Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mother of the Year

Friday I earned my nomination for Mother of the Year.

Me: Hey, guys, I need to tell you something.

Kids: Yeah?

Me: Well, unfortunately, we will not be able to go to Pizza Bingo (A.K.A. The Social Event of the Year at the kids' school). 

Kids: (All three faces fall.) 

I have learned that the best way to give my kids disappointing news is to offer a great alternative at the same time.

Me: So I decided that we should all go to Chuck E. Cheese's instead.

Kids: (Cheers!)

Yes, I voluntarily decided to bring my children to that loud, flashing, beeping, screaming kid mecca.  Aren't I a good mom?

I am amazed to report that it actually was not as bad as I thought it would be.  It's always hard to predict how Twin A will react to a place like that.  The noise overwhelms ME; I can't imagine what it's like to someone who has any kind of sensory issues.  Both boys put their hands over their ears when we first walked in, but were able to relax within a few minutes.  I gave everyone their own cup of tokens, went over the boundaries with each of them, and then we all went our separate ways.  The Princess and I walked around together since she was a little hesitant to walk around by herself.  She and I had taken only a few steps when we saw a sight that stopped us in our tracks:

Now most people would look at this game as simply one more part of the flashing lights and clanging noises that are omnipresent within Chuck E. Cheese's.  But The Princess and I knew better.  Twin A, for reasons that usually only make sense to himself, has developed incredible fears that paralyze him with fright for a variety of things.  The game Operation is one of them.  I suppose it's the buzzer that makes loud noises unexpectedly, but Twin A is so terrified of this game he flips out if he even sees the closed box in someone's house, not settling down until the game is moved into another room.  We both knew that this could result in needing to leave much earlier that we had planned.  I swore The Princess to secrecy, making her promise not to tell either brother that this game was here, and we continued on our way.

Next time we ran into Twin A, we found him completely immersed in his all-time favorite arcade game: Guitar Hero.  Life was good.  He stayed under the Guitar Hero spell for the majority of the time we were there, even once playing against another kid's dad, beating the pants off him and then telling him, "Good game," with a thumbs up.   I knew instantly when he became aware of the offending game; I looked over and saw Twin A on the opposite side of the place, hands over his ears, shoulders raised defensively, still trying to put a token into a diferent game.  That required a great deal of dexterity!

As we left, Twin A requested that next time, I should make sure not to play Operation.  Sure, it was okay for everyone else there to play the game, but he really minded when I was the one playing. 

Whatever.  I still think I have earned my nomination.  And then some. 
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