15 February 2010

In Which My 4-year-old Tells A German Man To Eat It

I frequently address what it's like to do this job, being a mom, but rarely do I mention what it means to do the same job from the male perspective - the "dad job", if you will. It's his job to teach our sons the timeless classics - how to hold a football with fingers to laces, what a proper full body tackle looks like, or where to find the best fishing spots. In Conner's case, this also means proper gaming technique, phrasing included.

Conner and Michael play a few games on our Wii and PS3, admittely some are not in his age range, but rest assured that we take steps to keep these as "kid friendly" as possible, and several games are saved specifically for post-bedtime (read: Michael's eyes only). But, let's be frank here - sheltering children from things they see on Spiderman (cartoon) and Transformers (also cartoon) are simply unrealistic. For the sake of this story, Conner was playing a game where you line up tanks, take down helicopters, and shift troops (no blood, no person-on-person combat, etc) - it's about strategy. 

Normally, as in 99% of the time, Michael plays alongside Conner. They team up, high five at "major take downs", "boo" enemy enclaves, "fist bump" over reached redenevouz points and subscribe to a very specific brotherhood known as Gaming Lingo.

"Yeah, baby!" exclaims my nearly 5-year-old, "LET ME SHOW YOU MY SURPRISE!" he torts towards his defeated foes. Michael agrees, acknowledges a downed enemy helicopter and they move on to the next area. There's even a sense of competition between them. During any given game, Conner teases Michael "why do you ALWAYS die, gah!". 

It's really all hilarious. But today, at an early dinner of crockpot Chicken Noodle soup (which was simply amazing, just so you know), Conner decided that he wasn't hungry for a "second lunch" (seeing as he ate only 45 minutes prior), and so we allowed him to continue playing his game. But, Conner being the "button pusher" that he is, he decides to mess around with the settings, and while we are eating within ear shot, he joins an online mission, in which players from all over the globe join in on a single mission to work together or to fight against each other. In an online round, players use a chat feature or a wireless headset to communicate with each other as a team, or if playing against each other, to engage in "smack talk". 

Within minutes, I detect German chatter coming from our bedroom and step in to check on Conner. He's engaged in moving tanks around in Paris, and a man is talking calmly (in German) over our tv speaker. It's then that it hits me that this stranger, halfway around the world, is using his Sunday afternoon to engage in online combat with a 4-year-old, who is smack talking him. The best part? It's a WWII setting (silly Germans), and my American son is kicking his heiny.

"How do you like THAT?" as he takes out another helicopter. Then we hear more German that neither of us understand. "I've got something fooor youuuu" as he serves up another Can of YouKnowWhat (with sauerkraut, of course).

For Mission: Teach Children Proper Smack, Mike gets an "all clear".


  1. This is hilarious! I'm glad to know that children are learning how hold their own when it comes to smack downs! I found your blog through Will Blog for Shoes. I live in the Birmingham area and am in desperate need of a good haircut. I have had traumatic experiences in the past! I will be following!

  2. HAHAHAHA! This is hilarious!!!

  3. Oh, the things the Xbox has taught my son. Really, my plan to phase me out in favor of raising via video games is almost complete. Couple more 4 letter words and I AM SET!

    I see the wii is teaching your son to take over the world. Well played amanda, well played.


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