For some parents all it takes is a cuddle or a short story to send their little darlings into dreamland. Not me. I have to play video games to get the kids to go down. Poor me.
Welcome to the second instalment of BRB, Kids Are Screaming. It's been three months since my last confession, because I must confess it's really hard to get my children to sit still to do anything, especially if they sense that's what you want.
But I am determined to explore the relationships between me, my twin boys -- Archer and Seamus-and gaming, even if I have to do it while they're passed out.
My wife, magical being that she is, has somehow conditioned the children to go to bed and fall asleep at her merest suggestion. Sometimes she simply looks towards the bedroom and off they go.
That does not work for me. I am the "fun parent", and as the "fun parent" whatever I do with them that does not involve screaming or crying should be fun. Bedtime? How about blanket fort time? Or pillow fight time?
Fine. They want fun? I found away for us both to get what we want.
Come 7:30 on nights when their mother works the two four-year-olds begin calling for their games. "Sixteen!" shouts Archer, his nickname for Madden 16. "Shite!" cries Seamus, because he can't quite pronounce Smite correctly. One of Seamus's first extended phrases was "Forza Horizon 2."
By 8:00 we've chosen a game and settled in to play. By 8:30 they're both dead asleep.
My children spend their entire day actively engaging with teachers, other children, their tablets, their food. Being on the autism scale, all of those things can be a bit more frustrating and taxing for them, and requires a lot of patience on our part.
But not after 8:00. After 8:00 I'm driving. Or shooting. Or tacking. All they need to do is sit back, relax and try not to fall off the couch when they doze off.
BRB, Kids Are Screaming is a series about the joys, hurdles, pitfalls and compromises of being a dad and a gamer. Mostly the joys. Sure. We'll go with that.
Video thumbnail via Shutterstock Photo.