I know this may come as a shock to many of you, but there is a vast difference between the way my children and I think.
For example, they think it is better to leave dirty clothes in piles in their rooms.
They think it is acceptable to tromp through farm mud and then walk the length of my kitchen before removing their shoes.
They think it is embarrassing when we are in the Wal-Mart electronics department and I start dancing to the music blasting from the fifty flat screen TVs lined up against the back wall.
The point here is not that I am an old fogie. The point is about the depth of love I have for the kids. Basically, I am raising three kids on my own. This blessing mandates no room for error. My love must be complete. So here’s my thinking …
I love them; therefore, they must pick up dirty laundry before I think homicidal thoughts toward the little bodies that wear said clothing.
I love them; therefore, they must remove muddy shoes immediately upon entry to the house before I force them to scrub the floor with toothbrushes – old ones, not those currently in use. (Of course, this depends on the amount of mud …)
I love them; therefore, they must not be embarrassed when I try to demonstrate – in public – how freeing it is to dance without worry of judgment.
See? My thinking is logical. It comes from the depths of my love, and the (gulp) years I have amassed which support my motherly wisdom in these matters.
And, finally, I love them so much that I decided to unlock their bedroom doors and allow them out of their rooms. Now before you call social services, let me explain.
My family and friends decided to purchase electronic toys for Christmas. All these lovely devices require either scads of batteries, or come equipped with chargers that have ultra thin wires that mysteriously act as homing beacons for our cats. Feline flambé. Ugh!
And, yes, all these devices make noise. Thus: sequestered children.
Well, because of my great love, I decided a ‘normal’ mom might read the fourteen pounds of literature each device requires.
The Nintendo DS has a Health and Safety Precautions Booklet which, it advises me, I am supposed to read and explain to my children. Aside from the regular ‘Do not try to disassemble,’ and ‘Do not use in a bath tub,” there are more warnings.
The batteries could leak. Probably best not to explain that to my science loving trio. They might try it.
The radio waves could interfere with the operation of a pacemaker. Note to self: Never take DS to church!
If a player doesn’t take at least a ten minute break every hour, there could be repetitive motion injuries and eyestrain.
My favorite warning, though, is the one concerning seizures. It says, “Parents should watch when their children play video games. Stop playing and consult a doctor if you or your children have any of the following symptoms: Convulsions, Altered vision, Eye or muscle twitching, Involuntary movements, Loss of awareness, Disorientation.”
I realize now that I will never be a ‘normal’ mom. I will not play video games with my children because I will be constantly monitoring their vitals.
I am fairly certain there were no such warnings with Atari. And I’m also fairly certain that motherhood itself causes every one of the symptoms I am supposed to be watching for in relation to video games.
One thing is for sure, I deeply adore my children and one day they will thank me for all those letters that I wrote after the holidays asking people to give the children pet rocks, and maybe a book or two, for Christmas next year.