I HATE Yu-Gi-Oh!
My son walks around the house speaking another language. I don't understand a word of what he's saying, and more over, I don't care!
I loved it when his preschool teachers were teaching him Spanish. It was fun when the kindergarten class learned how to count in Mandarin. But what he's speaking now I hate, hate, hate!
It's Yu-Gi-Oh! And it sounds like this: "Awesome! Do you know the blue-eyed Double Dragon has 6,000 defense points and if I use it with a trap card, it can send any Gyroid or Jetroid to the graveyard if it is played right-side-up after my opponent plays the Ancient Gear Explosive spell card?!"
Huh? I look at him and he's wild-eyed with excitement. He's pacing the hall, shuffling through a thick deck of cards, just one of many such decks he owns. Yu-Gi-Oh! I even hate the name. I can never remember how to spell it. Yu-Gi-Oh! It's 40 cards for $14.99 and each pack acquired only increases the need for more cards: "Cool. I got the Chain Thrasher but now I need the Ancient Gear Explosive spell card to activate it!" Yu-Gi-Oh! are futuristic monster cards that attack and destroy other violent-looking cards. The print at the bottom of each card is so incredibly tiny that I need a NASA-level microscope to read the activation-effect instructions. And then, when I finally do read them to my son, they sound as if they were originally written in Japanese, translated to Swahili, converted to Albanian and finally translated into English… by a 7-year old. "By tributing this card until the end of this turn, any effect damage inflicted to the controller of the card is zero." Yu-Gi-Oh! keeps my son locked away in his room for hours, murmuring "destroy, graveyard, dark forces." When I ask him to play Monopoly, Junior Scrabble or Frisbee, he says, "Aw, Mom, won't you duel Yu-Gi-Oh! with me?"
I wanted him to do yoga with me. I wanted him to do acrobatics. I want him to go to the theater, hear music, take long hikes in Muir Woods, climb trees, ride the carousel. I'm scared he's going to turn into a pale, skinny, geeky boy who awkwardly stumbles through conversations with schoolmates and walks into telephone poles because he's always looking down—at his Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.
I don't wanna play! I'm not interested. I don't care. I haven't given up dragging him to museums and kids' concerts and playgrounds, but does that mean I have to take part in his interests, too? To be a good mom, do I need to learn to duel?