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Sunday, January 29, 2012

My dudes just wanna dance and other thoughts on apartment living and greelighting the Wii

Our family didn’t have a television for several years and the only thing we missed was the Olympics and I tell you this because much like we kept television at bay, we had kept video games at bay until recently. Also we used to live in a house in El Paso, TX, that was more than 1600 sq ft and now we live in a 1300 sq ft apartment in Evanston, IL. 2012 is going to be very different from 2011 on all kinds of levels, back to the topic at hand.

My parents offered the Wii as Christmas presents to both my sister’s family and my family as holiday gifts for our children (mine are 10 and 6) and my husband and I set about debating whether we would we accept the gift. We polled lots of friends and got mixed reviews;

Response: “The Wii accounts for 90% of the arguments in our house, I would say ‘no thanks’!”
My Point of View: My children aren’t allowed to argue about anything for more than :45 seconds so we wouldn’t have to worry about that.

Response: “We love it, especially on freezing winter days when it’s too cold to walk to the library.”
My POV: If we moved to a place where it’s actually is too cold to walk six blocks in the winter, we should leave immediately.

Response: “Hell no, don’t do it! My kids don’t watch TV and are never allowed to have video games in the house!”
My POV: Like the Spanish introduce wine to children, we want to introduce video games and wine to our children responsibly, set limits so they don’t turn into drunken video game junkies in college when they finally move out of our house. (I’ll expand on the wine part in a later post.)

We finally said yes to the Wii and my parents were thrilled to gift it. My parents live in California and are very worried for our boys living in an apartment during a Chicago winter and thought the Wii would be a fantastic physical outlet. Of course the boys were crazy excited to open a gift they had put on their Christmas list for more than two years in a row!

Here are the Wii rules we set;
1. No Wii Monday thru Thursday, really no electronics on school nights.
2. 30 minutes of Wii on Friday, Saturday and Sunday if playing sports or Mario Bros.
3. Unlimited “Just Dance” Wii access Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

When I mentioned rule #3 my boys were so excited they couldn’t believe it, but I didn’t think they’d take me up on it more than once or twice because they are boys, why would they want to dance all weekend? Oh how happy I was to be wrong about this one.

Dancing has become a major weekend activity in our house. You can make the argument that the Wii promotes poor dance moves and bad music like Katie Perry (sic) and a number of other legitimate gripes, but I’ve got two boys who love to dance now and that brings our home and my heart great joy.

I remember growing up around boys who would rather eat glass than dance don’t you? And even though my boys were spending time dancing in our apartment, I didn’t think they’d dance in front of girls. Awesome surprise #2! Our boys love dancing so much the older one chose to host a dance party for his 10th birthday and on a recent Friday night we spent the night dancing in the Duffy’s apartment (our upstairs neighbors and new friends) with their three daughters ages 6, 9 and 12.

Maybe we’ll expand pizza movie night into Pizza Dance Party Night as long as we have an apartment building full of children willing to dance the night away!

As I post this I fully realize that we are five years late to this party and that most of the planet has been dancing to the Wii for years. Thanks for the memo.


Thank you for reading my blog "Evanston Newbie", a project that I am using to chronicle my new life in Evanston. Do you have favorite Evanston bakeries, bike shops, events, summer camps that you can recommend? Send me an email at and I will post my review on this blog. -Lisa Degliantoni


  1. Huh. I'll give it a try. Really, I'd like to chuck the damn Wii out the window, shove my kids outside to play and lock myself in. But I want them not to be teased as the only kids without this thing.

    Our county library has video games, so we can check Just Dance out for free to give it a try.

  2. I'm from California and was locked outside most of my childhood too, playing happily in the backyard with neighborhood kids. I want to keep that cycle alive and lock out my kids all day but I also struggle with letting them do what they want. They want to play video games - all day and night - so I figure I'll budge a little and let them enjoy it for 30 minutes. Luckily our kids still get along really well for siblings and they don't talk back or negotiate yet, it's not in their blood, so there's no fighting over or about the Wii. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

  3. That was such a fun night!