I love my sister. Dearly. She is wonderful, creative, thoughtful and fun. She has a knack for making things beautiful. She also has a weakness for Webkinz.
For any of you who might not know what a "Webkinz" is... a Webkinz is simply a stuffed animal. Upon purchasing said animal you open a little thing attached to their ear, neck, leg, waist... (I don't really know what part it's attached to because, unlike my sister, I avoid Webkinz at all costs)... that has a code on it. This code gets you into a "virtual world" for your new pet. My sister's darling children have owned a Webkinz, or perhaps several Webkinz pets for a few years now. My sister thinks it's great fun and loves to help her children take care of their "pet" in the "virtual world".
For several years (probably since she bought her first "pets") my sister has told me that I should get these for my kids and I've resisted in every manner possible. I have even told her that I don't need any other reason for my children to want to get onto some think-for-you, creativity-sapping electronic device (in this case, the computer) and exisit, even for a little bit, in some non-physical plane that is NOT reality (ie., the Webkinz world). They get enough of that with our Wii that I don't let them play very often.
So, mid-December, my sister called me several times while I was in a movie theater. I had my phone on vibrate, so I didn't hear the calls and my phone was in my purse so I didn't see the calls either. When I got out of the theater, I noticed her missed calls and called her back. She told me that she had been in a store and they had Webkinz for only $5 and she was wondering if she could get one for a gift for each my children. She remembered that I didn't really want them for my kids, hence the calling, but since she couldn't get a hold of me, she made an executive decision and bought them anyway. I'm not gonna lie, this announcement made my blood boil a little bit. I suppose I could've told her she needed to take them back to the store, but that's not my style. It's a gift, after all, and she loves them but doesn't understand why I don't want them in my life. So, I conceded. The gifts were given this last weekend.
My children flipped out. They were so excited. I was not.
Their cousins helped them log on and set up their world. They played on it some while they were at my mom's house over the weekend. Whatever.
This year I have suffered a severe post-Christmas crash. I pushed myself beyond my limits for several weeks, trying to do too much and not getting enough sleep in the process, not to mention the fact that I'm growing another human being in my body, which tends to sap energy. I have felt groggy every morning (including Christmas morning) and felt as though I could sleep until noon each day. (I haven't, but waking daily has been a serious challenge)
With that preface: Ella, upon waking this morning, came and climbed in my bed. This is normally a sweet thing. I love to converse with her in the mornings. But I was downright grumpy today as she tried to talk to me. And one of the first thing out of her mouth was something about how she needed to get online and feed "Marci" (her Webkinz) or Marci would die. Seriously? Your stuffed animal's electronic persona will die? I had no tolerance for it. I told her she better wait until I was a little more awake (like in a non-horizontal position) to talk to me about that.
I guess this is where I get to assert my position as "Mother" and just tell them too bad. Your little pet will have to live on whatever they get with a "once every couple weeks" visit online.
And, just for the record, I'm not mad at my sister. She made her choice to give them to my kids and I made my choice to NOT tell her to take them back. I now get to choose to be a "mean mom" who let's virtual pets go skeletal with malnutrition and neglect.
I just feel better for the telling of the story, so thanks for listening, Blog.