Last Saturday, like every Saturday, my brother brought his kids over to play. It’s a nice break for me in wall to wall non mommy time. It’s a nice way for them to burn off energy and get some cousin time. Sometimes we take them somewhere educational or actually go outside. But most of the time it’s just a free for all at our house.
But while our kids chase each other and knock chunks of plaster off the walls with their screams, my brother and I are a little lost as to how to occupy our time. It’s not like we’re going to talk to each other about life, love or anything deep. We’ve been brothers for 41 years, for crying out loud. And we both take off alcohol in January, so having fun is out.
This Saturday, while our kids plotted out asking me for glasses of water staggered instead of all at the same time, my brother dropped a fun bomb. He suggested we play “Call of Duty” on the Xbox.
Hmm. Interesting. “Call of Duty” is this super violent video game where you shoot at soldiers being piloted by 14 year olds in other countries who call you racist names over the internet. It’s extremely fun. But Diana has a strict no gun rule in our house. So I end up playing it after everyone goes to bed. It’s sad, but the 14 year old racists understand.
The only trick was playing it without exposing our children to the extremely violent images that make me love the game so much.
Our plan was simple: Forbid any child from entering the room while we played.
Oh, it was glorious. We’d play and swear and then every so often shout, “Don’t come in here!” when we heard little feet approaching. Occasionally, we’d have to stop the game to get someone a staggered glass of water or break up a fight, but we really got some violence in.
At 4:30, it was time for them to go and I thought, “Okay. This was good. I got what I wanted (shooting) and the kids got what they wanted (screaming).” I really felt good. Felt like all was well in the world.
At 8:30, Diana came in from a hard day at work. She was greeted by the two sons she loves pointing little finger guns at her while screaming, “Bang bang! Call of Duty! You’re dead! Bang bang! Call of Duty!”
I did not play after everyone went to bed.