I remember three or four years ago gloating about how my kids didn't adhere to the regular model of childhood because they weren't fervently addicted to whatever trendy thing all kids were hoovering up like crack. Sure my son carried his toy Thomas the Tank Engine around like an extra appendage. He still was through last summer when he remembered to as well. See - this is last July (when I came to visit) and he's clearly just realized Thomas is too far away.
By the time I arrived for Halloween Thomas was done. He and every bit of wooden track Owen owned was shoved into a big, storage tub and was ignored. By that point him and his sister were religiously addicted to Ninjago. That's Lego Ninja, for the uninitiated. It's your usual kids formula TV. Basically four or five friends who live together - each ones main characteristic pretty much displayed by the kind of hair they have - who say sarcastic things in between doing heroic things that involve kicking the piss out of people. As is typical of this sort of show EVERY single character is male. Right up until the show introduces a female character that divides the main characters firmly between two camps of, "ewww girls" and over-exaggeratedly horny. Obviously she disguises herself as a boy-ninja to avoid being all gross/hot and girly to everyone. Think the portrayals of boys and girls in the Bob/Flasheart episode of Blackadder and you're in the right area. I presume if you buy the Lego you have to build your own Ninja erection.
Anyway - they're still into that a bit. But after a brief dalliance with Iron Man and Spiderman (the new cartoon ones - so dudes hanging out being sarcastic and kicking the piss out of people) they've fallen into the cult of Minecraft. Quite honestly - I don't get it. On the one hand it seems like pure marketing seeing as they're just blocky, lumps that do......something. I mean come on - the main guys name is Steve. What kind of hero is called Steve?! But it's a lot more harmless and entertaining than an awful lot of things they could be hooked on. Here's Oboe with one of his Steves.
Strictly speaking though they aren't obsessed with Minecraft. No - they're obsessed with Dan of the Diamond Minecart. He's an English bloke who basically has a gazillion videos of himself on Youtube playing different Minecraft games. My son could watch it from waking till falling asleep. His addiction level is that high right now that if I'm not letting them watch it on my laptop they want to know why - as if a grave injustice is occurring. And as with most things I have no problem with Dan or his Diamond Minecart. He's nice enough. I know some people can't tolerate his monotone voice. But nope - it's just the "all things in moderation" thing. There's only so much Dan I want in our day. Actually my best friend pointed me in his direction. Thanks honey.
But as is the way every single moment lately all I can hear is them talking about Minecraft. "Daddy do you know what Mooshrooms are? They're cows that are also mushrooms in Minecraft..." This will inevitably be followed by a five minute diatribe of unrelated pish that involve what appear to be very important facts (judging by their tone) about things you can and cannot do in Minecraft. Followed usually by a not-actually-funny tale about how once Dan did something and oh my God it was hilarious. Which again - is fine. But we went swimming. Nothing but Minecraft talked about. Went to the zoo. Minecraft. We rode a train around the zoo and the entire trip was spent with Owen and Evelyn asking each other what exactly happened in an episode called The Big Bad Mother Clucker. Which they wont stop repeating. Endlessly. I'm at that point where I have to erase that memory from them in case they say it out in public. Or in front of their mother again.
So instead we've been doing lots of wholesome things that good little boys and girls should. Lots of educational things to purify their minds and expand their learning. Wholesome things. For example I took them to the Science Museum a while back where they could climb inside a huge bowel and then be shitted down a slide.
And then I showed them a video on how babies are made. Clearly by the look on Owen's face he wasn't expecting to learn those things about vaginas.
That'll learn them. One mention of Mother Cluckers today and I'm putting The Walking Dead on.