Posts Tagged ‘PS3’

Six pack

Two wet weeks of the Christmas school holiday are nearly over. We’ve been at home, had a few visitors, but mostly just the five of us.


Robin noticed on Boxing Day that all his presents were for outdoor activities. He found an indoor pursuit to specialise in during the wet days. L has a large, weighted hula-hoop as an exercise aide. The kids have played with it occasionally, but Robin has mastered it. First he managed one minute; then five minutes. He announced he would do ten minutes, which he did and kept going and going for 25 minutes. Everyone else who tries winces at the discomfort, but he’s building an abdomen of rock.


Eliza is the most comfortable of the three with indoor activities. She received Cluedo for Christmas and won her second game, taking out her closest challenger with an assassination move before coasting to victory. Eliza has also been learning card tricks. She takes equal delight in developing a patter as she does with the illusion.

Eliza’s other enthusiasm has been Tutpup, an on-line maths and spelling competition. She has worked her way up the levels, racing competitors from across the world and reached 10th place on the global leader board this afternoon.


For Gabe, the holiday means time to play FIFA. With a new TV he can do this in his bedroom. Most efforts to get the kids out of the house are met with his ill-humour as they frustrate his efforts to dedicate the holiday to PS3.

But there is another side: when we have visitors, Gabe shows charm and sociability on a level I can only aspire to. Whether children his age or younger, or adults, he talks, engages in games and continues to project to the world his mature, positive self.

Onesie and polar bear


This cold January has given Eliza plenty of opportunity to sport two of her Christmas presents. From bath time until after breakfast the next day, she’s enveloped in her pink, downy onesie. From its shaped feet with non-slip soles to its hood with dainty ears she looks like a benign Max from ‘Where the Wild Things Are’.

Outside, Eliza wears her hat-scarf-gloves combo shaped as the head, front legs and paws of a polar bear. And it’s the wild predator’s paw that I get to hold on the walk to school while this wintry weather persists.


We watched a plane fly overhead as we walked to school, discussing where it was going. Portugal, Robin thought. Then he mumbled something that at second hearing I understood to be that he didn’t like going to the toilet on a plane. A few steps later he stopped me, beckoned me to stoop to hear him whisper: where does the poo and wee from a plane’s toilet go? I said I thought it was emptied when the plane landed. Robin was relieved: he didn’t want wee landing in his hair.

Later that day, he told L that he had done a ballet dance in the playground toilet for his friend A, who had wanted to see ballet. A had given him 10 for the performance.


Reclined on a bean-bag, control in hand, chunky, old-fashioned portable TV in front, Gabe is in some idyllic state in his room. Each day he uses his PS3 allowance, almost exclusively on FIFA13. He’s absorbed by the manager mode, buying and selling players, trying to lift his side up the table. But still wanting an audience when he’s scored a particularly skilful goal in the match mode.

Rampant materialism, happy kids

This Christmas, L and I have shocked ourselves at our consumption on our kids’ behalf. To Eliza, a Kindle Fire. To Gabe, after much agonising, a PS3 and a 2nd hand portable TV, so it doesn’t dominate the living room set. To Robin, new football boots, ball and goal. It was like a mini, intra-familial arms race, where we were providing the combatants with weapons of mass-distraction.

Each of them has said that it was the best Christmas ever. Two days later and they are experiencing the rest of the month as an anti-climax, but they don’t take much persuading to return to the loot that provided the high on the 25th.

The night of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning was tense and expectant. Robin woke as Santa was about to deliver, but was guided back to bed, via loo. Eliza was awake at 2.30am, sitting up in bed with light on and laden stocking lying beside her, squeezed and sized up but not violated. She thinks she stayed awake until 4am. There were general stirrings at 6am and by half-past all three were up and waiting for the magical hour of seven.

We will introduce the word ‘austerity’ in 2013.