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Friday, September 25, 2009

Full Metal Jacket

written by Deb

I had an awful feeling before I heard the first bullet fire. Maybe it was the helicopter hovering ominously overhead. Or perhaps it was the lifeless bodies strewn haphazardly on the empty village street. Then suddenly, as the second and third shots rang out, I saw him fall to the ground. The pleading screams and guttural moans began.

REALLY?! Is it that big of a deal?" I asked, as my son slumped in his chair, letting the video game control drop from his hands. Such a scene, you would have thought he had actually been shot, rather than his macho little character that he had so lovingly created over time to meet exact, true-to-life specifications.

YES! I was trying to earn an AK-47!!"

"How do you do that?" Did I
really want to know the answer?

"By winning the battle and getting 3 close-range kills," he explained.

I couldn't believe what I heard next,
coming from my own mouth! "Oh honey, don't worry, I'm sure you'll kill them all next time. Maybe try the bazooka... Or you could even impale them with your bayonet. Remember how excited you were when you earned the bayonet?"

I could see his mood begin to lift. "Yeah, I'll try again later. Do you want to play?"

"Me? But I don't know what to do!" I hesitated.

"C'mon, Mom, it's easy. You just shoot people." I am fairly certain he rolled his eyes.

"Okay, but you can't laugh!" I took the control and kind of punched at the buttons, hoping to miraculously live for longer than 2 seconds. "OH! I think I got that guy!" I exclaimed. I was so proud of myself and felt invigorated by my obviously natural talent to kill. Right as I was aiming at my second victim, out of nowhere, I was mauled by a rabid wild dog. "Ughhhhhhh... I was so close!!!"

"It's alright, Mom. You did okay," he said as he patted me on the shoulder.

Before he took the control back, he leaned over to snuggle with our dog that had been napping at his feet during this whole scene. He kissed the top of her head and jumped back into the game...

Oh, and as I left the room, he must have been too wrapped up in the game to realize what he was saying...

"Love you, Madre."

"I love you, too, sweet boy. Thanks for letting me play."

I know some of you might call me a bad mother, perpetuating violence at best... creating a monster for the next generation, at worst.

Me? I just call it quality time and count my blessings. By morning, we will have fought over homework, breakfast, and whether or not he had actually washed his hair. So to me, a shared defeat in the jungles of Saigon is simply paradise.


  1. This post made me teary. Swear.

    Oh to find that common ground. I've had to commiserate over Mario Kart blow outs. If it buys me another couple moments of "mama can fix everything," I'll be there.

    Love that he calls you Madre :-).

  2. I seriously love this post. From now on, I dub you G.I. Deb.

    Or Ice-Deb.

    Or Gangsta Sox?

  3. Take what you can get, right? I'm all for that, even if it involves a few guns and a killing in a video game.

  4. haha. My boy finds it so entertaining for me to play video games with him; probably because I come in last place every single time. But he makes me feel so good cuz he actually wants to help me become a better player. Seriously, it shows his kind side; he sincerely thinks I've got it in me.
    I don't.


  5. Oh Deb, you are such a fun nut!

    Good luck in your violent bonding with your son! I'm proud to say I've been bonding with my sons with the game: Plants vs. Zombies!

    I love it!


  6. I worry about Graham pretending to be the characters he sees on TV... even though he usually chooses to be a good guy and not a bad guy, he still gets pretty violent, torturing every stuffed animal within reach, punching, kicking and flinging them around the house.

    Last night he assigned us all characters; I was Doc Oc from Spiderman. We wrestled. I kicked Spidey's ass.

  7. Oh Deb - this made me laugh out loud.

    My kids are still pretty young (5&7). I've got a real lover, snuggler who always wants mama time (5yo), and I've got one that really doesn't want any mama bonding time (7yo). I can see the writing on the wall with that one and I'll take any kind of bonding I can get with her - even if it means I need to kill a few bad guys along the way.

    I say Go Get 'Em Madre and earn that bazooka!

  8. I love when you write about your boys, Deb. You're a few years ahead with I get a taste of what's to come with my two guys.

    Bonding over bloodshed...whatever works. By his, "Love you Madre" I'd say you're doing a pretty great job :-)

  9. You're lucky! I did that once - took over the controls for my boy and what a shock! The game was Diablo, and as my character walked out of the "safe area," it was attacked by a monster. So I hit back and before I knew it I was attacking another and another.... That was several years ago and I'm still playing that game - only version 2 and waiting for version 3 to come out sometime this year! You're lucky - you didn't get sucked into it like me! lol

  10. Wow, Deb, this truly got to me, I'm not a big fan of violent video games, but you know the saying - "walk a mile in my shoes"...? I can't judge when I don't have boys. The connection with your son is just precious no matter the setting - you embraced engaging him on his level, in his comfort zone and you totally RULED the day! Great job, madre! :)

    I truly can't imagine any scene like this in my household full of girls! Maybe if there was a video game where barbie poked her girlfriends in the eyes and stole their boyfriends...


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