Weekends and Motivation

I had such high hopes going into the weekend.  I had a bunch of things that needed to be done, and was thinking I was really going to do them over the weekend.

Starting with cleaning the basement, reogranizing the garage again and doing a lot of yardwork.

Teresa came down and took care of the basement almost single-handedly.  I had already been trying to cajole the boys into doing some cleaning down here, and kind of half-heartedly done some cleaning myself.  But there was NO motivation.  Usually when I get started in something like that it creates it’s own motivation… but no, there was none. 

While Teresa was doing an overhaul of the boys’ toy organization, I was typing out a blog about Diet Coke surveys.  Ahh well.

Then at 9:47am I realized that the Pokemon gathering that the boys wanted to go to starts at 10am.  That’s when I decided to go and take a shower… 10:05am we leave the driveway, on our way.  Didn’t really have motivation to do that, either, but there I was.

The gathering went really well.  Tyler has finished the Pokemon Gameboy games we’ve gotten them, and Cameron loves watching the Pokemon movies and TV shows, so they’ve had a bit of interest in Pokemon.  They’ve never really asked for the card-game, but the event mentioned the Nintendo DS games, and the card game.  Tyler sent an e-mail to Teresa (responding to the meeting announcement she had sent him) saying, "We need two Nintendo DS for this please".  He wrote it on a sticky note here on my desk and then typed it into the e-mail.

Umm, yeah.  How about cards instead?

Therefore, Friday on the way home from PE we stopped and got some Pokemon cards.  I was picking them up from Lifetime Fitness where they spend every Friday doing phys-ed.  The last meeting they swim for 2 hours, and Teresa had some errands to run so I went and picked them up.  Tyler told me then, "Mom said for us to stop and get cards, and if we can’t then to call her and let her know." 

Tyler calls Teresa ‘Mom’ now, not ‘Mommy’, and I’m to be called ‘Dad’ now, not ‘Daddy’.  Tyler sent an e-mail to Teresa about that, too, when she mentioned ‘Daddy’ in an e-mail.

Back to Saturday… we get there and it’s pure bedlam.  Kids everywhere, noise, noise, noise.  Zack, Emma, David, and Gina were near the back, along with some new friends (never caught their names).  The table is like an auction house as kids take the name ‘Trading Card Game’ very seriously.  Kids holding up a card saying "Who wants (fill in the name of a pokemon here)!"  I think most kids think that the trading IS the game.  Tyler, though, wants to play someone, and doesn’t want to trade.  I can see him sitting there asking, but nobody is interested.  I recognize the disappointment I see…  flashback time again….

The Monday after the kids got back from camping (where they had a smorgasbord of kids to play with) Tyler wanted to play ‘store’ with Cameron.  Cameron didn’t want to play store, but wanted to do something different.  It tore Tyler up wanting to do something and not having someone to want to play it with him (it was during my work-hours after 3 days off, so I had quite a bit of catching up to do).  I felt for him, since that’s a lot like the games I’ve always wanted to play, with no one to play them with me.. Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering… etc, etc.

Back to Pokemon… finally a boy walks up, "Who wants to battle!"  Tyler jumps at the chance!  I tell the boy that Tyler’s never battled before, that we just got the cards, so take it slow through the rules.  He says, "Sure!" and they walk off.  I sit down next to Cameron and explain to him that if he trades away his good cards, he won’t be able to play his deck well.  He says he doesn’t want to play just yet and keeps trading.  I sigh the ‘I know I’m right because I’m a parent and you’re just the kid’ sigh, but leave him to his fun, with strict instructions not to trade one of his cards, that I know is his best card.  It’s the card showing the Pokemon on the cover of the box the deck came in, so I have a pretty good idea that that card is important.

I seek out Tyler, and sit next to them to help him through the battle rules.    Tyler’s frowning a bit… I sit and listen and realize very quickly this kid is playing by his own rules.  There is not a thing wrong with that, but that’s not how Tyler wanted to play.  He wanted to play by the REAL rules.  I explain it a bit to the boy, and I promise Tyler to get a deck for myself and play against him later.

After some special Pokemon ice cream, and Tyler and Zack starting to sit down and play a battle (why do the words ‘We’re leaving soon’ mean ‘Time to start something we can’t finish in time’ to kids?), we need to get back home to do all those things I’m absolutely not motivated to do.

I had been hoping to get a good amount done since our new neighbors, Chris and Veronica (and their boy Alex who has become good friends with the boys) are having a 40th Birthday party for Chris.  I came home and swept underneath the deck, and pulled out all the tables/chairs we had under there in semi-storage, decided that was enough work for one day.  Teresa and I headed over.

Like most parties where you don’t know a single soul, we just sat there for a while.  Different groups of people who all knew each other were clustered a bit, and so it was kind of hard to just jump into a conversation.  The cluster of work friends were talking about work-type things, and others were talking about their commonalities.  But we came home and put some beer in a cooler, and headed back over.  Tyler asked me to play him Pokemon, and since we didn’t really know anyone I told him to bring the cards and we’d play over there.  And we did… and he won.  He didn’t like the rule that if you knock out 6 pokemon then you win because he wanted to keep the game going.  We were battling the wind at the time, though, and I was wanting to at least try to be social, so I decided we’d abide by the rules.  Rules are rules!  Especially when they work in Daddy’s favor!  Cameron wanted to play, so Teresa played him.

My weak efforts to socialize (everyone was still pretty clustered, and it’s hard to get them to open up their conversation circles) availed naught, so I sat next to Cameron while he was playing.  Quickly I saw that fallout from his trading.  Not that he didn’t do a good job trading… it was just now that he didn’t have the ‘right’ kind of cards in his deck to use them.

After that game the boys went back to the house to play video games… Harley and Bingo got out, and Teresa went off to look for him.  I decided to head back to the house, too, thinking I’ll come back later when it’s dark and there’s a fire going.  Much easier to get to talk to people around a fire than break into the ‘clusters’.  Back at the house I played Smash Brothers’ Brawl on the Wii with the boys, and had a lot of fun with them.

It got dark, and we could smell the fire so I went back over and as I suspected people were around the fire and it was easier to ‘meet’.  I need to remember this for future parties… try to get something to be the center of attention that everyone will gravitate to, so the clusters don’t form.  I had a good time late into the night (part of which was helping Chris break down all the tables and chairs, and generally clean up over there)… which lead to a lack of motivation for Sunday.  I did manage to get the lawn mowed, however.  Then after I fulfilled my promises to Cameron to play Pokemon with him, I went to sleep at 6pm for the rest of the night.


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