Saturday, December 26, 2009

Grandma Got Run Over by a Wii Dear

When I was a child, we had one television and one telephone in the house. The television had three channels IF the wind was blowing just right. If you wanted to know what was happening in Memphis, instead of Little Rock, someone had to go outside and manually turn the antenna. Someone else had to stand at the door watching the screen and shout when the picture came in. Of course, a bit of fine tuning and colorful language was usually exchanged before the picture was clear enough to watch. We were rarely allowed on the telephone. It was a party line, and good neighbors did not tie up the line with chit chat. No computers. No video games.

We did have books to read. Back then a book was a lot of pages of paper bound together – about 4 inches wide and 6 inches long. Sometimes they had a paper cover with a nice picture, and sometimes they had a hard cover. They were much thicker than a Kindle and could be 300-400 pages long. The great thing about the old-fashioned books is they needed no batteries. No power source required.

We climbed trees. We swam in rice wells and creeks. We rode bikes and horses. I spent the majority of my summers in a tree with one of those 4”X6” block of pages bound together with a glue spine.
Treats were whatever fruit was in season, usually right in the field or orchard with no washing. Every great once in a while, my brother and I were allowed to split a coke and a candy bar between us. Sometimes we got homemade ice cream, but you had to expend a lot of energy in churning it. I am certain that torturous exercise burned more calories than the ice cream provided! The majority of children were fit and happy. We learned through discovery, not computers.

We entertained ourselves.

Today’s child has to be entertained. They cannot ride in the car for 30 minutes without a DVD. Our cars come equipped with all the gadgets to entertain the child, which has become much more important than comfort for Mom and Dad. Some children still have bikes, but they hate to ride them because it takes 30 minutes to get strapped into the helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, shoulder pads, chest padding, and mouth guard.

Video games are the main form of entertainment for children today. They have televisions in their rooms equipped with video games and dvd players. They have cell phones with video games on them. They have computers with video games on them. Some of them are “educational games,” but where are these kids getting their exercise? They aren’t.

At least they weren’t. Now we have Wii. Wii Sport comes with bats and tennis rackets, so our children can get their exercise in front of the television! What a marvelous idea!

My grandson got a Wii with Wii Sports for his birthday. I am staying with him for a few days, and he is really getting his exercise. I tried to get him to go for a walk with me or ride his bike while I walked. No way! He wants to play with his Wii. Lucky for me, I still have a few of those 4”X6” books that I carry with me when I travel. I decided to curl up in a sunny spot and read while Christian got his exercise/entertainment. That was fine when he was bowling.

I was deeply engrossed in Silas House’s newest novel, Eli the Good, when the Wii Dear decided to play tennis. My daughter has a nice large living room, but tennis is a very active game. I thought I had been hit in the face with a virtual ball when the Wii Dear stepped backwards and popped me in the eye on his back swing. Who would have thought that a video game could be so dangerous?

The last time we got better technology, parents had to rush out and buy a new car with a dvd player and charging stations for PSP, cell phones, and other gaming devices. I foresee a booming real estate market as parents rush out of find houses with large dens or play rooms to accommodate their Wii Dear’s gaming needs.

I will finish my book when the swelling in my eye goes down a bit.