Back to articles So Stimulating by Funny Mommy, Kathy Buckworth

Categories: Parenting

Last week I walked into a store with my 10 year old daughter and she plonked down all of her birthday money for the Wii game ??Guitar Hero?. I am lead to believe by my four children that we were the last family in North America to acquire this particular software/game/plastic guitar so it was with some relief that she felt able to relate socially with her peers.

Once we had it installed and ready to roll, I will reluctantly admit that I did try to “rock out” with her after hearing the dulcet and addictive tones of songs from my own youth:  “Barracuda” and “Welcome To The Jungle”.  It really was a sad little affair which left me virtually getting thrown off the stage (in reality).  And with my six-year-old asking me why I look like I’m spazzing out while I play,  I have now relegated myself to the sidelines, or the couch moshpit as their personal cyber-groupie.  It gives me time to watch my little prodigy simulate some of the worst guitar playing of all time.  It also gives me time to think about how the creators of Wii games can’t possibly have children, or they would create games which actually teach them some useful skills.

For instance:

Vaccuu-gone:  Learn how to vacuum like a pro!  Put Mom to shame by displaying your skills on-screen and then in on-carpet in the living room.  Starter crumb set included.

IronMan:  Attack the wrinkle monsters with your burning hot steel triangle of death!  Learn all about the water spritzing weaponry and the sharp shooting angles of pleated pants.  (Lead gloves for “real” ironing experience sold separately.)

Attack of the Scrubbing Bubbles:  Annihilate those vicious circles of doom by smashing them into the hard surfaces of baked on grime, while precariously submersed in 12 inches of tepid water.  Learn to work clockwise and counter clockwise, up and down, in this challenging and non-stop-popping game.  (Warning:  Do not submerse Wii in water.)

Fold-erama:  With a flick of the wrist you’ll be folding and smoothing shirts, pants, and towels like a pro.  Extra points awarded for razor sharp creases.  Expert bonus round on fitted sheets allows you to reach “Martha Stewart” platinum level.

Kraftdinerator:  A game of speed and precision.  Test yourself on milk pouring, margarine scooping and boiling.  Earn your Masters KD degree.  Protective goggles sold separately.  Do not stare directly at the cheese sauce as extreme colour blindness may occur.

Dirtsweeper: Zip around the kitchen with a plutonium powered brush and dustpan.  Catch those dirtballs before they see what’s coming.  Wet/dry option available.

DarkWorld: Overcome your fear of the dark by taking on the shadow-people and the under-bedder creatures.  Zap them with a simple light bulb and a comforting thought.   Bonus points for managing to avoid pressing the “Call Mommy” button, particularly between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m.

While I fail to see how Guitar Hero actually teaches children to play the guitar or learn any transferable skills (except how to dress like a skanky rock star if you’ve been looking for instruction in that area), at least it allows me to listen to some old favourites instead of the latest squawking melody from Hannah Montana.  Alice Cooper, you never sounded so good.  Too bad they couldn’t get “School’s Out” to play on my husband’s lawnmower.

Read Funny Mummy every month.  Kathy Buckworth’s new book, “The BlackBerry Diaries: Adventures In Modern Motherhood” is available at bookstores everywhere.  Visit; read Kathy’s blog at, or follow her on