A Laptop, A Little Ingenuity, A Hammock
I have a love-hate relationship when it comes to various electronic gizmos and the SONS of Thunder.
I’m okay with them playing what I would call intellectual games – games that actually make them think, create, use their mind and not just their thumbs.
Hours of constantly shredding zombies, however, gets old with me pretty fast. The fact I always get killed first when playing with them doesn’t help matters. And the shotgun doesn’t hold enough shells anyway.
It’s the time spent that bugs me. It doesn’t matter if they are actually being creative or searching for the plasma cannon that blows multiple targets at once. It is a waste of the one resource that cannot be replaced. And we’re not talking a few minutes here and there. I mean The Dress and I say they can get on for a few minutes, we get busy, look up and realize they’ve been on for hours.
Getting them off is akin to tearing a starving lion off a freshly killed zebra. Not that I have any experience in that, but I like the imagery.
When did electronic games become a right and not a privilege?
Because it seems it’s turning that way. So much so The Dress pretty well put down a threat of life and limb regarding time spent on electronics. School days are pretty well nixed completely; we’re still working on what constitutes adequate electronic time on the weekends. Let’s just say the term “adequate” has quite different definitions – depending on whether you ask me or the SONS.
The Dress and I are slowly getting the SONS to realize we’re pushing the privilege over a right approach. Rooms clean, chores done and depending on the weather, we’ll see.
Because we do throw out the proverbial parental line – “it’s perfectly gorgeous outside, go out and play.”
And they’ll sulk off muttering words like “heat stroke” and “dehydration” and “Sahara.”
And then they’ll be back and I’m what like, “what are you doing?”
And they’re like, “we’ve been outside for hours.” And that last work is stretched out for about a minute, complete with facial and hand expressions.
And I’ll like, “fifteen minutes does not constitute hours.” And I’ll stretch out that last word even longer than them and my hand/facial expressions are much better. Not to brag or anything.
Recently, Eldest Thunder SON was in one of his negotiating modes. It’s hard to explain, but involves leaps of what seem illogical logic and tit-for-tat and quid pro quo – a mental game that turns one’s brain to mush. And I finally say something to the effect that if he wanted to impress me – and possibly earn a little game time – try using the computer as a tool and not a toy.
So I head off somewhere for something and get back a few hours later. And Eldest has something he wants to show me. A little aside as to what is about to happen: the SONS and I enjoy backpacking and just camping out – even if it’s the backyard and hammocks.
Anyway, he got on the Internet. And then he got creative. And then he went outside.
And then he and a friend built/constructed/created a hammock – out of paracord no less. I was impressed. You can actually sleep in it and not fall and break your neck. Getting out of it is a little tricky, however.
This is not the first time he’s done the laptop-to-creative-to-outside conversion. He’s skinned a squirrel with a laptop as well. Both of those came from YouTube videos, a place where you can learn a lot or waste a lot.
A computer is a resource. It is simply a tool. It can be replaced. It can be a horrific waster of time. It can be an incredible educational tool.
Time is a resource. It cannot be replaced.
We need fun in our lives. Zombies must be eliminated. But we need balance even more.