Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Electronic Love and Hate...Worried But Not...

      Isobel: "Daddy, when are you going to work?"
      Daddy: "About nine o'clock."
      Isobel: "So you would have time to watch me in the pool?"
      Daddy: "I'm writing. If I get this finished in time then, I will come and watch you."
      Isobel: "So that means never, then."
      Daddy: "If you keep bugging me it does.,"
      Isobel: "I was just saying."
      Daddy: "And I was just saying, every time you stop to ask me if I can watch you swim now, which you                are going to do, then the longer it is going to take me to write.
      Isobel: (Stomping toward the stairs) "I was JUST saying."
      Daddy: "And if you pitch a fit and stomp upstairs, you can forget it altogether."
      Isobel: "Crap...I'm going outside."

      The Boy has an obsession...it is the computer and he is hopelessly obsessed with it. In much the same way that a junkie needs his fix, The Boy needs that box. He has been threatened with losing it...ad nauseum. He has a six hour time limit. He has lost it and gained it back and lost it again and he will continue to lose it and win it back again I am certain. None of it has curbed his enthusiasm or behaviour..
      I'm not sure I see the lure of the games he plays. There are games (some which I play myself) on X-box and Playstation which are like playing a cartoon. The graphics are beyond realistic but he insists on playing games that look like the came out sometime in the mid eighties. Blocky slow moving awkward characters and completely lo res graphics and backgrounds. It's like wandering around in a bad digital photo and he is nuts about them.
      I asked him what was so cool about the games and he answered without really answering; "They're really cool and imaginative and ...really fun." So are jigsaw puzzles but nobody ever got hollered at over them.
      "If you don't put down that god-damned edge piece, you won't see another jigsaw puzzle for two weeks." It even reads ridiculous.
      So it must be something else. I thought back to my own obsessions when I was his age. For the most part it was music and wanting to play it but and it is a gigantic but, I remember running up a healthy phone bill
back in the days of pre-recorded dial a porn, courtesy of my father's dirty magazine collection. I think two or three hundred dollars is a conservative estimate of just how hung up I was on Traci Lords and her ilk. But there isn't anything like that on any of his games and even if there were, eight bit boobies wouldn't be worth the price of admission.
      Still, he is hooked and I needed to know why...
      I don't think I had an aha moment about the whole thing but I think, after listening to a few of his gaming conversations, I got it. The Boy has ADD and one of the results of this condition is that his social skills can be a little behind where many think they should be. I don't intend this to be a debate on the semantics of where a thirteen year old boy's social skills should lie but suffice it to say that we felt they might be a little behind. At any rate, it was when he began playing these games that we noticed a change in him. He started swearing and even dropping the occasional, unintentional F-bomb and laughing and carrying on with the people who were in his headphones. All the things that one figures a budding teen aged boy should be doing-he was now doing. And I think I figured it out.
       There while he was sitting at the computer, was all of the social interaction with his peer group with no repercussions. No
other boys to tell him what he said was stupid to his face and embarrass him in front of has friends. Nobody to gang up on him and maybe pick on him or bully him because they think him different. Why wouldn't he be obsessed with going back to this place? I don't know if it is populated by people like The Boy but I suspect there are more than a couple.
      I think, and I may be stretching a little or maybe not so much, that all of this cyber confidence building has translated into the real world. He has had little or no problems with anyone at school, I don't recall hearing anything about him being picked on this year. Sure he is getting older and hormones will change everything but I'd like to think that this particular rabbit hole he has gone into with so many other kids, has given him an arsenal that he might not other wise have. And that's pretty god damned amazing...as long as he doesn't go over six hours.

      Izzy went back to the doctor today. A follow up to headaches she had been having a while back. As for the headaches, we were mostly in agreement that it likely had more to do with dehydration as anything else. There was however, something a little more shocking. On the first go around, her blood pressure was on the high side. High enough that that they took three more readings
      Now my family has a history of kidney stone making and so urine tests were ordered to rule out any connection between kidneys and blood pressure. (of which there are a fair amount) I wasn't really worried as I figured the doctor would have shown some sense of concern if she thought there were something really amiss.
      I wasn't worried until Mrs. Narrator visited the Google Doctor and came up with a gruesome list of insidious diseases that attack children and cause high blood pressure. I might be a little worried now. I still think that the doctor might have said something like; 'Mr. Baker, I don't want to alarm you but it could be...' right?
      I'm going to be pretty pissed off when it turns out that she had high blood pressure because she was afraid to fart in the doctor's office.

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