The pressure became too much for me. The constant, incessant begging and pleading, I threw away my values, my standards, my moral compass for a moments peace and to witness pure joy.
My kids really really want a Nintendo DS.
We have tried hard to keep video/tv whatever they are called games out of the house. A couple of times some do-gooder has tossed the kids an old Gameboy that we have had to hide, that the kids have had to find, that we have had to pretend we didn’t know they had found, so they could at least slightly be in-the-know with their own generation.
So DS desire somehow reached fever pitch on Saturday night. We had been
at a ‘thing’ and every other kid present had their DS with them, and my poor kids were forced to cadge a go from the others. Kevin of course proved very good at this and managed to talk a 4 year old out of his for a good 45 minutes.
Later we were at a restaurant , we were in one of those booth type things and I had ended up sitting alone on one side, facing the three sad, forlorn faces , like judge or executioner.
Sweet daughter had obviously been elected spokeperson.
“Please, please can we have a DS, please. We are the ony people in the world who don’t have one. We are always nakama hazure. We are tired of cadging, we are tired of having to trick 4 year olds. Pleeeeease!!!”
The others joined in, with their much practiced wounded puppy eye thing.
They said again ‘Pleeeease!” the ice in my veins was beginning to thaw a little.
” Everyone has one” they begged.
Clearly a Tanaka San Rule violation but I let it slide.
They said ‘ It’s not just games, we can study on it, we can study English on it ( in my dreams) you can use it, you can study Kanji on it, you can get cooking stuff and gardening stuff, lots of grown-ups have them. They are really fun”
“They are too expensive.”
“We’ll pay, we can buy them with our otoshidama, it is OUR money.”
“I don’t want you staring at a little screen all day ( like I do ), it will kill your fabulous imaginations, you will go blind.”
Daughter produces a piece of paper.
The paper lists the times they would like to use the DS and what they would be willing to do in return for that time.
The list was endless, homework, washing, dishes, cleaning English study,
Kevin, bless his little heart was offering 5 hours of English a day in exchange for 20 minutes, hey they were offering to walk dogs we don’t even have.
I was beginning to weaken, my poor babies, practically offering their own internal organs, alienated and ostracised from their peers, their childhood, one long sad memory. I recalled my own ever unfullfilled desire for an etch-a-sketch…..
Damn!! They saw me hestitate, they saw me comtemplate, they could smell my indecision.
All three of them then, knelt down in the aisle of the restaurant, hands together in prayer, a gesture I did not teach them, and cried in unison,
Then I said the magic words.
” Okay, I’ll talk to Daddy”
All Hell was let loose,
they were picking out colours, selecting software.
I was thinking, please Lord let Daddy agree.
We didn’t see Daddy till the next day and we had a private conference about it. Then he told them he would take it under advisement.
They said, “when will you know?”
He said, ” In half an hour”.
They said ” Make it 10 minutes”
He said, “15”
They waited the 15, I swear I could here Kevin’s heart pounding out of his chest, he was just about ready to chew his own fingers off.
Suddenly I hear screams, ” he’s decided, he’s decided”
A minute later they all come down solemnly holding a sealed envelope.
They hand it to me. I wanted to open it as slowly as I could but realised that Kevin was about to spontaneously combust, so I moved it along a bit.
” Dadadadaaaaa, the verdict is……YES!!!!!
OMG, how excited, this was so worth it, pure pure joy, they want to go, they want to go to the shop, right now, we cannot spare a minute we must must must go……
“Okay,” I say, ” but remember we MUST keep to the time rules”
“Yes yes yes,”, they promised me anything and everything in their delirium.
It was like this