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Street Fighter, Michael Jackson and turning two

Street Fighter, Michael Jackson and turning two

Dear Popple,

Your father and I spent a long time preparing you to turn two.

“Do you know how old you’re going to be?” we repeated pretty much every day in the run up to your birthday.

Blank stare.

Dos!” we shouted. Because we’re raising you bilingual. Kind of. Our main household language is a lazy Spanglish – mostly English with the occasional más and gracias thrown in.

We held up two fingers to show you dos. You tried to imitate us but couldn’t get your fingers quite right.

“Mummy help dos,” you said. I bent your fingers into the right position. You dropped your pointer and accidentally gave me the finger.

“Good dos,” I said.

We were clearly more pumped for dos than you were.

The weather was gross on the day you actually turned dos, so we took you to an aviation museum with your grandparents (because you love airplanes) that happened to be hosting a retro video game exhibit (because your father is a nerd). I showed you how to play the arcade version of Street Fighter.

“He’s dancing!” you said, pointing to Blanka as he jump kicked around the screen.

“Yes…dancing,” I said. Blanka landed a kick on Guile.

“That’s not nice,” you said.

It occurred to me, somehow for the first time, that Street Fighter probably wasn’t an appropriate game for a two-year-old. I shuffled you over to the arcade version of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker instead.

“DANCING!” you shouted.

We watched Michael Jackson dance fight this way through a street full of bad guys in an attempt to save some children. Each time he found a child, he did a little dance thing. This seemed possibly more inappropriate than Street Fighter.

Mario, I thought. There’s nothing wrong with Mario.

I took you over to the Super Mario Bros station handed you a Nintendo controller. You held it up to your ear like it was a phone. I realised then how old I am, and how young you are, and how everything is going to be different for you.

Small girl in a pink cardigan holding a Nintendo controller

You’ll never have to memorise a phone number or blow into a video game cartridge to try to get it to work. You’ll never have to hear a busy signal or the dial-up tone of a modem. You’ll never have to sit next to your boombox all night, just waiting for the DJ to play your favourite song so you can record it onto a blank cassette.

You’ll have access to all the games you could ever want to play and all the information you could ever want to know and all the music you could ever want to dance to.

And man, you are quite the dancer.

We have dance parties almost every night, where you demand música (Spanglish household, remember) and then jump around in circles with your arms over your head. I hope you dance as hard at 22, 52 and 82 as you do at two. Nothing would make me happier.

Happy dos birthday, my weird, wonderful child.

Keep on dancing.



Two Tiny Hands

12 thoughts on “Street Fighter, Michael Jackson and turning two”

  • Aww so cute! I love that you are raising her sort-of-bilingual! I speak fairly fluent Spanish but I’m not a native so didn’t dare try and inflict my mediocre grammar onto my daughter. But I digress…

    Two is such an awesome age and you’re so right that it makes you realise what a different world our kids are growing up in. At one they still seem like a baby but by two they are a small person who back-chats and has their own free-will. I love this post and I’m sure she’ll enjoy reading it when she’s older. Happy birthday Popple! #FamilyFunLinky

  • Aww happy 2nd Birthday Popple! Dancing is the way to a happy soul! I feel sad that our children will have everything on a plate. The patience you have to learn by waiting to record the top 40 is quite something!!

  • This is such a cute post! It sounds like she had a fab birthday [insert spanish for “happy birthday” here!] and here’s to many, many more years of dancing! #ablogginggoodtime

  • Happy dos birthday Popple! Hope you had a lovely day. I so remember blowing into the game cartridges! I often think how different things will be for our kids. The teen in our house doesn’t know what dial up is or video players, so I can only imagine how pre-historic I will seem to my two! Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  • Happy Birthday Popple!!!! If you ever get the chance, go to the Museum of Childhood with the Popple when she’s a bit older. The expression on her face as you point out the toys you played with and the clothes you wore will be priceless. When we went the Tubblet, her expressions and comments kept Rev T and amused for hours! I still don’t think she’s over 4 channels and no mobiles ….

  • Happy Birthday little lady. It’s so right that all the stuff we remember from being a kid will feel like a different world for our littles. It’s crazy! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  • I love this Katie, it’s so strange how our children are going to have such a different lifestyle and point of view of the world. In a way I’m excited but I’m also scared. What a great letter to write for your daughter. Ps. I’m shocked they have a Michael Jackson game like that haha WTF?! Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  • I got mine a Scooby Doo game for the Wii this past Christmas thinking that it should be appropriate for a five year old. It was, but Scooby spends a lot of the game hitting bad guys over the head with a sausage link. #familyfun

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