Wii helps ‘Chubby Mummy’ stay fit, save cash

I threw my shoulder out playing Wii table tennis with my son last night.

As sports injuries go, this one really isn’t anything to brag about. But at least I don’t have Wii table-tennis elbow.

I also got to spend some quality time with my 7-year-old and save some money at the same time, since we no longer have cable.

It’s not cheap being a stay-at-home mom. My earning power as a teacher came to a standstill seven years ago and another state away.

On the plus side, we save a lot of money on child care, not going out to eat and our really lousy housekeeper (me).

About six months ago, I looked at our FiOS bill and really freaked out. TV and our two DVR boxes were costing us more than $100 a month!

That’s more than $1,000 a year we could have been doing more meaningful things with.

Every time I drove past the Edmonds Food Bank on Tuesdays, I could see that the entire parking lot was almost full. So what were we doing spending so much money on television, when our neighbors were struggling to put food on the table?

At least that’s how I explained the situation to my husband and kids, when I first suggested we cancel cable. If you have ever told a second-grader that he will no longer be able to watch “Lego Ninjago” on Cartoon Network, then you can probably imagine how that conversation went.

To make up for it, my husband and I immediately bought a Nintendo Wii. This means that we can stream (most) of our favorite television shows through Hulu Plus for about $8 a month. The Wii paid for itself by summer. But now we have other problems.

If you have a Wii, then you already know about Miis. Those are the digital avatars that you can create to look like anyone in your family or your kid’s classroom, or Cartoon Network characters that your evil mother no longer lets you watch because she canceled cable.

Our Wii box has its own community of Miis now, all hanging out on Wuhu Island.

One day I was loading up the Wii Fit and realized that my son had created a Mii character named “Chubby Mummy,” a larger, hairier version of me.

“First of all,” I told him, “this is really insensitive to all the people we know and love who struggle with weight issues. Second of all, I DO NOT have a unibrow!”

The next time I get a Comcast advertisement in the mail, I might need to reconsider. Until then, you can find Chubby Mummy and me on Wuhu Island. We’re having a blast!

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at http://teachingmybabytoread.blog.com.

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