The Summer House Rules
No Day Like Today

The Week's Stunning Accomplishments

1) Get ready to be wildly impressed, because it's been quite a week.



2) I gave my children over to the cult of Minecraft in exchange for not being bothered for the next 48 solid hours.

Noah played Minecraft for the first time at a friend's house last weekend, and went predictably nuts over it. At least, I assume that's a predictable reaction? Minecraft seems to be one of those things that every kid his age is going nuts over, and another one of those things that pushes me deeper and deeper into Uncool Mom Territory, because Noah goes on and on about it while I nod blankly and glaze over, and my brain is all I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THIS. DISENGAGE. 

So at first I figured, okay, I'll get him the game. It is...a game, right? Like an app? I actually was not entirely sure. I really missed out on even the most basic of information about what we were talking about, and I am now officially basing my parenting/media choices on whether or not 1) other kids' parents seem cool with it, and 2) Target sells kid-sized t-shirts of it. That's the bar now: IT CANNOT BE WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE IF IT'S BEING LICENSED FOR KID-SIZED T-SHIRTS. 

But then I looked it up in the app store and it was like, $6.99 and I was like, I am too damn cheap for that. I am all about the crappy free apps that then stymie my children at every turn because I've disabled in-app purchases. 

Noah and Ezra were really determined, however. They spent a considerable amount of time shaking coins out of their piggy banks and between the two of them, were able to come up with $7 in quarters and dimes.


I took that $7 (I owe them a penny, I guess) and bought them Minecraft. We have barely spoken to each other since as they have been beyond singularly obsessed with it, like Noah wakes up even earlier now to play it and I have to remind him to eat meals and I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS. Something with blocks and Noah keeps accidentally setting houses on fire. 

But hey, they did some math one time. Achievement unlocked. A champion is me.

3) We left the house! We left the motherflipping house! Hell yeah!

We met a friend at a splash playground.  


It takes about a half hour to drive there.


Plus the time to get everyone in their suits and sunscreen.


And packing up snacks, drinks, towels and changes of clothes always seems to take longer than it should.


The kids played hard and had fun...


...for like an hour. And then they all started complaining about being hungry/tired/bored. 

So we all got back in the car and went home. But hey! At least I had $7 in Minecraft money to treat myself to an overpriced Coke from the vending machines. I am truly living the dream.

4) I got a lot of work done.

No lie, I did! I landed a new long-term writing/research gig and heard back about two other jobs that look like they're close to being a done deal and also had a very productive conference call that got interrupted by a small child walking into the office to loudly announce I WENT POOP ON THE POTTY! COME WIPE MY BUTT. 

Did I mention I was on speakerphone? Of course I was on speakerphone. 

(Ezra and Ike are going to camp next week, oh yes yes yessssshhhmyprecious. Noah will stay home with me, surely getting hours of excellent enrichment via whatever the fuck is the point of Minecraft.)

5) Ike spent his first full week completely out of the crib. 


Oh, man. I was pretending this was just a summertime sleepover treat, but it's a done deal now. No crib, no diapers, no training pants, no containment, no going back.

He and Ezra are sharing opposite ends of the bottom bunk (it's a double, so there's still room for 500 pounds of essential stuffed animal) and Noah is still on the top, and no one seems to have any enthusiasm about changing this arrangement and turning the nursery into a single Big Kid room. 

It's sweet that they can fight and wale on each other all day but still want to be together and pile up like puppies at night. So three kids in one room it is, for now. Zero babies in the other. 

(Really smells like feet in there, tho.) 



It's all Super Mario Brothers over here but luckily I remember just enough to know that it involves mushrooms and jumping. So there's that.


god imagine what it would smell like in say 5 years if that arrangement sticks...i'd say don't plan on going in there at all ;)


You know the whole internet will suggest you need another baby in that room ASAP. Minecraft is HUGE with my boys, and I don't understand it, at all. Prepare for hours of endless descriptions of vague buildings and how they were destroyed. At least here, all 3 will watch the eldest boy play. So its a winner as far as I am concerned. Yippee for getting out the house, we only made it as far as a walk to the ice cream truck at the end of the street. :)


Welcome to the world of Minecraft. You will never understand what your children are talking about again.


My children play Minecraft too but I only hear a lot of, "She's in my world, Mom" all the livelong day.


I don't understand Minecraft at all, either. But I do know that you can do this with it:


"whatever the fuck is the point of Minecraft" <-- this, yes! My 4-year-old AND my DH love the stupidness that is Minecraft. It is sooooo boring. Want to avoid another level of Minecraft-related hell? Never tell your boys about Stampy Longhead on YouTube. He plays Minecraft and posts super annoying videos of him just playing Minecraft and talking about playing Minecraft in his super duper annoying voice. He has a bajillion subscribers.


My kids are only allowed to talk about Minecraft at the dinner table once a week (on Sunday). A rule instituted because it was ALL they ever talked about.
Mine still share a room (at 13 and 11) and I keep expecting one or the other to request the end of the arrangement (they are different genders!). We have turned the other bedroom into an amazing world of Lego, crafting, YA library, and science lab, so they are really only ever in their bedroom to sleep.


