Edward spent most of the summer with his face pressed against the crack under Patrick's door, trying to watch him play Minecraft.
He would heave a sigh and gaze at me wistfully with his lovely grey eyes and say, "I wish I could play Minecraft."
I tried to resist. Really I did. With one addict in the house already it wasn't like I am not familiar with the risks. I've seen it happen before. The Minecraft kid starts harmlessly enough, placing one block on top of another, but the next thing you know they've enrolled themselves in a Java programming course the better with which to create a ghast/pig/creeper mob hybrid and they sleep with their arms bent at the elbow, fingers perpetually flexed in keyboard mode.
But I am weak and the summer was long and I somehow managed to convince myself that maybe Minecraft would be educational for Edward. Yeah, that's it. Educational. Spatial reasoning, mouse and keyboard skills, reading, spelling and animal husbandry (spoiler alert: pork chops? come from pigs.) Not to mention the opportunity for positive family interaction: I imagined Patrick lovingly instructing in the nuances of the crafting table while Edward shone with pride in himself and admiration for his brother; both of them (and this was the linchpin) shutting up for five goddmned seconds so I could listen to my audiobook while I loaded the dishwasher.
Alas, only part of this came true. Yes, Edward has become a full-fledged, glassy-eyed Minecraft zombie complete with his own username: Dreadward07 (Caroline has yet to succumb although she has toyed with her own username which she thinks should be Deadline - my kids are so morbid.)
As for the rest of it - god.
Edward sat in front of the computer shrieking for Patrick to come help him find the Never (Nether? I don't ask anymore) and Patrick stayed in his room on the floor above him belowing down "NO! I'm BUSY!" until Steve stormed out of his office and said, "Hey! I'm trying to work in here!" and I alternated between trying to take the volume on Audible to eleven and flushing my own head in the toilet.
Now why did I start this? Oh right! I remember. I was telling you that Edward is now a Minecrafter.
So, yesterday we went to a party on the other side of town, which meant that the entire family was at my mercy for almost an hour as we drove and I took unfair advantage - as I always do - by using the enforced togetherness to expose them to some music that *I* like and then I lectured them about it.
My choice for Labor Day was the first volume of the Mermaid Avenue project, which resulted from Billy Bragg and Wilco putting to music the writings of Woody Guthrie. One song in particular captured Caroline's attention - Way Down Yonder in the Minor Key - and we listened to it five times in a row before Edward finally put his hands over his ears and begged us to just. make. it. stop.
Edward is not what one might call "a fan" of "music."
So I turned it off and was getting all enthusiastic talking about the origins of folk music in this country when Caroline asked about keys. Keys! I love Caroline. So I started to describe the difference between minor and major keys when Edward suddenly perked up. He cleared his throat.
"Minor? Mining? Speaking of Minecraft... " and he proceeded to talk without stopping, telling us all about this thing he did in Minecraft that time and then that other time and then there was this other Minecraft thing and then... .
Steve and I burst out laughing. Speaking of Minecraft... oh, were we? He's like the guy who hears "I broke my foot" and responds, "Foot? Football? Yes! I know! New season finally starting, am I right!"
I have created a monster. A square one.
PS Good grief how many times did I just type the word Minecraft?
PPS I still don't understand the appeal.