteness. Again, I felt myself move up that perfect parenting scale. My chicken scampi was divine and the kids munched on fettucini and chicken. I even had enough left over to enjoy for dinner. Two meals of Chicken Scampi - yes, today was a good day. A wii and Olive Garden - I was one lucky girl.
The Wii installed and hooked up effortlessly. The easy set up idiot's guide was flawless and I had the whole system ready to go in less than five minutes. Beautiful.
I was glowing with pride when I actually saw the system in use. I even called my mother to tell her how happy I was that our whole family would be getting actual exercise while playing video games. The Wii was certainly not for a couch potato, and I saw my girls jump, squat, clap, move arms, and swing pretend golf clubs and tennis rackets. Fun, family interaction, AND exercise - this was just too good to be true.
Within the first few hours, I discovered I had a real knack for Wii bowling. I used to love bowling. I had my own ball and shoes. I gave it up because it was too hard on my muscles to hold the ball (this was back when I had MS). I was so pleased to discover that I had the perfect replacement for real Bowling - Wii bowling. Since you only *pretended* to hold the bowling ball, I could do this forever - and I did. I bowled until midnight. I won every game I played. I was descent at tennis but sucked at golf. But again, I rocked at bowling.
It was shortly after midnight when we finally called it a night and turned off the Wii. The whole day was magical. We had tons of family interaction, fun, and even exercise. What a great birthday and what a great day to be a mom!
I drifted off into sleep feeling peaceful, accomplished, and proud.
BUT I woke up feeling broken, stiff, and beaten. OH MY GOD - Wii is the devil. Parts of my body hurt that I didn't even know existed. Every muscle, every joint, every tendon ached and burned. I literally felt like I had been ran over by a bus. 8oo mgs of motrin didn't even touch this pain. I was in agony. And that evil bowling game - well, let's just say I cannot even straighten my right arm because my elbow is so inflammed from being such an idiot as to try to throw an imaginary bowling ball toward imaginary bowling pins. If only this were imaginary pain. . .
As I somehow managed to hobble to the living room, I saw that little Wii game glaring at me. I just know I heard it snickering - "what you were thinking? You are too old for video games." And if the Wii had a putting stupid parents who still think they're 16 scale, I know I would have been good for a notch or two. That Wii got me - it got me good. I probably would have shot that game system an obsene gesture, but alas, my fingers were sore and painful too. In fact, my finger just might snap off if I try to move it too far. The best I could do is manage to return the glare. Hey, at least my eyes still worked. I shot that smug little Wii dirty looks from across the room. Yeah, that's right Wii - I am lookin' at you.
My poor brittle bones and cramped muscles were screaming for icy hot or ben gay. My whole body was in absolute agony, and to be honest, I'm thinking I might just take that stupid, freaking Wii and throw it in the trash. I mean, what kind of person invents a video game system that requires actual body movement? And an even more pressing question is what kind of fool would buy such a system?
And about that stupid perfect parenting scale - well, let's just say that thing's a bust too. Who in the world wants to actually interact with their kids? I mean, let's face it - the whole industry of TV, video games, and computers is to create ways for children to entertain themselves. Why would you want to play children's games when you can be shopping on Ebay? The whole Wii experience was highly overated.
Update: Three years later, our family LOVES the Wii. We still play it regularly but in moderation. I happen to really like New Super Mario Brothers. :)
This is not my typical blogging or writing. I wrote this blog on March 16th, 2007. I have included it because it makes me laugh. I still vividly remember that day. Parenting is always an adventure, and to be honest, I love ALL of it - the good days and the bad. Because even the bad days are good when you're a parent.