Last week Mr. Boy was sick.  Pathetic little child, looking up at me with mournful eyes whenever I asked him to do something.  A child too sick to want to read about late-period Roman Infantryman.  That is one sick boy.

So I let him play video games.  All day.

Now you should understand the video game situation in our home.  Several years ago,  a beloved relative gave us one of those little things that plugs into your TV and you can play 80’s-style Atari-knockoff games.  In a rare fit of lucidity I did not donate it after the mandatory post-Christmas waiting period.   Probably thanks to pleading on the part of the SuperHusband, and extreme smallness on the part of the game.

Mr. Boy got to play shark-shark once about two years ago, and other than that, our little zombie-generating* device has lived a quiet existence in a dark corner of the kids’ closet.   My poor child.  He goes to his grandmother’s house to practice on her playstation so that he is less embarrassed at his gaming skills when he visits friends.

But last week the child was just miserable.  So we dug out our little electronic blast from the past (which he found without difficulty, curiously, though I myself couldn’t remember if we even owned it anymore) and I let the boy play.  As much as he wanted.

[Well, okay, I made him quit when he started to get that hunched-over posture you may have noted in your most rabid gaming-fan friends.   And yes, I told him that was exactly why I was making him turn it off.  You didn’t think I was suddenly getting all tactful, did you?]

Did the trick.  Kept him quiet and rested, he got better, game went back into the closet for another few years.  All’s well that ends well.

***

So then, I got sick.  Mmmn, lovely.  Was glad I had been merciful on the child, once I got my taste of his sufferings.  So Monday morning, ’bout time to start school, and I tell the kids, “Listen, remember last week when Mr. Boy was so sick I let him play video games all day?  Because he felt so bad he just didn’t want to do anything at all?  That’s how I feel.  You can do pretty much whatever you want, as long it is safe, there’s no fighting, and you clean it up afterwards.”

Hands rubbing with glee.  Eyes lighting up at the prospect of getting into all kinds of usually-restricted activities.   And then my sweet little boy says, “Mom, you want me to set up the video games for you?”

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*I don’t know if it has a zombie game on it.  What I mean is, it turns your family members into zombies.

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