Sunday, December 6, 2009

Digital Wonderland

Yesterday was a perfect storm of procrastination, desire, and shopping.

We've been trying to get Tabitha and Lauren onto a regular schedule for allowances for a while now. Or, rather, Kim has - I'm all for it, really, but money has a very weak hold on my mind and I keep forgetting all about it. I like money, don't get me wrong - I have my virtues, but Ghandi I am not - but I find it difficult to think about money matters for more than a few minutes at a time without slipping into a coma or wandering off to surf the web, activities that are not all that dissimilar, come to think about it.

Now allowances are good things. They teach kids about managing their money - about limits and saving and all that sort of stuff that I would have learned had I ever taken an economics class. And they provide incentive for chores around the house.

But it's been kind of like the old Soviet economy around here for a long time - they pretend to work, and we pretend to pay them. The girls are not very pushy about getting their allowances, and we tend to be busy enough not to remember to give it to them. It's been a long, long time since we actually paid them anything.

So they were owed a lot of money is what all this boils down to.

And they had plans for that money, yes indeed they did.

Both girls have been jonesing for a Nintendo DS for months now. I have no idea why they would want this. Video games are another of the many things that have no hold on my mind, probably because I was never any good at them. We've been resisting getting them anything along these lines because it will just be the first step in a long process that can only end in heartbreak or Silicon Valley. But we had been so remiss in allowances that all of the sudden they each had enough money to buy their own.

We considered this.

On the one hand, gah.

On the other hand, well, it was their money, and those things are expensive enough that you really can't ask anyone to get them as gifts. And they do provide an opening for future gifts - all those games without which the Nintendo DS is just a pleasantly styled paperweight. Plus, if we went out and got them, we could just handle the whole transaction on paper and not have to withdraw all that cash for each girl to stuff into their purses.


So the girls and I braved the pre-Christmas Sam's Club throng and got two Nintendo DS units - a red one for Lauren and a silver one for Tabitha. I had to go back to Sam's to get a replacement for Tabitha's, since somebody had previously opened her DS and stolen the stylus out of it, but by nightfall the girls were happily ensconced in the living room, playing their games.

I'm not sure what Tabitha is playing, but Lauren's game involves puppies. Lots of puppies. Puppies that need to be trained.

Did you know that the Nintendo DS system has voice recognition? You can talk to it and it understands you about as well as most of your friends do, a concept I find rather scary. Even digital puppies require a lot of training, it turns out, and a good part of this training is trying to get them to recognize their name.

Of course they can recognize their name. Don't be silly.

So for the last twelve hours, our house has resounded with plaintive cries of "Flower! Floooooowweerrr! Flower!"

Eventually the puppy will respond, I'm sure.

But if it leaves little piles of 1's and 0's on the carpet, out it goes.


KimK said...

So far, no 0s or 1s on the carpet. (That line slayed me.)

Unknown said...

The Os and 1s are why Issam refuses to have cats. We have cat statuettes instead.