It all started with dancing. On a rainy, summer vacation day, the twins and I were at the public library. It’s part of our normal Saturday routine: bus to downtown, fries, library, market, bus home. This visit, though, was on a Thursday and during the summer on a weekday things happen a little differently at the library. On this particular day there was dancing. The librarians and assistants in the children’s section informed us that a Just Dance party was going on in one of the big rooms we rarely visit.
An aside about the library: I have been taking the twins to the library since they were about 6 months old when I was on parental leave. There was a baby reading circle every Wednesday. As the twins got older, the library has continued to be an important spot for us and we know most of the librarians in the children’s area by name and they know us. It is a good place to work on Daniel’s social skills like saying hello and goodbye to familiar faces.
Back to Just Dance. I knew Rachel would love it, but I wasn’t sure how Daniel would react. Rachel had a blast. Daniel loved having the big room to run around in, but he also had a great time dancing with Daddy. Ok, I wasn’t doing anything that I could honestly describe as dancing. Daniel also spend a good amount of time watching the video. Just Dance was being played on the Wii and it was hooked up to a projector, so the images were really big. A few days later, Daniel started going to a video of the Ubisoft logo on Youtube. My first thought was he must be seeing Assassin’s Creed somewhere and that did not make me a tad uncomfortable.
I have no problem with video games. While I am useless at them, I think they are valuable for kids at appropriate ages. Just like books, music, tv and movies, parents need to monitor all activity. I gave my oldest daughter a GameCube years ago and the twins received a Wii from my sister. We also bought a used PS2, but the kids didn’t take to it. Having said that, thinking that Daniel was exposed to a “mature” title was more than a little upsetting. So I did my research and discovered that, ta da, Ubisoft also publishes the Just Dance series. I had no idea. What’s more, I didn’t remember seeing the logo during the Just Dance party. As Daniel will often do, he will play logo animations on Youtube over and over again. I could see the appeal of the Ubisoft logo to him right away. It was something he could he could mimic with objects in the space around him and it was easy to draw.
A short while after Ubisoft became a fixture, I noticed a friend and comrade fundraiser Ligia Pena posted on twitter that she was heading to @Ubisoftmtl. I asked if she could pick up a business card with the logo on it, knowing that Daniel would use it recreate his air drawings. She was able to pick up some other swag including stickers, pens, sunglasses and a Just Dance poster that had been signed by some of the people at Ubisoft. Ligia offered to mail the swag and we had a conversation about how the package should be addressed. Anyone with more than one kid knows the delicate issue of giving each child attention. The decision was to address the package to both Daniel and Rachel.
When the package arrived, we had a fanboy-worthy unboxing complete with the old man making a video. I was pretty certain I knew which gifts would be popular with Rachel and which ones with Daniel. Rachel loved the poster and insisted that we autograph it, too. The pens were a big hit with her, but she really wanted me to have the sunglasses.
Daniel got straight to work on the stickers, making the motion in air of the dynamic logo. What ever room he is now, the logos go with him. The stickiness will eventually wear off, but so far they are always close by. The business card is much crumpled but it also travels, now usually resting by the computer in the living room.
When I was a kid, saying thank you was one of those things that we had to say, like please. I reinforce it with Rachel by saying those are the magical words. We made some thank you videos and sent a thank you note to Ligia.