Friday, May 23, 2008

Who are you and what have you done with my son?

I think ES was possessed by aliens tonight. When I first got home, ES was being a pain in the butt about doing his homework. He did it, but with a lot of flippant attitude and drama. I said to myself, "Self, it's gonna be one of those days."

Then, it was as if someone flipped a light switch in his head and he became the most pleasant and easy to get along with child on the face of the planet. He WATCHED me play Wii Fit for like 20 minutes without once asking if he could have a turn. He came inside when it was time for dinner and ate his dinner. When he asked to be excused from dinner, I told him to get his dry erase board so we could practice his spelling.

In my mind I sorta cringed and waited for the firestorm of whining in response, but he didn't whine or complain at all. He went and got his dry erase board and sat down next to me on the family room floor. It was actually downright FUN to practice his spelling with him tonight, and he did such a good job at it that we only had to practice once. He finished so early with his spelling that he still had time to go outside and play with J & M across the street for a good 30 minutes. When LW told him to come inside because it was time for a bath, he came right in, went to the bathroom, and got undressed without ANY fuss.

While I was giving him a bath, he started asking me questions about what country is Rome in and we started talking about what continent Italy is in and what other countries are in that continent. Somehow our conversation drifted to Russia and the Cold War and the differenced between communism and capitalism and the Vietnam War and the Korean War. We finished his bath and came down to read a bedtime story.

For his "bedtime story" he picked out his enormous Encyclopedia of Modern Military Aircraft that he got for sale at Borders. He said he wanted to pick out one airplane to read about. I said okay, sure.

He picked out the "flying porcupine." (Disclaimer: I cannot confirm nor deny any information on that website. To tell you the truth, I didn't even read the text, I just saw that it had pictures, so I put the link here.) I sorta winced as I thought about how to explain what the plane does in unclassified terms that were easy for a first grader to understand. He seemed to enjoy reading about it nonetheless.

We went upstairs for the usual bedtime routine of brushing his teeth and getting in bed, and as usual I asked him what his favorite parts about today were before we said prayers. Do you know what he said?!?! He said his favorite parts of today were:
- Playing with J & M across the street (no brainer, that's a given)
- Watching Daddy play Wii (who knew Daddy's lack of balance on the Wii Fit board could be so entertaining?)
- Practicing his spelling with Daddy (Cue theme song to Twilight Zone - I just about died when he said that)
- Drinking orange soda with Daddy (I let him try it, and he really liked it)

Wow... I'm speechless. (Not typeless mind you, just speechless). Why can't every night be like this? Was Father's Day moved to today and I just didn't get the memo?

BT BT (Break Break - shifting topics slightly)

Have I mentioned how cool Wii Fit is?

Tonight I tried doing the yoga moves. (Hey, don't laugh, and don't knock it 'til you try it). LW scored higher than me on all but one of the yoga poses. It gives you a score based on your ability to maintain your center of balance on the board while doing poses like the Tree.

With Wii Fit, you get this Balance Board to stand on. Don't be alarmed! I was thinking it was going to be some wobbly thing that I wouldn't be able to stand on without risking substantial injury to my ankles. No, no, no. This board sits flat on the floor like a bathroom scale, but it senses your weight and which way you're leaning.

This is the Wii Fit board. It's very solid and immobile. Notice the crosshair lines so you can tell where the center of the board is. It senses when you shift your center of gravity (lean) forward or backward or left or right.

For the yoga and strength exercises, you can choose whether you want a male personal trainer...

...or a female personal trainer. LW says the female trainer's voice is annoying. These last two images were of the demonstration of the "tree" in yoga.

When you actually DO the yoga exercise, the screen looks like this. The gray rectangle represents the Wii Fit balance board. The yellow circle is your target where it wants you to keep your center of gravity balanced. The red dot that is moving around on the screen is where your center of gravity really IS. Notice the red trail swirling around from my horrible balance... the camera in my hand may have had something to do with that. The blue circle in the background slowly grows and collapses to guide your breathing.

For the aerobic exercises and the balance exercises, it has several activities to choose from that all have more of a silly video-game appearance. This is YB playing the soccer head-butt balance game.

One of our other favorites is the ski-jump. You start out crouching down. The objective is to hold your center of gravity (the red dot) as close as possible to the blue dot on the balance board display (upper right corner).

When you get to the bottom of the ramp, you quickly stand up to launch yourself into the air.

Yeah, LW holds the top record on the ski jump, too. I need more practice...


Sagey said...

I was sitting here reading about the porcupine and communism thinking to myself, "Please please don't deploy again. I had a hard enough time dealing with ES's in depth questions when he was in Kindergarten!" But then I realized by the time you go again he will be able to type his own emails to you. Ahh I may be saved! :-)

Oh and have I mentioned my legs/hips are sore... that Wii Fit is a good work out!

C said...

Dang it. I have been resisting a Wii for months now, but the Wii Fit may be my downfall.