A few weeks back — on one of those relentlessly cold winter mornings that make one want to stay in bed, snug and warm under the covers, all day long — we rented a Wii. Unsurprisingly, it proved highly addicting, as I have purposely shielded myself from most video and computer games most of my life out of awareness of a tendency to get sucked in completely. In the middle of one summer while in high school, we visited my stepmother’s sister’s family in Colorado, and I spent virtually the whole week in their basement playing Frogger — a verboten activity at home. The only time my eyes were diverted from the tube was when one of my stepmother’s beautiful nieces was in the vicinity. They were way out of my league and I knew it, plus they were sort of family, so I’d just steal a few quick glances before returning to my nerdy gaming ways.
Gaming, of course, doesn’t have to be nerdy nowadays, as the Wii proves — though I still think the “workout” you get can’t even begin to compare to going to a gym. (I realize I’ve probably barely scratched the service of what’s out there, Wii-wise.) While I quickly became a shuffleboard master (yes, I’m well aware of the lack of sweat one gets from this activity), I had a heck of a hard time making anything other than a free throw in basketball. I came up with the excuse that my basement ceiling was too low to make any kind of Wii jump shot. In all reality, it was probably the operator’s ability that sorely needed improvement.
On Saturday, we (Wii?) had another chance to play with these games when I took Grace and Zachary to the “Get On The Ball With FunFamily Fitness” event at Prairie Elementary. We had gone to the event, which is hosted by Prairie Rehab & Fitness, the year before, and Grace was excited for a repeat adventure — and, particularly, to sit upon the “bouncy balls” now being used predominantly in kindergarten classrooms at Prairie.
The balls were again a hit, and Zachary also liked them, but Grace’s big joy was the exercise wall that was one of 15 stations set up in the gym. She and a pre-school friend spent quite a bit of time in that area, while Zachary chased down whatever type of ball happened to be within several yards of him. Playing basketball turned out to be his favorite, even though he can’t lift the ball above his head. (He was my point guard, dishing the rock to his dad at every opportunity.)
We did make it over to the aforementioned Wiis for a short time, though we didn’t get to play all that much — mostly because I don’t think the kids were patient enough to wait in line. I did have a chance to bowl one frame — and get a strike — but Zachary couldn’t quite master the art of holding down on the control and releasing it properly. Grace, meanwhile, didn’t hang around long enough to try a dancing game, which featured (I couldn’t help but notice) animated girls wearing what I thought was inappropriate attire. I hope Grace stays 5 for a long time.
We had a great afternoon taking part in a fun event that helps purchase more of the stability (or “bouncy”) balls for Prairie Elementary, and the kids got to wear themselves out and ultimately crash a little early Saturday night. As for me, I wound up watching a movie I’d been enthusiastic about seeing, “The Informant!”, that proved a bit disappointing. I did, however, get to look at my beautiful wife sleeping beside me — she crashed less than 30 minutes in — which more than made up for a lack of Frogger and my stepmother’s nieces.