Browsing Archives for February 2008

How to Get His Attention

February 9th, 2008

You want I should tell you how to make a man go all weak in the knees for you?

Have you considered the Reuben?

Myself? I find it to have a high rate of success.

Something about the rye bread…the pastrami…the kraut…the cheese with the funny little holes.

He may not appear visibly moved. He may not even look up from his Newsweek while he eats. He may not even acknowledge your existence for weeks make that months at a time.

But on the inside he is a quivering pile of gelatin.

You are just going to have to trust me on this one.

My Wii Story

February 8th, 2008

We don’t have a “Wii”.

We have a “Them”.

A “Them” is a “Wii” owned by close neighbors and family members.

The reason we don’t have a “Wii” is to make our children’s lives intolerable.

It seems to be working.

The Country Doctor’s Wife’s Family’s Timeline of Television and Video Gamewhackery .

1991-1995 Newlyweds and New Young Parent Stage.

We owned neither a TV nor a game system. Missed all the great years of “Friends”. Felt superior and smug in our deprivation. I was called once during this period by the Neilsen Ratings people. This is a brief excerpt of the survey.

NRP – How many TVs do you have in your residence?

Me – None

NRP – On average, how many hours a week do you spend watching TV?

Me – Zero

NRP – What are your favorite television shows?

Me – I don’t watch TV

NRP- Do you watch TV more in the morning, afternoon, evening, or none of the above?

Me – Um…that would be none of the above.

NRP – How many hours of TV do you watch in the morning?

Me – Zero

NRP – How many hours of TV do you watch in the afternoon?

Me – Fourteen billion.

NRP – Ma’am?

Me – Zero

NRP – How many hours of TV do you watch in the evenings?

Me – You’ve got to be kidding me.

NRP – Do you spend less than one? One to two? Two to five?

Me – Less than one.

NRP – Do you subscribe to cable television?

Me – Are you for real?

NRP – Is that a no?

Me – Are you a recording or a real person?

NRP – I am a real person

Me – Are you sure?

NRP – Do you subscribe to cable television?

Me – If I said no, would you believe me?

NRP – Please answer yes or no.

Me – Guess

NRP – No.

Me – Bingo!

After almost four years of marriage, I had two small boys and the rising lump on my mid-sectional was raising our suspicions again. I noted how every time we visited my sister April, my oldest son would sit down and watch a movie with his cousin Ellen, for a solid 90 minutes. I was left to care only for his baby brother who spent the first year of his life extremely dissatisfied with everything I did for him.

Although it was not much of a break, as my older son was very calm and quiet, I looked to the future when his much more difficult little brother might also sit for 90 minutes in front of a movie and so we bought a TV.

1995-1999 – The PBS Years

We watched a lot of PBS on our first TV. We also watched the Fox and the Hound about ninety billion times. My oldest son LIVED for the moment when the Fox was being hunted down. He seemed to love that scary feeling. He also loved Winnie the Pooh and “DON’T FEED THE BEARS!” became a sort of early cuss word for him. If he was upset he would pound his fist on the table and shout “DON”T FEED THE BEARS!” We did not have Cable, and only three channels were ever clear. We watched a lot of movies and a lot of PBS.

1999-2007 – The Power Ranger/Star Wars/Kung Pow/Monty Python Years

I think that is pretty clear.

We also bought an X box and the boys played a lot of Lego Star Wars and other Star Wars games and also some college sports and professional sports video games.

I noticed that on the rare occasion they received a new game, they played it like mad for a few weeks until they mastered it, and then they lost interest. I didn’t have to spend a lot of time chasing them off as they only played when they had something new or when they had a friend over who wanted to play.

November 2007-January 2008 – The Cable TV Months

We had cable installed due to the Country Doctor’s family coming to our house over Thanksgiving and wanting to watch some KU game on TV.

Everyone told us that once we had it, we would never get rid of it.


February 2008

Cable TV yanked out of my house. Our X-Box is also broken. My children do not have a Wii, and they are extremely dissatisfied with the “Them”. Our smallish television sits in the cold dank basement, abandoned, and alone. My boys still get plenty of video time in front of the computer, but they have to chase me off first, which is difficult to do.

Ultimately, I don’t have a huge problem with TV or video games as long as children are not wasting away in front of them. I don’t feel a need to punish weaker beings with my moral superiority and my inner fortitude. This is just the way I was born. I can’t help it. If my children have to suffer as a result, I can only hope they will someday look back and appreciate their childhoods as they head to Best Buy with their newborn babies and buy a massive flat screen with surround sound and every game system in the store.