Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Candle Trick

What's it like to be the sibling of an ASD kid?  I don't know, but I do remember that before Happy Trouble came along, I used to play lots of games with my eldest.  Video games, boardgames, card games -- we had a blast.  Our family did a lot more camping and outdoorsy stuff too.  We had an awesome NINE day raft trip with some good friends.

That's not happening these days.  Ben almost always needs someone's attention.  He's sleeping across my knees right now (the only way he'll nap).  Lovely Wife works many hours a week (she's working right now), and there are always chores to be done (I'm still looking at some dirty pots from Thanksgiving).  Thankfully, Eldest is having a playdate at a friend's house, so something fun is happening for him.

Anyway, yesterday, I decided that we'd try the new Zelda game for the wii -- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword .  We used to love the old one back in N64 days, and I thought we could all settle down after leftovers and give it a try.  It might even entertain Ben.

I loaded the boys up in the car and we whipped over to the Blockbuster where we are signed up for the new monthly program.  Oh no!  They were all out!  As Ben dragged me around the store, grabbing for all the candy displays, the clerk let me know that the Millcreek Blockbuster had it in stock.  "Do I still get it for free as part of the program?"  "No."  *sigh*

We gloomily got back in the car (after a brief chase around the parking lot for Ben).  I looked at Eldest and though about how much he'd been looking forward to some family gaming.  It wasn't a hard decision.  We headed to the Millcreek Blockbuster and picked it up (with more candy grabbing/Ben wrangling).  Yay!

We zipped home and made some lunch.  Eldest put the game in to try it out.  Oh no!  It requires the Wii MotionPlus !  We don't have that!  We can't do it!

By the time Ben got his walkabout, nap across my knees, snack, and some backyard playing, it was 4:00.  We headed to BestBuy...on Black Friday.  I'm sure it was worse in the morning, but it was still pretty dadgum chaotic...a great place for an autistic kid.  We did it though...we found the thing, waded through the herd, and zerbitted our way through the checkout line.  Yay!  Nothing can stop us now!

We got home, and I started pulling out the leftovers.  Our microwave died a while back (killed by Poppodoms ), so you have to get started early, even with leftovers.  Eldest came upstairs, completely dejected.  It wasn't some point in the process, the cursor would not show up.  "Ok...we'll figure this out."

And we did figure it  out (thank you Google).  Our "sensor bar" had gone bad.  It turns out that the sensor bar on the wii is really just 2 clusters of infrared lights.  You can see them if you look at them through the iphone camera.  Plain as day, only one of ours showed up.  What to do?  Put a lit candle in front of each cluster.  It worked!  Yay!

Ok, it wasn't my dream game evening -- no way would Ben sit still for lit candles that easily reached.  Still, he eventually went to bed and the rest of us got to hang out with Zelda (I fell asleep on the floor).

Tip o the day:

Cut the cord.  We cut cable a while back and just use it for internet access.  The way things are, we can't let a television show tell us when we can watch it anyway.  We have hulu and netflix and a computer and we can decide when to start watching something.  We can pause it when we need to.  There's a whole lotta content out there that's great, and we're saving about a hundred bucks a month.

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