To Wii or Not to Wii…

September 16th, 2008

Last week our patch of the prairie got more than it’s fair share of rain and our pond overflowed again.

I am thinking about starting a rice farm.

The boys got off the school bus on Friday to a wet, muddy, cold, dreary, afternoon.




Somehow, they were unperturbed.

Oh the exuberance of youth!… Oh the zest for life!… Oh the imagination!… Oh the imperviousness to the freezing cold water!…

So I was kind of surprised (not really) when they came in dripping wet and ruddy cheeked, vibrating with joie de vivre, and lapsed right back into the regular singsongy chant that has become the white static of my life.

I call this tune the “We need a Wii” Song.

It goes like this…

We need a Wii!  Everyone else has a Wii!  We have nothing!  Our lives are tattered ruins!  We are urchins subsisting on a paltry diet of free computer games!  We are the only family on the continent without a video game system!  How can you be so cruel!  Why do you hate us!  Why can’t you just be normal parents like everyone else?  Why do we have to suffer so???

Okay… maybe they don’t use the word paltry… and tattered… and subsist… and urchins… but you get the idea.

Our poor children are forced to live a life with very few options.

There is very little fun to be had around here without a Wii.

I hate that I am the source of such horrifying want.

I hope someday that they will be able to forgive me for making their childhoods so wretched

When they look back at a rainy, cold, muddy, dismal day when every other kid in America was sitting in front of a video game…

They were forced by their unfeeling parents to invent a type of football game in the pond.




Do you think they will forgive me someday?




I hope so.


  • Nancy:

    Those boys are all so skinny! I can see the rib cage on all of them. How ’bout you rustle up some country fried steak and taters to feed them boys? Oh, and Margaret Bowker says hello. She and I had lunch together on Thursday last week.

  • Colleen:

    Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only parent who has not bought a Wii for their kids. I also make mine survive on old fashion type of fun. Then when they complain, there is always cleaning and household chores that need to be done. Do you think that someday they will thank me for this unfair treatment.

  • Southern Gal:

    Did you wake up this morning & find 5 boys in your house instead of just 4? Did you not even notice the extra 1? Yes, they look miserable by the way :)

  • Southern Gal:

    Oh wait, no! I think I just counted 6! 6 boys! Wow – you & the CD have been B-U-S-Y!

  • DesertHen:

    Who in the world needs a Wii when you can step out your very own front door and have fun like that!!! No Wii in this house either, so you are not the only parent to ruin the lives of their children…..=)

  • Mom2B:

    This was beautiful. I too grew up on a farm – and in my day was the only child without a Nintendo. But to be honest i don’t remember asking for one. I DO however remember building teepees in the woods, making zoos in the tall grass with our stuffed animals and sleep overs in the barn. Oh that all kids were lucky enough to NOT have a wii :)

  • Rechelle:

    Well, you throw in a handful of neighbor kids and a few friends for a sleepover and you get more than enough boys to go around.

  • Anonymous:

    All deprived kids should be so lucky.I keep posting anonymous comments b/c I can’t figure out how to sign in. Maybe someday…

  • bobbie:

    Those poor boyos!! They DO look bereft!!Good for you for standing firm, Mom!!

  • Kim:

    What is so sad here is not the absence of a Wii, but the fact that so many homes with Wiis have parents who would be unwilling to let their boys experience the uncomplicated joy and pleasure your boys were blessed with in that cold, muddy pond.

  • Adventure girl wanna be:

    Good old fashioned fun!

  • Baba:

    Someday they will thank you mom.

  • Sharon:

    We have a similar song at our house, only it goes, “My life would be perfect if only I had a laptop. ALL of my friends have laptops. Please buy me a laptop. We will achieve world piece if only I had a laptop.”You get the gist.Wii’s are great fun but not necessary for life. But you already knew that!

  • JENNE:

    Please keep photos to remind your boys of how lucky they are. You will need to show this to them in a few years just to rmind them of what a great mom you are.

  • dpkennedy:

    Oh, the woes of childhood…wait, are they all yours? Oh, the woes of parenthood!!!!

  • Jamie @ Baldwin Bungalow:

    Good for you!

