Friday, November 14, 2008

Xboy: Batteries Not Included

While we are waiting for the new granddaughter to grow up, I think it is time to profile Xboy, our son, the youngest of the three.

Xboy stays with his mother during the week, but comes to us on the weekends and for a good portion of the summer. While he is with us, he thinks it is his God-given right to spend 98-percent of his time playing Xbox. The other 2-percent is to be spent leaving clothes and dishes around the house. He believes it is an act of child abuse if we do not allow this.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say here that I enjoy the Xbox as much as anyone. If I had a job that required me to play video games all day, I would willingly work overtime. Therefore, it is easy for me to allow Xboy to burn images of animated carnage onto his retinas for hours on end.

Yet, as much as I hate the idea, I do have to think like an adult sometimes. The rational part of my brain recognizes that there are important things like homework, chores, exercise, showers and the dreaded “family time.” (From our kids’ reactions, you would think that spending time with their family was the equivalent of throwing them into an arena full of lions.)

So, nearly every weekend, the following conversation inevitably occurs:

Gramps: Xboy, your mom is coming to get you at 6. You need to be ready to go by 5.
Xboy: (eyes not looking up from screen) Okay.
Gramps: Also, Granny asked you to clean the bathroom this morning. You haven’t done it yet. You need to do that immediately.
Xboy: Okay.
Gramps: Are you listening to me?
Xboy: Okay.
Gramps: The house is on fire. You’ll die if you don’t leap up and run out the back door right this second.
Xboy: Okay.
Gramps: (physically turning Xboy’s head so he is looking at me) Clean the bathroom now.

At this point, the situation begins to deteriorate. There is a great stomping of feet and numerous mutterings of outrage over the injustice of life in such a fascist home. I know that if I am not actually physically present to oversee the cleaning of the bathroom, it will not get done. That means I have the privilege of spending quality time with a hostile teenager who is working very hard to do the least amount of work possible.

It is likely that Granny, knowing my own fondness for the Xbox, will protest. She would tell you that I almost never forcibly pull Xboy away from his video games, and am in fact, an accomplice of his. Granny hates the Xbox. She would prefer that the console were stuffed into the garbage disposal (and she has a fondness for putting odd things in the garbage disposal, but that’s another story). So I don’t think she is an impartial witness.

But the truth is that my biggest struggles with Xboy are about his failure to do what he needs to do properly because he would rather play. There are weekends that I would like to take that boy, the child of my loins, and pound him into pudding with a potato masher. So far, I haven’t. I’ve heard they don’t give you beer in prison.

So, now, it is time for me to wrap this up so I can go home for lunch and play the...I mean, so I can fold laundry.


Have the T-shirt said...

LOL...this sounds familiar :P

I instituted "inspections". That worked only marginally well because when he failed the "inspection" then a fight would ensue about how picky I am and how no one could ever please me and then it would get ugly and he'd mention that he could see why I was SINGLE.

So then in addition to the "inspection" he lost an hour of xbox time if he argued with me about the "inspection".

That usually worked.

I'm a Grandma, Now! said...

Please, remember you heard it hear first ... GRAMPS spends just as much time on the blasted machine as the boy.

The game system is Evil! It not only takes away my son from quality family time or outdoor exercise; but it also takes away the husband, the internet connection and cleaning the house.

Gramps would like y'all to believe that the machine is really not all that bad, but it IS ... This machine is evil. The only thing good about xbox is Guitar Hero, and that only lasted about 2-3 weeks.

Now, the Grandbaby ... She is worth skipping household chores, bills, work, school and even beer!

I just don't understand the males in my house. UGHGHGHGHGHG!

jenniferleeland said...

Sorry Gramps. I'm with Granny on this one.
Luckily for me, The Redneck agrees that video games are evil incarnate so we don't have one.
We're considering a handheld for Demolition Boy BUT he'll probably break it within twenty-four hours. LOL.
Granny, you keep up the good fight.

Tink said...

Hoop has been known to try and bicycle while playing his PSP...

It must be a guy thing.

Gramps said...

t-shirt--the only problem is that if Xboy loses an hour, so do I!

granny--I love you, but you don't know what you're talking about; Xbox is God's gift to humankind.

jen--you're not going to deprive your poor child of the joy of gaming, are you? I believe that studies have shown that children who spend at least 6 hours a day on Xbox do better in school and are more well emotionally adjusted.

tink--since you're recently married, let me give you some advice. Don't ever complain about how much time Hoop spends on video games. It's just his way of showing you how much he loves you.

jenniferleeland said...

Gramps, you are a laugh riot.
Wrong, but a laugh riot.
Granny, it may be time for an intervention. You guys could be on that show in A&E. Poor old Gramps. He used to golf, but now he won't do it unless it's an Xbox game.

I'm a Grandma, Now! said...


You have to forgive Gramps - he had one too many beers the night before blogging; it was that or he got caught up in all of the gooey-yucky baby mush!

You ladies should see this man! He reads the sports section to the Granddaughter!