Wii U, Wii U, Wii U

Back this spring, when we first told the kids that I was pregnant, we made two ridiculous promises. I'll blame Murray. First, Murray promised them that before the baby came, we would take them to Disneyland. Then, Gulliver added to that, "AND we can get a Wii U." And then Murray started agreeing with Gulliver (never mind the fact that I said no to the Wii U last Christmas).

In August, things worked out that we were able to go to Disneyland with Captain Fabuloso, Tin, their kids, and Ootsie and Potsie. Phew. We made good on one promise. Then there was only the Wii U left.

As my due date approaches, I have realized, if we wait to have the baby before getting the Wii U, then as soon as the baby comes, Gulliver will focus on WHEN DO WE GET THE WII U. So I decided it was wisest to get the Wii U before having the baby. Thus, a couple of weeks ago, we got a Wii U for the kids.

The arrival of the Wii U wasn't the big ordeal I would have liked it to be. First a game came in a package, and Gulliver noticed immediately that it said Wii U instead of Wii. And then, Gulliver and Joon and Murray went to the post office to pick up a conspicuously large package. Gulliver is no dummy. He knew what had arrived in the mail. So the Wii U came without much ceremony, and before I was fully prepared with rules. So before setting it up, we sat Gulliver down (Joon is not the problem here) and I started making rules up out of my head:

  • You get 3 Wii U days a week. You can choose the days and you can write them down on the calendar. 
  • Wii U can only be played after homework is done.
  • No whining or crying. Gulliver whines and cries a lot. He needs to stop, or we will cross off a Wii U day on the calendar.
  • No whining or crying when it's time to turn the Wii U off. We will give him warning, like 5 minutes, and then when we say it's time to turn it off, then it's time to turn it off with a happy attitude. 
  • If the kids are playing the game together, there is to be no fighting or cross words. One cross word, and the Wii U is turned off immediately.
So far I have to say, I have been AMAZED at Gulliver's good Wii U behavior. There has been no fighting, despite the fact that Gulliver and Joon have been playing the Wii U together. I thought that Joon would annoy Gulliver because she's not as good as he is, but this hasn't been the case. Also, without exception, he has turned it off when asked with a happy attitude. 

We did have an incident last week where Gulliver refused to do his homework, and was whining because he wanted to play the Wii U. We gave him a couple chances to calm down and do his homework, but when he simply didn't, we told him we were going to cross off a Wii U day. THIS WAS HARD. There was a LOT OF CRYING. A LOT OF CRYING. It took a while to calm down, and it took a while to understand that even though he had calmed down, he still wasn't allowed to play the Wii U. And then he ran and got his homework and did it with me in bed (I was having a sloooooooow pregnancy day and spent most of it in bed), and told me that I was right, it doesn't take him long to do his homework, and he enjoys it. He told me that he understood why he was not allowed to play the Wii U, and he would play it tomorrow (on one of his days). And he apologized. Then he went downstairs, and Murray hadn't crossed the day off the calendar yet. So Gulliver volunteered to cross it off the calendar himself. I was very very impressed and proud of my boy.

As for choosing his own Wii U days? That has been a comical experience. The first full week that he was allowed to choose his days (which happens to be this week), I showed him the WHOLE WEEK on the calendar and told him he could choose any THREE DAYS as Wii U days. He chose Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: Wii U, Wii U, Wii U. I pointed out to him that that meant there were FOUR DAYS of no Wii U, and maybe he would want to space out his days a little more. Nope. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

Again, to his credit, he played Sunday, lost his privilege Monday (the above incident), and then played Tuesday, and for the REST OF THE WEEK, he has not once asked us to please play the Wii U or make an exception. He is doing very very well at accepting this black and white reality. Today, he was asking about next week. I told him that yes, starting tomorrow, he is allowed to pick three new Wii U days next week! Oliver immediately announced, "I will do Wii U, NO Wii U, Wii U, NO Wii U."

It didn't take him long to figure out rationing. 


Jonathon said...

Wow. I'm impressed with Gulliver.

I've suggested getting a Wii U, but I don't think Brinestone is going to go for it quite yet.

Alma said...

Promise it to the kids without Brinestone's permission. That was Murray's strategy and it WORKED!

lilcis said...

you have such great kids! and smart mama for making the rules!

Ellen said...

Smart Mama. Smart kid.

Jonathon said...

Alma: And just hope that she's not reading these comments!