We have a situation. I think I mentioned that Spore has arrived at our house. Actually, the boys had preordered it, so they got it the day it came out. I was expecting that it would captivate the boys attention for a while. What I hadn’t expected, was that we would have to schedule our days down to the millisecond because of it.
The issue with Spore is that it is a computer hog of a game, that requires lots of processing power and a mighty hefty graphics card. Unfortunately, only Uber’s computer is in possession of these handy dandy features, so the boys are having to share and share alike. They haven’t really had to test out this concept of sharing very often in their lives, because like most spoiled American children, if they wanted the same thing, we usually bought them one each.
The only other thing they have had to divvy up recently is their Wii, and most of the time they just play it together. Not so with Spore. This is a one-player game. And there hasn’t been so much controversy in the Techie household since 2000 when we only had one Hot Wheels motorized Jeep, and two boys who thought they should always be the one in the driver’s seat. My husband and I had to be in the backyard with the boys at all times, or someone would inevitably be thrown (pushed) out of the Jeep at full speed. Good times.
So our days begin with me sweetly and quietly waking the boys up with their usual “Good morning/Rise and Shine” routine only to barely duck out of the way before Ninja 1 and Ninja 2 hoist out of bed, sweep by the ceiling fan, over the dogs, behind the dresser, across the Dance Dance Revolution mat and hit the computer chair simultaneously shouting “I got here first!!” in their best groggy, hoarse, first-peep-of-the-morning gravelly chorus.
Breakfast ends and begins in the same minute. The rest of the time between breakfast and school is spent figuring/arguing/name-calling/coming to blows over who gets what blocks of time to play Spore during the day. We usually have a fifteen minute break each hour of our homeschool day, but apparently it takes Spore ten minutes to load each time, so that blows those chances (thank God). The rest of the day is planned down to the minute. Everything must be exactly even and exactly fair. So imagine the chaos that ensues when I dare to call one of them to supper during “their” Spore time. Or when the computer freezes up and they lose five precious minutes while it reboots.
Incidents such as these set off new discussions/arguments/name-calling/blows until the boys have worked out a new fair arrangement that allows for the catastrophes that interrupt their Spore schedule. You know, things like: a friend calling, or their grandmother stopping by to say hi, or (God forbid) chores.
So far, things are working out well. The boys haven’t needed stitches yet. The computer doing all the heavy Spore labor hasn’t overheated yet. And I haven’t lost my sense of humor – – yet. But if I hear one more discussion about how the dog came in the room and started licking himself in an unspeakable way, and it caused child-X to get distracted and lose 45 seconds of playing time…I just might have a difficult time keeping myself jolly.
p.s. I am looking, of course, for a better graphics card for H-T’s computer as you read this…any offers??