Last Wednesday afternoon was like any other except that something was brewing inside my little three year old and, unbeknownst to me, she was about to lose it in our driveway.
I need to share a little before I can go on. Both of our girls play Minecraft on their iPads (pocket edition). For those who are familiar with Minecraft, they stick with either creative, or easy (peaceful) survival mode, so there is no fighting, just building and exploring.
For those unfamiliar, it is a game of survival, exploration, and adventure. You start in a randomly generated world and you must do things like collect wood, craft tools, and build a shelter in order to survive. Then as the game continues, you can do other things like raise animals, garden, mine for important minerals, and more. You can also mine tough-to-find ores to create armour so you don’t lose as much health if you fall from a dangerous height, for example.
Up to speed? Good…
Last week, my youngest became fixated on armour (shoes, helmet, chest plate, and pants), and wanted me to help her mine the items she needed to make this armour.
The problem? The armour she was asking for was either gold or diamond armour. She didn’t want the easier to find/make armour (leather / iron). She wanted the stuff that takes at least a couple of hours in a concentrated, focused effort to dig up.
So in the car as we were driving home, she brought it up again.
Her: “Mom, you find me armour?”
Me: “I’ve told you that I can’t just get the armour. You know I have to find the stuff we need to make the tools that we need. Then we need to find a cave and go deep into it and mine for everything and that will take all afternoon. We are not sitting inside all day playing Minecraft.”
Her: “Mom, I want armour.” Tensions escalating.
Me: “I can make you iron armour pretty fast. How about I make that then we play outside or paint for awhile?”
Her: “Armooooouuuuur.” (screaming)
This is where she lost it and all I’m thinking is ‘over armour?’. At this point I got home and unbuckled the spawn of Satan (I’m fully aware of what that makes me in this scenario), and we had it out in the driveway. With me trying to get words in in between her gasps for air as she cried, and the word that I have now come to hate.
Everyone say it with me slowly A-R-M-O-U-R.
At this point, I’m in a panic and I’m losing a fight because I have no idea what we are talking about any more. I’m telling her to just build a damn house, or a tunnel… or my grave. She’s screaming ‘armour’ and I finally throw in the towel, get right down to her level (maturity level, not face level), and start freaking out.
Me: “Why do you want armour? You’re not in hard mode. There’s nothing to hurt you.”
Her: (sobbing and wailing) “Armour.”
Me: “What are you going to do once you get your armour? Once you have everything you want, what are you going to do?”
Her: Stops screaming, sniffles one breath, and says “Build a house.”
Me: “You don’t need armour to build a house. You just build a (#$&*ing) house.”
To my credit, no expletives came hurling out of my mouth for the whole conversation. I want a (#$&*ing) medal.
Then there were some hugs. It kind of resembled what boxers do when they hold on to each other because both are too tired to continue fighting.
Then it was done.
Fast forward to dinner out with a fellow blogger and very good friend of mine (Julia, from Nugglemama, check her out) and I was talking about it, then it hit me. There was more to her story, and I didn’t realize it at the time. I know why she had the freak out.
After a conversation with my daughter and a lot of reflecting over the last couple of weeks, I realized that my youngest has become competitive with her six year old sister. She’s been wanting to get dressed quicker, run faster, etc and it has really bothered her when she can’t keep up.
About a week before the meltdown that will forever be called “The Minecraft Incident”, I was playing with her on her iPad and we were exploring caves and I found her some gold and diamonds. She was able to create a little bit of armour, and her sister saw, and expressed some envy over my youngest getting something that she, herself, struggled to find.
This is why she only focused on gold and diamonds, because her sister can easily find and make iron and leather armour but the other two are a serious challenge for either of them.
She wanted to bring something to the table where her sister was concerned.
So now we know and are working on this.
Seriously though, no one say that word around me ever again. Not even if we are being attacked by aliens and I need to go into battle. Just tell me to grab my heels and start fighting because I will end you.