My two older kids, 9 and 7, are obsessed with Minecraft. They sit in the same room and visit each other worlds and occasionally my daughter will pop up for the bathroom or my son will raid the kitchen. Otherwise, it's Minecraft, Minecraft, Minecraft.
It's an engineering game, I think? you can build anything you want with the right materials that you mine. They love it. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before my 5 year old looks up from his legos and joins in. It utterly bores me and they are not allowed to talk about it with me. I had to put my foot down to maintain sanity because OMG I DO NOT CARE.


This is the reason my son was mining for rocks in the backyard with a pick-axe. Which makes me sound like parent of the year I am aware. He is eight and I though old enough to be unsupervised in the yard for a period of time! God knows what else he will find in the garage this summer....


My step-grandson aged 10 gave me a guided tour of the Minecraft city he has been building over many weeks. The guided tour took a good half hour. And he showed me his secret weapon! (He had to have a secret weapon because his friends keep invading his city.) I don't have a clue how to do any of it though.


I was about to start weeping about when we'll ever have another kid until the feet comment at the end. It saved me. Thank you!

And, high five for a productive week!


Minecraft is the thing here too. And I truly don't get it. The only thing more incomprehensible is the watching of Minecraft videos. Actually watching someone else play Minecraft. My boys would spend hours doing that, but now the youngest gets scared because of some aspect he doesn't like so they are banned for the time being.


Long time reader/lurker/fan here and I can't believe that Minecraft is what is compelling me to finally comment. BUT, my little brother is in the spectrum and we found that Minecraft is a perfect medium for his creativity plus is an uber structured environment which really appeals to him (I mean it's just blocks, blocks, and more blocks). Also, if you're not playing in creative mode the game is limited to violence against spiders, zombies, and weird skeletons all of which I'm extremely prejudiced against.


As a father of a 3.8 year old, I can't wait until he is just a little older and can manage all there is to do in Minecraft. As a parent who plays lots of games, I totally get it. It's a wonderful exercise in creativity and exploration and doesn't contain anything objectionable for a young gamer. It's when they start demanding GTAV that you need to really pay attention to what they are playing.


Thanks for that last line. It made me snort/laugh plus now I know IT'S NOT JUST MY BOYS' ROOM. Yay!


Yeah, it's not just the game, but the ennnnnnnndless hours of Minecraft videos to watch on Youtube. StatDad couldn't believe that this is what was occupying all of our son's online time, and kept checking his browser history. Yep -- Minecraft video after video after video. Astounding.


The last thing I understood about Minecraft was when my weeping niece explained to me how she had accidentally killed all the rainbow sheep she had been carefully raising for a month. And I second the warning about Stampy Longhead -- I do not get the appeal but the kids adore watching and learning from him.


The thing about Mine craft is that it's kind of like Lego, just on the interwebz and it moves.


Minecraft is awesome. I've actually played it myself. It's a lot like Legos but with more action and less mess.


Everything you need to know about minecraft can be learned from South Park:

J/K but kids from like 9 to 19 are all obsessed with it where I live, I think it's like Legos but with more violence and in video game format??


Oh god, my two boys (1 and 3) share a room. I just realized that in a few years, it'll probably smell like the guys' hall of a dorm in there. Ugh.

Kaycee in Texas

Oh my. I started to share an anecdote from this post with my son. (Age 29, on the spectrum) When I mentioned Minecraft he was off! Turns out he is a fan. He is still talking to me about it from the other room. He says to tell you that if your boys learn Redstone circuits, they will understand the basics of engineering. He feels that it is very important for you to know that. He also said a whole bunch of other stuff about it that I didn't understand. Yay Minecraft!


Yes, you put into words my exact experiences hearing my son talk about Minecraft. I *was* feeling guilty about not understanding anything he says about it (and not caring enough to try to understand) but now I realize other parents know nothing about the game as well. And they don't care! I also let him start to play Minecraft without investigating it first based purely on the fact that his classmates' parents were letting them play and all the Minecraft kid merchandise...


Yes yes yes to all of it! I am so glad to see that you (and so many others in the comments) feel the same way. It was my secret shame before now. :) I keep reading parts of this post out loud to my husband while he is trying to work out. My boys are also obsessed with the Minecraft "Handbooks"--The Essential Handbook, The Redstone Handbook, and apparently there are TWO NEW HANDBOOKS COMING OUT SOON, MOM! They are about $8 and my kids read them all the time…they carry them around with them everywhere. So buy them the books and then you can include "reading" on the list of reasons why Minecraft is totally acceptable.


One thing to know about minecraft is make sure your kid is playing on a private server or just playing on a server with friends they know in real life.


I was the first to tell you about Minecraft, remember?! It was around Halloween time. ;)


I love your sense of humor.

Amy Renee

One thing that could help with the feet smell - move their dressers and laundry hampers to the other room. We did this with our two boys - beds in one room, dressers and clothes in the other, and it really helps with putting one kids to bed or getting them up in the morning without waking the other. Plus that way I just keep the boxes of clothes that are too small for the oldest and too big for the youngest piled in the corner - no hauling totes in and out of the basement or attic for seasonal or size rotation. And far fewer lost socks under the bed!
We also put a beanbag chair in the room for my oldest to have the option to have some quiet reading or "alone" space since he lost his bedroom privacy getaway - so far its working well.



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