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Budding boy rockers and moms who try to tolerate them

Submitted by on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 No Comment

If I hear “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” one more time, I’m going to shoot the computer.

Now, I’m as big a Benatar fan as any gal who shaved her sideburns in the 80s, and it is amusing when a 5-year-old belts “you’re a real tough cookie with a long historeeee.” After the first dozen times, though, you learn that hell is not for children. It’s for parents who have to endure this.

I have only myself to blame. I backed down on my strictest, most sanctimonious position.

I’ve allowed a video game in the house.

Have I ever mentioned that I stink at video games? That eternal damnation is filled with old-school Pac Man consoles so people can mock me as I die before the quarters even clink to the bottom?

Have I ever mentioned that I have no musical talent, that I only faked my way through marching band so I could go to all the football games?

So what’s Guitar Hero doing here?

I didn’t mean to, as the guys often say. I’m also a bit guilt-sticken about it, especially after the Birthday Girl at the party we went to last week received an accoustic instrument. Her parents probably will teach her how to play it, too. Bad Mommy! Bad, bad Mommy!

Big Guy’s original Christmas gift was an “I Can Play Guitar” that never played. Yes, it’s an electronic gizmo, but one that promises to help kids learn to read music and grasp the concept of notes, not just how to head bang and jump around while pressing a few buttons.

After “I Can Play Guitar” ruined Christmas – nothing like seeing your brand-new toy boxed up and shipped back when you didn’t have even the pleasure of breaking it yourself – I was spooked and looked around for alternatives.

I realized that “Guitar Hero” for a PC didn’t cost that much more than his original present, and it had some plus sides. The chief benefit was that Boots could still watch his Thomas DVDs while Big Guy rocked out. The road to hell is paved with rationalizations.

I pointed. I clicked. I sold myself to the devil.

The rationalizations now are as fast and furious as the guitar riffs on the game. Or whatever they’re called. I know nothing about metal or classic rock either.

It’s better than TV because he’s thrashing around.

He’s not increased  his screen time, because he’s swapped gaming with the tube.

He’s at least learning rhythm and figuring out the way music fits together.

He’s catching on that practice does, indeed, help you get better.

He’s seen me forced to follow my old sage about not quitting because you’re frustrated.

“Here, Mom. You play one.”

I died shortly after the intro. “Try again. You’ll get better.”

I flail even on the slowest practice mode. “You’re not doing the blue ones. You have to touch the blue, too.”

Blue? Oh, I am about to make the air blue out of vexation at my own incompetence and wimpiness.

There’s a video game in the house, and Big Guy is thrilled.

As for me, I’ve earned a place in Satan’s inner circle.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg.

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