Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Just a Game, Right?

So yesterday at dinner, Emily was kind of solemn. Not in the usual "I'm 9" solemnity - but in the very grown up and guilt laden solemn.

She gave up one of her Nintendog pets for adoption.

For those of you 'not in the know' about Nintedogs - they are virtual pets made for the Nintendo DS hand held game system. You get this pet..it responds to your voice command. You play games and teach it to do tricks. You earn money to buy things for your dog and feed it, groom it, scratch it behind the ears, rub its belly, clean its poop. That sort of thing. (sound familiar moms and dads - it's called work)

So Emily says - "I think I did something wrong."
Me: thinking she cut her sister's hair, or sold her into servitude or something... "What did you do?"
Emily: "I just wanted to see if I could send Coco to the doggy hotel just for a little while and get my money back, but she's gone."
Hubby and I: not wordly in the ways of video gaming "?"
Emily: after explaining that the doggy hotel is the orphanage from whence said Nintedogs are adopted. " but I can't get her back. She was very disobedient anyway. I tried to teach her to play frisbee, but she just wanted to run around the yard and dig holes. I tried to groom her all nice, but she just wanted to roll in the dirt. "
Me: " So you'll earn money and adopt another dog. No biggie."
Emily: " I feel badly about giving up on Coco"

You see, Emily learned her first valuable lesson in parenting. She feels guilt about her failure -
not about the dumb virtual dog - but about her ability to effectively train the thing and have it respond the way she wanted. (sound familiar moms and dads? it's called parenting)

Me: "There isn't a day that goes by - hell, there isn't a minute that goes by - when I don't feel badly about something I did or didn't do as a mommy. But I can't just give up on the trying to do the right thing part and give up on you guys. I can't just drop you off at the kid hotel and wait 'til I have enough money to buy another one. I have to reflect and figure out what I did and what I can do differently the next time."
Hubby: "It's just a game, right?"
Me and Emily "...?..."

It's just a game, right? Or is it?

________________________

Hey - I just got an award from Nana's Box - if you haven't seen this what this gal does for people afflicted with the cancer you should. Thanks for the shout out, but how you could possibly compare my meager little blah -blah -blog to what you do for real people and real survivors ...well, I just don't see the parallel there. You, my dear Nana, are a doll.


And speaking of worthy causes - and as much as I hate doing this....I am participating the in Conejo Valley Relay for Life next weekend. I have volunteered for this 24 hour event for the past few years, but this time the event means something completely different to me. My wonderful father passed away this past January from rare form of skin cancer called Merkel Cell Carcinoma. He also had Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia ( the big C double whammy if you will). What makes this year even more profound is my own diagnosis, treatment and recovery from Thyroid cancer. I've blogged about all of this (go back to my February posts if you want, no need to link here) I actually sent out solicitous emails this year to have people donate to my Reasons to Relay - and am close to making my fundraising goal. If you want, you can support me by clicking here ... (your donation is 100% tax deductible)

I can't think of anyone whose lives haven't been touched by the scourge of cancer in some way, shape or form. Give up a couple half caf mochachino latte with pumpkin foams this week and click here.

A multitude of thanks to everyone!


24 comments:

HappyHourSue said...

OMG- have you SEEN what the "pet" does when you say you want to give it up? It's HORRIBLE!!!!! Makes this sad, hurt face and the game says "he's going to be lonely" then the pet slowly fades away- I was so outraged I almost wrote the company a letter - my 7 year old was so upset.

nikkicrumpet said...

I loved this post....nice metaphor for actual parenting....Probably a good lesson to learn at a young age. It goes along with my "mom" post I just did. I hope your daughter isn't too upset!

nikkicrumpet said...

PS...tell her I have a REAL schnauwzer that she can train lol! I've tried...but it's hopeless!

The Nice One said...

Awww, that's so sad. I better keep that game away from my kiddo...he'd be crushed.
Good lesson for them, though.

Meaghan said...

HI-thanks for visiting my blog and reading my story! I just read your post and it was great. It must be awesome to watch a child grow into a young lady then a women and mom etc...sorry don't want you to freak out about your daughter growing up..lol...sounds like you have a very smart young daughter! Congratulations.

-Meaghan

jill jill bo bill said...

Okay, Emily, You can have my two real dogs. I know you will love and care for them. Tell your mommy to look for the UPS man.

Mrs. S said...

I was over at Tiffany's blog & saw you cried when Dr. Pratt got killed off on ER on Thursday, too. Thank you for validating my tears!

sassy stephanie said...

You FUCKING ROCK for doing the relay for life. My first marathon, I ran for CanCare, a Cancer support organization. It gave me the drive and mental determination to train and FINISH my goal. You will feel such a sense of accomplishment, even more so after a year like this. Way to go girl!

Robin said...

The contrast between you and hubby explaining about not giving up is classic. Like your's better.

Good luck at the relay for life. Your a great chickie Swirl!

Teri said...

Oh no, I'm sure your daughter was so devastated. That is so weird that the virtual pets don't just all act nice and make everyone happy in digiworld. Hope she creates a good new one soon. :-)

amelia bedelia said...

i was addicted to my son's virtual pet...i fed and watered it when he was away, and spent more time with that stupid thing, than I did with my real dog!

Tiffany said...

You are such a great mom tellin' it like it is.

I think its great that you are honoring your father by participating.

Have fun!

Lula! said...

Emily is precious...just precious...

And I hate cancer. HATE HATE HATE IT! My prayer/dream/hope/#1 wish is that someone would find a cure for it...in my lifetime. Because I hate it. HATE it.

Can you tell I have very strong feelings about this disease?

Molly said...

I hope by the time Ned gets to 9, virtual pets are a thing of the past! I don't think I could deal with his sad face at having lost a virtual pet!

Aunt Becky said...

That's so incredibly depressing! I had no idea!

Insane Mama said...

I haven't heard of 'those' pets, but you know I have a cussing bird and a dog with pink eye if you want them they are totally yours

thotlady said...

Wow, seems she is learning fairly young about parenting.

I also read your previous post and thought it was very interesting.

Romi said...

Congrats on the award over at Nana's and the one from Kat for being popular! Will you still hang out with those of us from the less popular crowd?:-)

Cancer is the worst disease ever.

Jenny said...

What a good job of parenting YOU have done, taking the Nintendo dog situation and turning it into a teachable moment. You are a great mommy! And what a compassionate girl you have for feeling guilty about it and discussin it with you.

Linda S said...

just stopping by from, well, everybody's blog! I see you a lot and figure I need to check this chick out!

These are tough lessons and show you that video games are kind of stupid sometimes.

The Blonde Duck said...

Just stumbled across your blog and love it! Too cute!

thatgirlblogs (shelly) said...

My daughter is 13 and hasn't given up her Nintendog yet ;)

The Blonde Duck said...

Here in the Pond, chivalry is a live and kicking!

Heather said...

My oldest really wants this game and it might be kind of good for her.