Today I made a decision. Whether I regret this decision or not, I will find out soon.
I was clearing out my childhood toys when I discovered my neglected, dust ridden Tamagotchi. I have distinct memories of saving my pocket money, £1 a week (that was $2 to our friends over the pond) and the joy I received when purchasing my new virtual friend, I will never forget.
Having forgotten the love and joy this small egg brings, I decided to challenge my parenting skills and turn it back on.
I will continue to document every day of its existence and whether our love reflames or finally dies out.
Today’s diary entry:
Day 1: The Gift of Life is Given.
As it turns out, the batteries they use are fairly hard to come by. Nevertheless, I find a solution and “borrow” the batteries out of my dad’s car keys. This better be worth it.
I begin to hear familiar sounds; it’s recognisable beeps and boops that you expect to hear in a 70s video game.
The toy has given me an egg. Nothing else has happened. I’m struggling to compute the attraction to this toy 15 years ago.
Finally. A beep.
The egg hatches to produce a black blob, apparently male. I’m so unbelievably proud of this moment that I organise a dedicated photoshoot to show off my new child to friends on social media.
I am finally a member of the parenting association and now the responsibility begins.
Off the ball, it’s hungry, it’s unhappy and yet iT DOESN’T TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG. I try everything, food, games, praise, toilet. Nothing.
(After looking at this photo documenting my child’s anger, I realise there was someone at the door to give him a present! Top right hand icon).
I decide tough love is the way forward and ignore it while enjoying the few remains of the English sun. He eventually falls asleep and day 1 of parenting has ended, the beeping has ceased.
Day 2: A Glimmer of Fun
My baby tamagotchi has grown into somewhat-less-like-a-baby tamagotchi. He has a turd shaped body and off centred eyes – something he must have got from his dad.
As he wakes, the bold exclamation mark has vanished and he doesn’t seem to be upset.
Being a musical tamagotchi, he owns a set of drums. As cute as this may be, I learn quickly that his drums make a particularly annoying sequence of beeping noises so I rapidly discover the silent mode.
Today we took baby’s first bath. A proud moment as a new parent, I’m sure other parents out there will understand.
It turns out my tamagotchi is also the next Mozart as he especially enjoyed the music themed games; he is a natural talent!
However, just as I start to enjoy my day off, the godforsaken exclamation mark has returned with a vengeance but having gained a special bond with my baby, I learn the ways of making him happy.
I also discovered the “Pause mode” for when I’m too occupied to attend to his needs. I wonder if real babies have those…
Disregarding the crying, we have a fun day. Other tamagotchis drop by to deliver presents of food and money (why can’t I receive presents like that).
I thought, as researchers have discovered a link between music whizzes and maths geeks, my little bundle of joy would be interested in my “Abstract Algebra” reading.
However, he quickly turns away from the maths book and continues to practice the drums. Baby obviously didn’t inherit the maths geek that lies within mummy #disappointed.
Day 3: Awkward Teenage Years
Once again, my baby has grown. No more is he a vulnerable, black blob but a teenager complete with the spiked hair and disrespectful attitude (am I right, parents).
Rather than drums, his favourite instrument are the turn tables and he prefers RnB rather than classical. My little Mozart has grown into David Guetta.
The day was uneventful. He continued to complain with beeps of hunger and toiletry needs and I continued to serve him.
He made a bunch of friends at the end of the day and they formed a band; fantastic! My cutie pie can go out into the world, perform gigs and commence earning a living.
They performed their first gig and well, the audience didn’t quite agree with his musical ability and was booed of stage. I made an effort to praise him but that wasn’t enough to lighten his spirits.
Soon, he went to bed.
One observation made today about my tamagotchi is that he’s more than happy to bounce around on my screen. I find hours in the day uninterrupted as he continues to jump on the display. Me? I think that’s sad so I’ve planned a fun day out for tomorrow.
Day 4: Tourist for the Day
Today is the day I discover an adult has taken the place of my spiky blob. Hopefully, he won’t be as demanding as he was yesterday…
Making our way to London, my tamagotchi finds entertainment on the train.
While commuting to our tourist destination, he decided that then was the most suitable time for his band practice: in the quiet silence of London commuters. He continued to do this all day and there wasn’t much I could do about it.
Wanting him to perform better than last time, I encouraged his practice.
I found plenty for my Tamagotchi to see and do today. We visited great landmarks including the Tower of London and Trafalgar Square.
I also realised how odd I must have looked conducting a photo shoot with an outdated toy. Taking pride in my uniqueness, I continued to capture the happiness in my Tamagotchi.
It didn’t take long before he fell asleep.
Day 5: My Little Rock God
After a number of unsuccessful auditions, I finally googled why my child was such a failure. Turns out, it’s completely my fault! Child develops unsuccessful-ness from shabby parent.
In order for the tamagotchis to be somewhat decent at music, you need to be making them attend band practice so that’s exactly what I did. I made him go to band practice and guess what? He aced his next audition.
The following day, a man with a body the shape of a guitar gave me 30,000p! He’ll never go hungry again!
Ever since, he has performed a number of sell out gigs to a list celebrities and I couldn’t be a more proud parent.
Another magical moment occurred today: his first adult bath time. No more is he using the child bath. Overwhelmed with emotions, I took some more pictures.
Soon after his bath, the postie arrived with a new outfit my little man: I cute bear costume! Of course I make him wear it.
Day 6: The best and worst day of his life
Today was like any other day: I woke up to the sounds him of him enjoying his drum set, I fed him and myself and got ready to enjoy the day.
This was all disturbed when guitar man came to my door. I was confused. Was he giving us more money? Was he declaring my son rock god of all time?
Following him was a girl. That’s right. A tamagotchi female.
Sooned popped up a question: Marry?
Guitar man had introduced to my son a beautiful, young tamagotchi that was prepared to spend the rest of her life with him. They were asking for the parents permission.
So utterly overwhelmed, I rushed for my camera to capture this moment.
This took so long that she took the silence as no. The only moment I could capture was the sadness and anger from rejection.
Despite the despair from the morning, it doesn’t take long for guitar man to return. This time a new girl.
Then came the moment no parent should ever have to go through.
The familiar beeps suddenly disappeared, my child blinked of the screen, the battery had died.
I saw my son fade in front of my eyes. No sarcasm now, this truly was a sad moment. I had slaved a week on this bloody toy and he decides that enough is enough. My heart has well and truly sunk.
I rush to the nearest shop to find a suitable battery but alas, it is too late. After replacing the batteries, the toy hasn’t saved where we got to and my son is gone.
I decide to conclude my time with the tamagotchi.
Tamagotchis can be just as much fun as they were 10+ years ago. However, if you life is riddled with responsibilities all ready, then this toy serves as an extra burden.
Our love almost reflamed until my virtual pet decided it needed more battery. I will continue to try look after a new pet responsibly and see how many generations of Tamagotchis I can meet until I have to return to University.