Maybe I wanted him to jump up and down and squeal and gush about how I was the best mommy ever in the whole world. Maybe that's why I tapped "buy" on Star Wars Angry Birds on Wednesday morning. Or maybe I was just thinking that it was a cheap way to get him to leave me alone for a bit while I tried to debug a particularly irritating animation for the new app.
Not that either of them is an especially noble motivation (is there a noble motivation for buying Star Wars Angry Birds?), but at least if it had been the first reason, I would have been gratified.
Because he did jump up and down and cheer for me (MomMEE! MomMEE!) and tell me I was such a nice mommy, the best mommy in the whole wide world. Soon, he was playing the game and enthusiastically narrating the whole thing for me (sweet, but not exactly the peace and quiet I might have imagined). He starred the first level and... then began the downward spiral.
It was frustrating, he didn't know how to go to the next level (neither did I), he wanted me to fix it (I refused to try), he found a screen that said we could buy ourselves a jump to Alderon for $1.99, which he DESPERATELY wanted (I refused). About this point, I became the meanest mommy in the whole wide world and a major meltdown was coming ashore. I explained that he should actually be mad at the people who make Angry Birds because they were the ones who decided to put in that button that said you could pay to skip all the levels. He wailed.
This general scene has repeated more than once since Wednesday, of course. Eventually, calm returns, he plays with something else or goes back to Angry Birds and, with a fresh perspective and some tension released, clears the level. Then we're back to jumping and enthusiastic narration and pointing and wanting me to see. Or he keeps failing the level and finds some new thing that you clearly MUST buy if you're ever going to pass the level (a gold Millenium Falcon for $10.99! he WANTS it! he NEEDS it! I am the MEANEST! Oh! Look! *This* spaceship over *here* only costs... How much does it cost, Mommy?).
The whining for the $1.99 jump to Alderon finally stopped this morning when I explained that we bought the game for him to play it and so I wasn't going to pay more money so that he could play less of it. He seemed surprised, asked some clarifying questions, considered briefly, and then said, in what I have come to think of as his I-am-a-completely-reasonable-nearly-all-grown-up-human-being-even-though-I-was-just-bawling-so-hard-snot-was-smearing-all-over-my-face voice, "Never mind, Mommy, I don't want to jump to Alderon anymore."
Shortly afterwards, in the same voice, he has a new proposal for me, "Could we hire somebody to help me play Angry Birds?"
Presumably because I've been telling him over and over that he knows more about it than I do and therefore I really can't help him.
"The most good person to hire would be Kenny," he informs me.
And who is Kenny?
"He's at my school. I don't know where he lives. He would be the best person to hire. He got the most targets in Angry Birds."