Poor little bastard. Not more than a few minutes out of recovery after his atresia surgery. Loitering at the corner of Lucid and HUUUURRR!! Blvd. Wandering around the ward wearing only SpongeBob pajama bottoms and those gigantic hospital-issue slipper/tube socks that always slide halfway off your feet and make you feel like you're walking in swim fins. His brain and body struggling to find any task at which they might collaborate, reacquaint.
And he's walking. And I'm spotting him so he doesn't fall and crack his skull. And I'm thinking about the times in college I must have looked like he does now, thanks to too much tequila and Jolt cola. Tequila Mockingbird we called it. A sadistic recipe that ensured you'd be wide awake when the vomiting came.
And he's walking. He's heard there's a rabbit somewhere on this floor and he must find it. He has issued himself this quest. He walks right past the rabbit. Into the activity center. Nintendo. On wheels. He shoots me a mean look -- at least it appears mean. It could just be the bandages pushing down on his brow. The look says, "Do this now, mother fucker. I SAID NOW!" Yes sir, how high? I do this now.
Within minutes he's playing some racing game. He is amazingly good at this, especially considering that I don't think he's ever played anything more sophisticated than the (lame, daddy!) Leapster 2 we bought him for Christmas this year. This must be what Mozart looked like when he first sat down at a piano. OK, it's not that prodigenous. Still, the little fucker's got skills. We stay for an hour. As the day wears on, the nurses get tired of looking for him and just wheel the Nintendo station into his room.
Home from Virginia, realizing that we'd have to find a way to keep Ethan entertained but immobile, we thought it might be a good idea to invest in some kind of gaming system. (OK, I did it. It was entirely me. My idea. Goodbye, Parent of the Year Award. I hardly knew ye!) Wii seemed the most family-friendly, so we got one that came bundled with a few games. Hours of fun. But hours eventually end. Need more games. Off to Game Stop. Nice guy behind the counter. Scary how much he knows about video games. He needs a girlfriend. Not a SIMs one, either.
New games? Beaten in a week. Need more, daddy. Oh, and have you ever noticed that you can't take a Wii with you to school? And sometimes we have electronics day and all the other kids bring in their DSs and obviously their daddies love them more than you love me? You asshole? Back to Game Stop for a used DS and a few used games. One month/$600 in gaming gear after surgery and we're staring at a rack of stuff we've defeated. No worries, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is out. For $50. Girlfriend-needing-guy at Game Stop hands me a coupon: If we beat this game by July 7 we can get $2.00 off our next purchase. Fuck you, you pimple faced gimp. I hope you never get laid.
Some folks emerge from their hospital stays addicted to pain killers. Lucky bastards. That's an addiction that's breakable. Ever try to take a Wii-mote from the hands of a 6-year-old? Might as well staple a steak to your ass and jump into a hungry lion's den.
Tell you what, though. If I can figure this out? How to break this habit or at least get him to remember to eat? I'mma be rich, yo. Starting my own business: Wii-hab. I'm betting there's a market for it. I'm betting there are other parents out there in the same boat.
You Tolerate Me! You Really Tolerate Me!
Hey, y'all. I've been astutely reviewed by Ask And Ye Shall Receive over here. First, let me say that I fucking love them. Their site reads like my thought bubbles would. Second, they were amazingly merciful with me and very constructive in the process. I've taken their advice and added a few extra carriage returns between spewage to make it easier on you -- no small task since I spilled water ... OK, scotch on my cheap-ass keyboard about a year ago and the return key does not work. If I am suddenly more understandable, you may thank them for it.
"One of the best lessons children learn through video games is standing still will get them killed quicker than anything else." -- Jinx Milea