I hate the Xbox. Really, I do. It is the most violent entertainment for kids, and causes numerous arguments between our youngest, Jack, and me.
Before you say, “Well why’d you buy it?” let me explain: I didn’t.
A few Christmases ago, the judge and I headed to Costco and got the kids a Wii, as it seemed the nicest, most family-friendly system available. Problem was, our oldest never stopped grumbling about the “baby games” and the “crummy graphics” and how “completely lame” it was. Soon he had his little brother agreeing with him. The issue came to a head when the judge and I were out of town and the boys collected the Wii, and its paraphernalia (including my Jillian Michaels fitness stuff) and had their grandmother drive to GameStop in Union Gap, so they could trade it in. The little sneaks!
So that’s how an Xbox came to be the center point of our living room. And while 16 year old Michael plays it occasionally, it is 11 year old Jack who is obsessed. He begs and cries for M-rated games. (“NO”). He borrows them from friends (“Give them back”). He points out that the T-rated game I let him play is way bloodier than the M-game he wants, until I start to ask if maybe I should take away that T-one he has, at which point he’ll launch into some other argument. I hate that Xbox.
As I left in the morning yesterday, I told him he had one hour to play. I took my daughter and a friend to the Columbia Mall in Kennewick, a good 80 miles away, and around lunchtime, sent the judge a text asking him how things were going. He had come home to eat and found Jack “happily killing people.” When the girls and I got home around 3:00, he was on again/still. A little yelling ensued: …I can’t trust you… blah blah, …need a baby sitter…blah, blah. My heart wasn’t really into it.
As I lay down for a few minutes (I was shopping with 13 year old girls, you know), Jack came in and gave me a hug. “I’m sorry for playing so much, Mom.” He was contrite. What a sweet little fella. With that thought, I fell asleep.
Imagine my surprise when I emerged about a half hour later only to find Jack on the Xbox! My heart was into the raised voice discussion this time.
Today, when I headed to work, I took the Xbox with me.
Yes! I know! What took me so long? I am a bit thrilled with myself! Apparently, unplugging it has messed up our phones, which would explain why Jack hasn’t called me asking me about the abduction. But who really needs landlines anyway?
Take that, Xbox! I’m takin’ back my boy!