Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My son the Angry Bird

I can't say I begrudge him his love of "Angry Birds." Or "Where's My Water?" I grew up on video games. The big Hanukkah present for us one year was a Nintendo. I had some moments of giddy euphoria trying to beat all the levels on "Super Mario Bros." And defeating the final big bad on "Legend of Zelda" gave me a strange sense of accomplishment.

While I was commuting into the city, I used to take my Game Boy Color on the train and play "Tetris" -- with the sound off, making me that much more considerate than every jackass around me conducting a cellphone meeting at 7 a.m. "Hello! Hello! Did you get my memo? What? What? We're going into the tunnel, I'm going to lose you!"

And let's face it -- I didn't just download the iPhone games for kiddo. I especially like "Water," even though it's so much harder than it looks, because the little gator is so goshdarn cute.

So I'm not really worked up about kiddo playing the occasional game app. His spotty concentration skills seem much more concentrated when there's a screen involved, and an interactive thing like a game has to be better than watching TV.

I did not, however, expect him to start live-action role-playing.

He decided one night that he was an Angry Bird, the pillows at the other end of the couch were pigs, and he threw himself across the couch to smash them. Fortunately he did not 1. smash the couch or 2. smash his head on the hardwood floor. No word on whether he rescued the eggs.

He decided this week, while I was on the phone with my mother, that the phone cord was in fact an Angry Bird slingshot. He proceeded to back up into the cord, then launch himself through the kitchen, the living room, the foyer, the family room and back into the kitchen. Several times. No idea whether any pigs were destroyed, but the phone conversation definitely took a beating.

Really, I love that he's so imaginative. Except that sometimes I don't.

Obviously he needs more ways to blow off steam. My cousin says a small trampoline works for her son, but I'm a little concerned about floor space. She also suggests loading up a small backpack, calling it an "explorer pack" or something similar and having him tote it around for a while, and I think this is genius because it's sneaky exercise.

I have checked out a karate studio nearby, and that's still an option, but it's a slightly pricey one. Haven't tried the indoor soccer place yet. There are a couple kiddie gyms -- thanks to all the birthday parties we've been to, I think we've sampled nearly all of them -- but for some reason I feel like an activity with very structured rules would be good for him.

The real problem is, by the time I get home from work, I'm just about out of energy (let's say I'm down to one bar) and he has just as much as he did when he woke up (let's say he figured out the cheat code and now has endless lives). A more awake me would have some sort of creative way to rein him in. The actual me sits there morosely and thinks, "Just ... please ... stand ... still."

We'll figure something out. In the meantime, we've warned the Angry Bird to fly a little more carefully.

1 comment:

  1. By six o'clock I would probably let Peter juggle chain saws if it meant I could sit still.