  • Christine:

    Ah, they wouldn’t like it here much either. But someday when they’re our age, they’ll remember, and they’ll be grateful. Or they’ll never let us here the end of it. It’s a toss up really.

  • Pamelotta:

    No wii here, either. Whenever my kids start asking about anything that their friends have that they don’t have, my husband and I launch into distraction mode.”Hey kids! Lets go for a walk.” or “Why don’t ya’ll go outside. If you’re nice we’ll let you turn on the hose!” It works as long as we keep our ideas fresh!

  • Debbie:

    They do look like they are miserable and not having any fun at all. I think they will survive without a Wii. Our son survived with a Playstation II and doesn’t hate us for it. Your look like they are able to have fun the old fashioned way.

  • Gladys:

    Those are some miserable, deprived, abused children. Why just look at those poor pathetic faces. Look at how depressed and wane they look. So sad. You should be reported to CPS. To think you would force them to have imaginations. Terrible!

  • Tracy:

    We too are Wii-less…although I did break down and get the youngest boy a Playstation…(why do the youngest seem to get more privileges?) I always had extra boys around too! Just throw a few more grilled cheese’s on the griddle and you’re good to go!

  • se7en:

    Oh! the joy of mudlarking… we keep ours locked up in our homeschool – they don’t even know what a wii is!!!

  • Miss Lila in Atlanta:

    I congratlate you on your decision to not get a WII. My youngest daughter refuses to have electronic games in the house. So we set around with her four kids and pay Scrabble, Clue, Monopoly, etc. We have bon fires outside and they ride their bikes, we have treasur hunts,etc. Hang in there and don’t give in. They will thank you later and be better parents themselves for it.Miss Lila in Atlanta.

  • Anonymous:

    In the defense of Wii…It’s not the Nintendo of olden days. I’m no kid, but i love wii…Yoga, bowling, baseball, tennis, hula hooping and much more. I am sweating when I get done. I agree that playing outside is important, but I disagree that playing wii (with time limitations) is somehow bad for anyone.

  • chocolatechic:

    Please tell your paltry urchins that my boy has never had a gaming system.Not Nintendo, not Playstation, nothing…nada…zilch…zippo….the big goose egg.

  • Puddintane:

    Do not submit to the brain sucking powers of the Wii. You must resist! When my step-daughter complains about being ‘bored’ I suggest all kinds of things she can do to pass the time, such as cleaning her room or mopping the kitchen floor. It is amazing how fast she can find ‘something’ to do after hearing those suggestions.

  • Clayvessel:

    Awesome.You may tell your boys that there is a family in Oregon whose children don’t have a Wii, nor an X-box and for a while didn’t even have TV. Horrors. We even GAVE BACK any x-boxes that were subversively given to them by relatives, thinking that was a good way to get ‘em in here! Ha! They forget I’m a hard-core mom (as my boys say.) Two and a half of my boys are adults now. Yes, they ran out and bought X-boxes, but they are disturbed by how addicted their adult friends are. My big boys have much more they are interested in doing on the weekends then play virtual games.Hang tough, mom!

  • Anonymous:

    I wish I had such a “bad” parent as you! Oh the trauma, oh the wretchedness, oh the horror! OHMYWHATFUN!!!!signedtheresa in Alberta

  • Rhea:

    My MIL gave my boys a play station 3, an xbox and a wii.And flat screen tvs for their rooms.Have I told you how much I “love” that?!!!! UGH

  • Rechelle:

    Video games suck your brains out.

  • Kimmie:

    whats funny is we have Wii and my son hardly plays it, he would rather be outside…that looks like fun though, something we would do as a family

  • Patty:

    Oh, they will soooo forgive you!

  • Crunchy Chicken:

    I’m calling CPS. This is an outrage.

  • bakerchick103:

    We don’t have a Wii, either. But it’s not for lack of asking, though. Not the kids. ME! I want a stinkin’ Wii and my hubby said he wasn’t dishin’ out 400 bucks for a video game system. The tightwad.


    What gross fun!!! Please send all of your unwanted rain to California. We will be very happy to accept leftovers.

