Family activity and parental revenge in one!
Providing snacks, attending to injuries, declaring nap time, and constant safety vigilance – these are a few of the services my children provided to me last night. I was playing Minecraft for the first time.
I didn’t intend on paying them back for years of maternal stress and labor – we just wanted something to do together to avoid going stir crazy.
However, as my much more experienced children guided me around, created a house to shield me from mobs, and patiently taught me (while anxiously trying to prevent me from dying), I did take pleasure in emulating the very toddler behaviors that wore me out earlier in our relationship:
- “I need a stick!” (Or ax, stone, pork chop, etc.)
- “I’m bored in here – what can I do?”
- “Can you set up a light for me – it’s getting dark and there are monsters.”
- “I don’t have all my hearts! Is that bad?!”
- “How do I sleep?” (Or open a door, or open a chest, or dig dirt, etc.)
- “What’s this red stuff? I’m gonna jump in it!” (OK, this was purposeful trolling.)
It was genuinely fun (I made a house!), and they really got a kick out of being the competent leaders in our relationship. Plus I know they’ve experienced a sliver of the worry I feel when I send them out into the world. The next time one of them complains about a curfew or the shackles of Life360, I’ll remind her, “Remember how you felt when I set off into the forest alone to gather logs? That’s how I feel every day.”