This post has nothing to do with writing whatsoever; you have been warned.:D
About six years ago my husband and I got into Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. I'm not normally a gamer, but I enjoyed this one, and my hubby was super-patient with my incompetence because he really liked getting to play a game with me! Over the course of the two months or so that it took us to beat it--playing in our free time at night after our daughter and charge had gone to bed--I got pretty good at it, if I do say so myself! Near the end of the game we encountered a boss called the Zombie Dragon. Basically, you had to wait for the dragon to stick it's neck out of its nest, and use a joint spell that you both cast concurrently to turn it to stone, and then beat on it. Oh, and you had to fight multiple (really hard!) little bad guys *while* doing this. It was SO hard! We spent about two hours one night trying to beat him and died about a gazillion times. And then, finally, with tiny specks of life left in both of us, we managed to kill the stupid boss! The animation of his death throes started and my husband and I collapsed against each other and laughed.
It was the only reaction you could have. Such a huge relief that all you can do is laugh in glee that it is finally over!
Keep that story in mind--I'll come back to it.
I have a son named Gid. He is so cute and snuggly and great! . . . And when I count the trials in my life, I count him first.:D He is by far, my most difficult child. My mother calls him hurricane Gid and often marvels at how much trouble he manages to make (and she has five kids, so she knows!) I have a stay-at-home husband and even with two of us at home every day, we can hardly keep up with him. High. Maintenence. Child.
He likes movies . . . for fifteen minutes or so. He likes his toys! For about ten minutes. He just will not stay focused on one thing long enough to actually give me a chance to sneak away and get anything done. Getting the dishwasher unloaded and reloaded in the same sitting is a miracle in our house. Which is why it usually gets done after the Gid goes to bed. It's why pretty much anything productive gets done after he goes to bed. (Also, why I work behind a locked door while I am drafting and he still will sit and yell at the door often enough.)
But there is one thing he LOVES. YouTube. He will watch YouTube (usually clips of Pixar movies or LOLcats) for an hour. Only problem, he doesn't know how to use a mouse. So you have to either come back every two minutes and start a new video for him, or sit there with him the whole time. Either way, not productive for me.
We have tried to teach him to use the mouse multiple times. (Who am I kidding, I've been trying to get him to use a mouse for a year!) I mean, Aud learned how to use a mouse at two and Bren even a bit before he turned two. Shouldn't three yo Gid know how to use a mouse by now?!!??:D But no luck.
Yesterday Gid declared himself finished with dinner and trounced upstairs to watch YouTube, because his sister had been doing the honors of switching videos for him before dinner. (Thank you Aud!!!)
I kind of shrugged and said, "Well, I'm not turning on shows for you--we're all still eating."
A minute or so passes and I hear sounds coming from the loft upstairs where the computer is. I turn to Kenny and say, "I think he just started a video."
Kenny listens for a second and was like, "Well, it was probably just paused. He knows how to use the space bar."
Back to eating.
A few minutes later I hear a distinctly different sound. "Kenny," I say, hardly daring to hope, "I think he started a new video."
We both peek out of the kitchen up at the landing and sure enough, he has started a new video for himself.
We stand there while the video finishes and I swear, we were both holding our breath. And our little troublemaker carefully edges the mouse over a new video and clicks.
Kenny and I stepped back into the kitchen, collapsed in our chairs, and started to laugh. He watched his very own videos for fifteen minutes. That has never happened before. My son is grasping the concept of how to use a mouse!
And Kenny and I just kept laughing. At one point he looks up at me and says, "You know, I feel like we just beat the Zombie Dragon again." Which just made us laugh harder.
So today I put him on YouTube again and he watched Pixar videos for about half an hour while I folded bedding, towels, and blankets, and put away all three of my kids' baskets of laundry. All at one time. I think I can safely say that since I have had three kids, that has never happened.
It is a good day!
One of the things that we are really excited about is that in another week or so when he has really gotten the feel for the mouse, we can put him on Starfall.com which taught my other two kids to read. (and is the "secret" behind my son teaching himself to read at age two. Not that hokey Teach Your Baby to Read memorization system, real phonetic reading. Yanno, the kind they do in school.) If you are a parent and haven't seen this site, please go check it out! It is deceptively simple and kids love it!
Gid already loves Starfall (and can tell you what sound all the letters say), but I have to sit and do everything for him and the fact is he will learn better if he can do it himself. Also, yanno, an hour of uninterrupted chore time. Or writing time. Or whatever.
My son knows how to use a mouse. Seriously, the possibilities that opens up for both myself and him are rather staggering. The computer is the most important learning tool in our home and my son just unlocked that door for himself.
Take that, Zombie Dragon!