Thursday, December 27, 2007

That was then...this is now

It is 48 hours since we opened our gifts on Christmas morning. And I'm very aware of how different my Christmas has become.

A few years back, much of Christmas day and the days following would have been filled with assembling toys, helping kids figure out how to use toys, putting stickers and decals on toys, and playing with the kids and their toys.

Now, 48 hours since they opened their gifts, and the only times I've seen the kids have been at meals.

Son20, gleeful over two new games for his Xbox, has barely left his room. I'm sure there is some carpel tunnel stuff going on with that game controller. He has his headphone on, talking with other players around the globe, and barely aware of anything else. Oh sure, he has invited both siblings in to watch and to play. And he even told us how awesome the games were. But other than that, he hasn't been visible.

Son17 got a portable DVD player and some DVD's to watch. Other than checking with us about how to recharge the battery, we haven't talked with him much. For a while he sat in the same room with his headphones on and giggled at The Simpson's Christmas...but eventually we sent him to a different room so we could talk over the laughter.

And Daughter14...got a new iPod. She has shown up for meals...with her ear buds firmly in place. Other than that, it is as if she were abducted by aliens.

And don't get me wrong...our kids got other things. Books, clothes, etc. Things they had requested. But the electronic gadgetry was shining so brightly that those other items got lost in the glow.

Do I miss spending time putting together things? Playing with things? Swearing at the things that don't go together easily? Sure. I miss those days. But it sure feels more relaxing this way. And it even means I get to pay attention to my gifts! That never happened when the kids were young!

16 comments:

Mysti said...

Same thing happened here Em. Teenager has had those little buds in her ears ever since, and LB had had his new DS in tow. The new-stuff excitement will dwindle down soon enough, but it really does bite when they scatter to the wind and are no longer on top of you.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

i love that my kids are keeping busy too. we'[re having a good week due to new toys!

furiousBall said...

My little ones are still little ones, ergo, I'm assembling lincoln log cabns, making lego rescue trucks, and playing battleship.

Kati said...

ROFL!!! Yep!!!! The only "toy" DD is interested in is the new Wii she & her daddy got. Heck, that goes for DH as well.

Glad it's going much more peacefully around your place than it used to, but it is also a bit of a sad commentary on the way electronics have taken over our lives. Or, the way we've allowed them to take over our lives. (I say that from in my computer room, away from DH and DD as they play Mario Party 8 on the Wii. *wink*)

A very peaceful Happy New Year to you & yours, next!!!!

lotus07 said...

Everything changes.....but not necessarily for the better.

Thomas said...

Sounds good. At least they enjoyed it.

My 2 year old has spent the last 24 hours in front of her new play kitchen.

This kind of joy is going to pass, but is sure is cool to watch.

tv

Mama P said...

I was just talking to a friend about this tonight. Her 8 year old twins were mad about driving with us to look at lights. They wanted to hear their own tunes on their Ipods, not Xmas music. I can't blame them, but it scares me, too. It's like we're all in our own little worlds. But then again, as I type this, my husband is beside me on the internet also. I suppose it's all balance? Accck... it's hard. You have a positive outlook though.

Jocelyn said...

I'm still in the throes of the assemblage and constant-attention years...and I must admit, a little envious of the relaxing Christmas. As I long for a few minutes to sit down and do something I want to do, instead of putting together the Polly Wheels "Race to the Mall" track again, I'll take heart from the way you signal my near-future.

I'll read when they're 15.

Melody said...

Hahaha...I liked this post a lot Em. We know all about pulling stuff out of packaging, assembling, playing around this neck of the woods... I can see why you'd miss it, but then again, look at the peace and quiet you got in return!!

Pavel said...

ditto over here...

My kids got that new Guitar Hero and all three play together ALL DAY!!!
At least I'm invited to watch...

charlotta-love said...

...I want an iPod.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Sounds like a great Christmas. I'm glad everyone had fun.

Jeff said...

I still in your "few years back" stage with my kids.

wisdomstuff said...

I spent about 4 hours putting stuff together, I'd start on one thing and they'd open two more inquiring when I'd have those done. It was crazy. I don't think I'll miss the toy days but they did have fun. My back on the other hand......

Winston said...

What you are experiencing, which almost all parents are experiencing, is most likely one of the final blows to the traditional nuclear family. Technology has done that to us, has given our kids a reason and reward to immerse themselves in the connectedness, the music, the challenge of games. Participation in family activities pales in comparison to the immediate thrills delivered by technology.

We too are guilty, be it more balanced. Internet and email and blogging have sucked us in and changed our lives. It has its own rewards, but I am sad at times when I think of what we have forfeit ed...

CS said...

Ah, yes - I know this story. My kids are both captivated by Runescape, and my 11-year-old also plays a computer game called Civilization. The GPS he got is also elctronic, but at least it gets him out an exploring. My 14 year old alternate smost of his time between his regular electric guitar and his new bass.