No Nintendo Day*

I woke up in an empty bed.

M had gotten up some time before me, and had quietly gone downstairs. I stretched out luxuriously, and heard the kids doors open one by one. I waited for them to come into my room, but they went straight downstairs instead. Suddenly it was very quiet, and I was very alone.


It was SO peaceful. I half dozed for a while, then I opened the blinds, got back into bed and read. Meggie is just about to go on holiday in The Thorn Birds, and if you’ve read the book then… YOU KNOW.

I eventually went down and found the rest of my family together in the basement playing Nintendo. I squeezed in on the couch, and P immediately climbed on top for a snug. I sat and watched as M and the kids played Minecraft first, then switched over to some new Pokemon game he found. It was great fun in the beginning, but by the end all three had gotten mad about losing battles and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I declared then and there that it was to be a No Nintendo Day.

Usually the kids have their “Nintendo Time” before dinner. They have to tidy all the toys in the basement and living room before they can play or watch a show on the ipad, then I get a break to make dinner in peace. It’s so lovely.

That being said, I’ve noticed lately that they have been starting to ask for Nintendo Time earlier and earlier each day. Miss S in particular was struggling to find things to do that weren’t on a screen, and that does not sit well with me.

She was not impressed when I explained that our No Nintendo Day included ALL small screens–including the tablets. After an initial pout, she seemed to make peace with it and we actually had SUCH a good day. Knowing that screens weren’t even an option, they dug into their imaginations and played really well all day.

Miss S decided to clean and organize her entire room on her own. Without fighting me. It was MAGICAL. She also spent time playing with her kinetic sand and dove into “Barbie World” for a long time. She and H got the Legos out tonight and spent over an hour building this elaborate stage tonight, complete with a band performing on it.

H has started making his own perler bead creations. He takes an action figure to the table, and then uses that as a guide to help him work. His little super heroes are so cute!! Today he worked on Green Goblin and Batman, and he also made a sweet Green Lantern symbol. I’m not kidding–he spent HOURS beading today.

P dumped out his dinosaurs and had some kind of Jurassic Park thing going on in the living room. There were a lot of dino sounds and screaming so it sounds like whoever it was didn’t make it.

All three went outside to play without an argument, and despite some bickering off and on throughout the day, they actually played really well together. I loved the day so much I actually told them that tomorrow will be a No Nintendo Day too.

(They weren’t as enthused about that as I was.)

It felt so good to have to pry them away from Legos and action figures instead of screens tonight. After they all got in their jammies, I went into the boys room and found this:

All three kids playing super hero action figures with their Dad. They were ALL in on the game, and it was the cutest thing to see them all playing together…

…and not fighting. Really, that’s key.

Having three kids isn’t always easy… but days like today make me feel like maybe we’re doing an okay job at this parent thing.

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