  • Karen Deborah:

    You hold your ground country mama! Keep them video games at bay. I tell you the truth that pond would be empty. If they gripe about being bored too much put em to work.It’s COLD? Really I would so love to cool off.

  • Sally-Ann:

    I was very firm with my family about not buying a Wii. So, what did my dear, sweet hubby do? He bought one for me for Mother’s Day!!! How many times do you think I have played it?? Wish I had a cold pond in my front yard. Here in Florida we have a pond in our sub-division, has alligators – no football playing allowed!

  • Mainly a midwife:

    Oh the horror…you terrible parent. Join the club. We don’t have a Wii either. I’d say muddy pond football will keep them fitter than a Wii anyday.

  • schdebby71:

    I love this post. BUT I thought we were the only family on the planet to not have a vidio game system! I say……..Vidioless game families UNITE!!!

  • Sharon:

    Oh but the music to MarioKart is so infectious!Tell them to go to Youtube and watch the wii videos. ;)

  • maine626:

    we got a Wii last night. don’t tell your boys.

  • Swede at Heart:

    I thought “wii” were the last ones on the planet! I’m glad I’m not the only one scarring my kids for life!

  • melissa:

    Wow, that song is sung at my house every single day. Lately even my husband has been singing it!

  • Mia:

    but then again, there’s only so long you can play outside like that before your fingers turn to prunes.And the Wii IS fun :) even for old fogies like me :)

  • Anonymous:

    Playing football in the pond will make a lot better memories than sitting around playing video games. But then you can call me old fashioned, I guess. My two year old granddaughter loves playing outside and doesn’t even seem interested in watching cartoons. And I like that. :)Margie

  • canadacole:

    Thanks for the lovely reminder. This 30 yo has been singing the we need a wii song to her husband and will now go apologize.

  • planetnomad:

    I think you’re a really mean mother. I ought to know, since I am also a mean mother. I insist on my children having a real childhood in addition to their virtual one.

  • Beth:

    Ooooooh the suffering!Our children suffer so, too. Right in the middle of suburbia and it’s truly tragic.My husband grimaces at the mention of video games. He’s a personal trainer and he shakes his head whenever he has to give a personal training session to a child who is inactive and unhealthy. He stops short of a rant about the “video game generation” and their poor eating and activity levels. He saves that rant for me.My husband would be the one throwing the football to the middle of the pond and racing our boys to go get it. He’d be in there, wet, right along side them.:) Your pictures are just perfect to me.

  • ~Alissa:

    Our song, while similar, speaks of the irrepressible deprivation due to lack of a DS. A truely benevolent, loving mother would go even farther and provide a DS2 (as if theirs knew the difference!)Alas, we survive with the hardship…

  • Amy @ Living Locurto:

    How fun! They will remember that forever. You’re lucky to have a spot like that. My kids have to roll around in the street. We live at the bottom of a small hill and all the rain water comes down right in front of our house. They are out there in the nasty street water every time it rains!

  • Michele:

    Santa brought a wii for my son. He never uses it.

  • Jenni:

    If your boys are half as smart as their mom and dad, they will look back on these days and thank you for the ability to *use* the brains God gave them and *enjoy* the outdoors and physical activity. They are less likely to be living in your basement at 30 and raiding your cabinets for Cheetos to eat while downing Dr. Pepper and introducing themselves as Zaldor the alien Viking dwarf warrior to all your friends.P.S. We don’t have a Wii or any other video games. My kids are limping along on whatever they can play online when I allow them access to the computer.

  • reluctantfarmchik:

    We are Wii-less too. We don’t even have TV. My kids aren’t nagging. I think they might, but my threat when they do is “your older sister used to nag me too.” ha. Shuts them up every time. They wonder about this older sister. What her name was. What actually happened to her. I love your pictures. And your narrative makes your pictures even more alive.

  • No Wii here either… just plain old fashioned fun! in FACT… I make it a rule that they can’t watch TV until dad or mom are watching TV… groans all around…. but they have GREAT imaginations!! (and play together well… most days)

  • Wow… over 1 year between those last 2 comments.

  • Pat Edmonds:

    I just cannot tell you in words how much I enjoy reading your blog. You and your sister are just wonderful writers and love life in such a funny and loving way.