Friday, July 1, 2011


I have a confession to make. Today I let my son play on the computer for 4 hours straight.
No, that wasn't a typo. FOUR HOURS.
I didn't intend to.

One of my boys' favorite pastimes include watching Daddy play various 'shoot 'em up' games on the computer.  I can hear their voices floating up from my husband's downstairs office:

"Dad, kill that guy over there."

"Dad, hit that zombie with an axe."

"Dad, what happens if you squish the alien?"

and so on.

Well, my husband's co-worker recently introduced him to a ridiculously simplistic game called Minecraft.

Realistic rendering this is not
 From what I gather, this is basically playing with Legos on your computer.  Now, we have several hundred dollars worth of Legos. Possibly close to a thousand (my boys have doting grandparents). In fact, we have an entire room dedicated to Legos, appropriately dubbed 'The Lego Room." (To be fair, I gave up my office to make way for the Legos because we have a frequently visiting munchkin who likes to dine on these colorful plastics when no one is looking.)  All the Legos are now in one room and I can close the door and limit her access. 
     So why would I let my son sit on his butt for four hours and do this virtually when he could be doing this in real life?

He was sitting at my computer in the living room, not having been playing for very long when suddenly he said,  "Mom! Hey, look. There's a guy walking around in my world. He just showed up. He's following me."

I have to admit, when I realized what he was talking about, I giggled.

For quite awhile.

I explained to my son, "Honey. That's Daddy. You're playing the game together. He's on his computer downstairs." 

I swear his face lit up.

They spent the next four hours playing MineCraft. Sometimes they worked together to build something, other times they were devising their own creations in a shared world. They'd call to each other, my husband mostly giving hints and helpful clues, Archie wanting his dad to check out the newest thing he'd constructed. It's all Archie talked about during supper and later, when I was tucking him in, he had a notebook and pencil on his pillow. I glanced at his partial drawing and Archie spent 5 minutes explaining his new design for a enclosed staircase so his avatar wouldn't walk off the edge and die.

Yes, kids need exercise. They need fresh air, they need to ride their bikes and climb trees and get dirty.  But Archie playing this game with his dad is important, too.  Although, tomorrow I think I'm gonna kick his butt outside.

Me: What are you doing, Ichabod?
Ichabod: Making a picture.
Me: That's sounds nice. What is the picture about?
Ichabod: A boy. But he's really sad.
Me: He's really sad? Why?
Ichabod: Because his mom won't let him play the Wii.
(Ichabod was currently grounded from the Wii)


  1. Ahh! That's so cute! Sounds like good, quality time with the family, to me. I think all the warnings against letting your kids play on the computer too much are more about the fact that it can be dangerous to let them do so aimlessly (without supervision) and they may develop anti-social habits. Your game certainly wasn't like that!

    So, I just realized you had a blog and had to check it out! Thanks so much for coming over to read my work. I'm really glad I returned the favor, as your family sounds adorable. I will most definitely be coming back!

    Have a great day and talk to you later! Be sure and tune in today, because I'm going to do a post about writer's block, just for you. Hope you enjoy it!

  2. Thanks for reading (and commenting). I agree with the supervision during computer time. Archie likes to watch Lego videos on Youtube but it is soooo easy to click on an adult video. (For instance, did you know someone did a Lego version of Silence of the Lambs?) We hit a few bad oes in a row and now he is regulated to the Lego website only, no Youtube. My other main concern is raising a bunch of couch potatos. All 3 boys are at healthy weights but it's easy to develop bad habits and much harder to break them later on.

    Okay, done lecturing. Hard to turn the Mommy mode off sometimes. :) Thanks for stopping by!