For the past two Saturday I've had to bring the boys with me to their sister's ballet class. They actually don't have to sit in the class but rather come down to a funky cafe to wait out the hour. Of course, it is usually a respite for me since they would normally be back at the house with Amazing Guy. So, to try to keep it a respite I encourage them to bring their DS portable game systems. Which is a continuation of the "never say never" list.
When the boys were super little - pre-verbal little - and I saw older children playing with those games at restaurant tables I swore we would never stoop to that. Why go out to eat if you weren't going to have lengthy and meaningful conversations with your progeny about life and current events?
It was when I realized that as they got older - and were no longer strapped into highchairs - that my sons could care less about eating. They just have no interest in meals so even sitting around a table waiting for the food to arrive is sheer torture for them and us (we, however, do no allow radio, television, games, iPods or reading at the dinner table at home. For the token 6 minutes they manage to stay at the table we do talk).
Hence, portable games are now part of our restaurant experiences. And in the coffee shop I got looks from parents with little - pre-verbal little - kids. I silently wished them luck as they glared at me. I sincerely hope they succeed in having non-stop quality conversations during all restaurant meals.
But at some point on the first Saturday, while reading the newspaper, I heard one little man start to sing while feverishly racking up points:
Why, why, tell em that its human nature
Why, why, does he do me that way
Leading the other little man across the table, also with his head down in deep game concentration mode, to sing in reply:
I like livin this way
I like lovin this way
So it isn't so bad because my sons sing to me while they play.
[The funny thing is the version they are singing is an A Capella version by the college group we saw in concert earlier this month.]
7:28 update - I had made an editorial decision not to put in a link list. No one played last week and boy - was I wrong! Play along!