Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...
July 3, 2007
The Sims As Postpartum Trainers
Here is a Swistle pregnancy tip: play The Sims computer game in your third trimester.
On The Sims, you monitor the mental and physical health of your Sims people by consulting a little panel of bars. There is a bar for hunger, a bar for fun, a bar for needing to pee, a bar for needing comfort, etc. A bar heading toward solid red means things are getting dangerously bad; a bar heading toward solid green means things are looking good. A little diamond hovers above the head of the Sim, giving a summary of all the bars combined: green is good, grey is getting bad, red is time to dive for cover.
If you experience postpartum the way I do, you will have times when you start feeling all darty-eyed and frantic and crazy and sad, and everything is bad at the same time, and it seems as if the only solution is to sit there and cry at the futility of existence. There are so many things I need, and I know that if I get them I will feel better, but I'm so overwhelmed by the sheer number of things I need that I can't even do a single one. It feels pointless even to try to pee, since the house will still be a mess and I'll still be starving and I'll still need a shower and the baby will still want to be clumped sweatily on my shoulder every minute of every day and I'll still have a dishtowel stuffed under my shirt because all my nursing bras are in the laundry basket.
If I've been playing The Sims for the last couple of months, however, I will be in auto-play mode, seeing little red/green bars wherever I turn. I will not try to get every single one of my bars to green but rather to improve the bar-averaging diamond over my head by fixing the things that are easiest to fix. It is helpful to remember that even just peeing will improve your overall situation; it works for a Sim, anyway. Eating a muffin improves things still further. Putting one dirty plate in the sink = even better. Every small thing you do will add up. And that is good, because there are times when a single small thing is about all you can manage. Go pee now, there's a good girl.