Yippee Kai, Wii!
A couple of weeks ago, my mother came to visit during winter break. Upon "Grammy's" arrival, two wrapped gifts were given to each of the kids to open simultaneously. My son had no idea what was in store for him. As he ripped off the paper, he screeched with excitement:
"The wii!!!...Mom-look, the wii!!!"
A little history: After we came home from Christmas vacation where my son (with autism) played "the" wii, he was hooked. Not only was my son hooked on playing the game, but the entire family was enamored with watching him either play or cheer for others. It is one of the most amusing forms of entertainment. The excitement level he exudes for every player and the amusement he receives from watching the mii (in wii terms, the character you use to participate in all the games), go through triumphs-of passing giant cannon balls and trials-of being bumped off the tight rope and falling to its demise, is like no other experience. It may even sound a little depressing but I can assure you that my son's level of cheering and shear devotion to the mii player is infectious. The family was sucked into his level of happiness.
My son went back to school and shared the story of how he played "the" wii (a term my son invented). In adding "the" as the preface to wii , it is now an endearing term where visuals of my son rootin, tootin, screechin and preachin are attached. Naturally, I would have loved to give him such a gift, but "the" wii is much too luxurious of an item for us. We are on a buy what you need budget and "the" wii is definitely NOT in the budget. I proceeded to seek out sweepstakes in hopes of even the slightest possibility of winning "the" wii for my precious child. Little did I expect that what Grammy came through with is more than an extremely generous gift for us. It is the opportunity for my son to feel pride in his typical peer group.
Scheduling several play dates for my son has been a bit excruciating for me. Even though I know boys are different than girls in interests and nature of play, two hours of entertaining boys is a daunting task for typical boys. Add to that, one boy who will run away at the bat of an eye or highlight other unique behaviors (like screeching or stimming) and it can make me unravel. Their attention span lasts for about 5 minutes. By the time I set something up for the boys to play with, they are on to the next thing. Forget baking or doing projects like sweet, little girls. No way Jose! There has to be physical play, building, knocking down, and throwing involved. Then there was the little problem that my son and his friend never seemed to be playing the same thing. I was quickly wondering what these play dates were actually accomplishing.
I questioned my son's team of professionals, in hopes of learning or discovering something I was missing. I found out that I was missing video games in the repertoire of activities. I was instructed that boys interests revolve heavily around video games and that they often play separate. Knowing this tidbit of information, you can only imagine my excitement (and relief) when my mother gave us a video game! My prayers were answered. "The" wii will be my sons tool to use while working on his social weaknesses. It is perfect! During the next play date, the friend walks in the door and is greeted by my anxious son, announcing that he has "the" wii. The little boy says:
"oh, my mother doesn't let me play wii!"
Ugh!..with a smile.
Side note: The little boy did end up playing. It is still not easy but, with my son's whimsical wii attitude, I am still smiling.
***Wii tip: If you have kids who like to impersonate you (and use your mii), like my guy does, it might be good to attach a password. Currently, my son enjoys using his step grandfather's mii. He is bald, with glasses and it looks ridiculous. I have to admit, it is one of the joys of watching my son and "the" wii. By the way, my son also set up a mii and named him GOD. He likes to be GOD as well.
Thank you Grammy! Thank you, "the" wii!