Every other Friday is much anticipated around our house. Our oldest son, Dee, comes to stay for the weekend. Dee struggles with connecting with Chase, he doesn’t quite understand his quirks. He prefers his little sister, and although I understand, it also causes me a great amount of anxiety. Chase takes it in strides, just like he does when the kids at school treat him a bit different. I cringe each time I see it, and attempt to fix things, but I also don’t think it is fair to force Dee to play with Chase, I want them to develop a real relationship, not a forced one.
About a year ago Dee discovered this online game called Minecraft. He begged us to download the free app onto our tablet, and we did. Chase loves technology and would soon crowd Dee to watch over his shoulder, causing Dee to complain loudly. Chase has no concept of personal space and when I say looking over someones shoulder I mean he practically become that persons shoulder. In the end we put the app on our phones as well so that Chase would give Dee some room. Eventually Dee earned the money to download the pay version of the game and this opened up a whole new world for my three children – literally and figuratively!!!!! It is the one thing that the boys have bonded over.
As I mentioned earlier, yesterday Scott and Chase went to pick up Dee from school for our weekend “visit” (I really hate that term). Once the boys arrived home the two younger ones headed back to their room and turned on the Wii. Not to play a video game, but to download Youtube Minecraft videos. These are the bane of my existence. I really wish there was a rating system on these videos. Even the seemingly innocent videos where someone builds a train will sometimes have explicatives sprinkled throughout. SIGH!!!!!
Now that I have set the stage I can get to the story. I normally let Chase watch “Train mods”, they tend to have less scary stuff and less foul language (although I do hear a few blips now and again) or “Minecraft Dad” which he keeps it pretty clean. My sons spent their after school screen time watching a new set of Minecraft videos. When we left the house I noticed that Chase repeated “Hardcore Parkour, it’s freaking hard” The phrase became a litany. My first inclination was to put a stop to it, but the more I attempted to get him to not say the phrase the more he would perseverate.
Chase often gets agitated while we are out and about and we learned that giving him his gaming tablet helps him get into a “zone” that is tolerable for him. In the car he would repeat “Hardcore Parkour, it’s freaking hard.” Later we were at a McDonald’s play area to get out the wiggles. It was later in the evening, around 7pm, so not very many families were there – perfect time for Chase. Dee jumped from one spot to another, and Chase attempted the same. Dee climbed the jungle gym stairs and wended his way through the different obstacles. Chase followed his big brother as Dee jumped from spot to spot. The entire time he repeated the phrase “Hardcore Parkour, it’s freaking hard.”
“Chase, what is Hardcore Parkour?” I asked.
He briefly looked up , “I don’t know.” I let him play for a while and cringed as he would loudly exclaim while climbing up to the slide, “Hardcore Parkour, this is freaking hard.”
I looked at my husband with rising panic. For some reason it caused me anxiety that he kept saying something that I didn’t understand. Scott then had the brilliant thought to actually look up Hardcore Parkour on the smartphone. Having the internet at our fingertips is often a life saver. I learned that Parkour began as a military obstacle course training method that incorporated basic movements like jumping, landing, vaults, and wall maneuvers to get from one obstacle to another. It is rather quite fascinating and I found a great timeline here that gives the history of Parkour. Now I have a name for the beautiful acrobatics I have seen in movies and television (most recently “Arrow,” a show that my husband and I watched this past year) and to be honest it is quite beautiful to watch.
Well, apparently Parkour has caught on in the world of Minecraft!!!!!!Videos and downloadable “mods” have created obstacle courses for their block-like avatars to jump over. Dee decided to watch these videos and well, there ya go.
Scott called Chase over and said, “Do you see what Dee is doing?” We then watched as Dee jumped from the huge vinyl covered xylophone to the huge vinyl covered guitar meant for toddlers to crawl on. He then climbed up into the play area and went through a series of tubes, cylinders and slides. “Dee is going through an obstacle course. That is what Parkour means. Hardcore Parkour is a really hard obstacle course.”
Chase then went over to the xylophone and attempted to jump to the guitar. “Hardcore Parkour, it’s freaking hard.” He continued to use the phrase throughout the evening, but I like to think that he now has something to correlate it with.
I’m thinking of sending an email to his teacher for Tuesday (since I am sure school will be cancelled Monday due to an inch of snow and ice on the road) so that she doesn’t feel confused by Chase’s newest phrase.
Ed: I read the story to Chase and asked him if I could share it. He immediately agreed, although as I read his Alias, Chase he would say, “I’m not Chase, I’m …………” I giggled.