Mr. Buttons was happy this morning. But he was very angry last night. So was I.

The teacher sent home a note indicating that at least a week’s worth of reading homework had not been done. By a kid who loves to read! My husband and I were very disappointed because we ask him every day if he has homework; he’s been lying. And he did not respond well to being called out.

I talked it out with him, though, and after a minor blow-up and lots of sharing (I didn’t always do my homework) and truth-telling (look at the 2nd-graders; you wanna hang back a year and be with them instead of your friends?), we decided to seriously limit video games.

Video games. The scourge of healthy child development. My son will go without eating, pooping, or doing his homework to preserve his video game time. I didn’t have this struggle growing up. The Atari and the Nintendo were never competition for outdoor play. They were fun, but not consuming.

So, we have a problem. What does a family do about a problem? My husband and my son do not get along well. Talking is uncomfortable. The old me would just take over and do the hard work of policing new boundaries. The new me waits. And waits. And waits. And I talk to my husband. I say the same things over and over. Calmly, usually (I can’t be havin’ emotions now, can I??): I think the video games are a problem that will only get worse. I think he’s addicted to them. I think he’ll be fine without them. I want a unanimous understanding of the new boundaries. I want unflagging commitment. I want communication and support. And I don’t think that makes me a heinous bitch.

But I do have brief fantasies of throwing a chair at my husband, which does make me a tad abusive. God bless him and strengthen him to face conflict in his own home. We gotta set some traps for these creepers or they will detonate and destroy our family!


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