I was so proud of myself at Christmas. I had set a budget for the girls’ gifts, and managed to stay within that budget.

Enter Bill.

He thought it might be fun to totally blow my budget out of the water and buy a Kinect “for the girls”. For the girls I thought, Sure it is.

But we bought it, wrapped it, and when they opened it, Olivia claimed “Um, Santa gave me YOUR present, daddy! It says Xbox on it!” When we explained that it was, in fact, a game for her and Sophia to play, they were skeptical, but said their thank yous and all was forgotten for a few days in the excitement over ALL THE TOYS.

When we finally opened it up, the girls were hooked. They played Kinect Adventure and after we had played for 30 minutes, we had to make a quick trip to the store to pick up Kinectimals.

Well, let me just tell you, it was all over after that. We have two games. Two. But they love playing them. ALL.THE.TIME. Olivie moreso than Sophia, but Sophia gets into it all the same.

We have enforced a rule about how long they can play video games on a weekly basis. We try to limit it to under an hour a day, but they do not play daily, so if they play a bit longer on the weekends, it evens out. When they play, they have to swap out watching TV for playing, (usually). We are trying to be responsible with it, which is proving much more difficult than I would have imagined.

“Mama? Maybe when we get home from lunch, maybe can play Kinect.” (Please note: We are in the car. We have not gotten to the restaurant for lunch yet. We had just left the park.)

“Olivia, when we get home from lunch, you have to take a nap.”

“Okay, so we go home, I take a nap, but then maybe we can play Kinect?”

“Well, first we need to have lunch, and if you behave in the restaurant you will have a better chance of playing, but I don’t know what we are doing after naptime, so please stop worrying about the Kinect.”

“I’m going to behave in the restaurant, and then take a nap and THEN play the Kinect?”

“Olivia, I’ve already told you what we are going to do, so please stop worrying about the Kinect right now.”

“But I REALLY want to play the Kinect, the Kinect is my favorite thing to play and I promise I will be good!”

“Olivia. If you say ‘Kinect’ one more time, you are not going to play with it. I’ve already told you that I don’t know if you can play because I don’t really know what we are doing this afternoon.”



“Yes baby?”

“I promise you I am going to be really good so I can play that game I was just talking about a minute ago.”


“You had to tell her not to say ‘Kinect’ didn’t you? Did you forget who you are dealing with?” Bill said to me, voice lowered, trying desperately to hold his laughter in.

“Olivia, you need to stop talking about the Kinect, the game, or anything ABOUT the game or Kinect. The whole entire idea of the game is closed for discussion for now, or you will not play it for a week.” Bill said, while biting his cheek.

Specifics, people, specifics. Olivia demands them.

8 comments to Specifics.

  • Merry Beth

    Ok, way to cute!! And, far to smart for her own good!!


    Natalie Reply:

    Ain’t that the damn truth. She’s already asked this morning “after we go outside to play, after our lunch, after our nap and after we play with play doh, maybe we can play Kinect.”

    It’s neverending.


  • I bought E a Kinect for his birthday last week and he loves it. Little Evan is too young to really understand but likes to stand with Daddy and jump and wave his arms around anyways.

    I sort of feel like “video games” implies sitting on the couch zoning out, while things like the Kinect and the Wii involve jumping up and down and being active and therefor aren’t the same kind of super-regulated activity I’m going to worry about. I know the Wii tires me out the same way a long walk does, so I’m just happy there’s an indoor alternative for rainy cold days.


    Natalie Reply:

    It is fun! We also love the Wii, and you’re absolutely right, it has been a lifesaver when the weather was bad outside. I also totally agree w/ you on the active video games concept, but I was trying to ward off the “oh video games are bad for you” comments, thereby not having to deal with my desire to stab people in the neck with a fork. ;oP

    Did you know that they are coming out with a Kinect Sesame Street game in the fall? Bill is so excited he’s already told Olivia about it, much to my chagrin, b/c now she says “When that Sesame Street game comes out, I can make my own monster and play on Sesame Street with the Sesame Street Friends.” Um, yeah, in 9 MONTHS!

    Sophia is almost to the point where she understands to do more than just jump around and throw her hands up when Olivia does, she can “plug the holes” in the underwater game on Kinect Adventures. She just enjoys seeing her pictures at the end.


  • Raven

    Oh, the birthing of your evil genius is such an interesting process to read about. I love how clever she is, although I am glad I’m not the one who has to keep a straight face as her parent. Her antics always make me laugh out loud.


    Natalie Reply:

    She is so freaking clever, it’s scary sometimes. She’s done that before, the whole “you know that thing, you said I can’t say? I want to do that.” So I don’t know why I phrased my ‘threat’ in that way. Probably b/c I was so tired of hearing the word Kinect and I was hungry.

    Also? It is INCREDIBLY hard to keep a straight face, and we often fail miserably, but we try.


  • You are romping right on the edge of #nofaces with that one, aren’t you? I’m not looking forward to negotiation. Right now, we just have yes, no and screaming.


    Natalie Reply:

    I really am. I was on the fence w/ it, but I decided that side face is ALMOST #noface so it would be okay. Oh, negotiations are amusing, to say the least. Annoying sometimes, yes, but it is kind of fun to see the little wheels turning. I’ve had more than one person comment to me in Target/grocery store/etc: “oh, she’s a little lawyer, that one, isn’t she?” because we negotiate practically everything. Or at least discuss cause/effect/why/where/how. She’s inquisitive, that’s for sure.


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