Monday, January 03, 2005

Turn your back for one minute ...

I've always had a policy of watching my son every minute, sometimes to ridiculous extremes, and it's worked out well for us, getting him safely at least as far as age 11 now. He's had a little maturity leap this year, and so I've been loosening the reins ever so slightly, supervising him less and less while he's safe at home. So when his friend came over yesterday, I let my boy get the door and let his friend in. I could hear enough from my bedroom -- our floor plan is pretty compact -- to know that they were setting up a video game, as they usually do, presumably one of my daughter's racing games. I don't allow anything not rated E for Everything In It's OK with Mom, so as long as there were no loud crashing noises coming from the living room, I figured things were fine and a little less Mom-hanging-over-the-shoulder was socially appropriate.

Silly me. Turns out my son's friend, the little darling, had brought his own video game to play: Grand Theft Auto Vice City, a game I don't even let my kids look at the cover of in the video-game store. If adults want to play it, I reserve the right to cluck disapprovingly, but whatever. Who, though, would think it was a good idea to give it to an 11-year-old? And now here it was in my own quiet living room. I had to resist the urge to spray the Playstation with Lysol. I told the friend in no uncertain terms that he was never to play that game here again, and that any future games would have to pass my inspection before being slipped into any machine in our house. Meanwhile, my son chirped happily for the rest of the day about carjacking and murder. Maybe this having a friend stuff isn't all that great an idea after all.

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