It was early. 4:30 AM kind of early. In my half awake dreaming state, I thought I head a door open and close. I listened a little, and then, when I heard no feet on the stairs or walking around upstairs, I wrote it off as my imagination and feel back asleep.
It was morning. 7:00 morning. I could hear Faye stirring and knew it was time for me to get up. I usually wait for her to come find me, so I lay in my bed until gradually, I feel asleep again. She never came.
It was late. 9:00 in the morning late. With two little kids, that is epically late. Jeffrey and I jolted awake with the realization neither of our kids had been in to see us yet that morning. Jeffrey jumped up, and then I could hear him, amazed and annoyed. Keith was protesting loudly, and a flash or orange told me Faye had just run down the hall, sneaking away, trailing her orange blanket behind her like a banner.
Keith is a natural born hacker. Sometimes in the morning, he would sneak into his grandpa's office, turn on the computer, and start watching YouTube videos. Since we can't be there to monitor what he watches, we tried to put a stop to it by putting a password on Grandpa's computer. Evidently it only took a few minutes for Keith (who is still learning to read and spell, mind you) to bypass the password. I still don't know how he did it! But that stinker found a way, and had been up, since early, watching youtube videos. All of them on Minecraft, which means there wasn't a lot of sleaze, but it also means, there was likely lots of language. Sigh.
A solution needed to be found. Jeffrey decided to move his computer out of the bedroom and into the family room so Keith could play there. I did a happy dance. I hate having a computer in the bedroom and am so happy to have a bedroom that looks like a bedroom, for the first time in our married lives. Happy dance!
This all happened last week. Things were running smoothly. Keith would wake up, not leave his room until 7:00 as per our rule. He would come out dressed, with his bed made, and would ask if he could play on the computer. Jeffrey would get up and set up a game for him. Keith would then play until breakfast was ready, after breakfast while I got ready for the day, and then he would be through for the rest of the day. It was working out beautifully!
And then, my little hacker found a way out of his approved games and into the Daddy not approved games.
I was cleaning up lunch. The kids were downstairs, I figured playing legos, since I had already turned the computer off for the day. When I finished with the upstairs, I headed down to see what they were up to. I walked into the family room and gasped.
Two little heads bodies sharing the single computer chair. One, taller and blonder was kneeling up, hands resting on the keyboard. The screen was covered in red, signifying blood and there were bodies laying all around. They were playing Company of Heroes, a game I loathe, but is one of Jeffrey's stress relieving games.
"What do you think you are doing?!" I asked in my best "Mom voice."
Keith and Faye whirled around to see me and as characteristic, Faye silently slid off the chair and ran to her room, orange banner flying behind her, trying to not be seen.
"But Mom, I was just playing a game! Dad plays it all the time, and why can't I play it?" Keith simultaneously whined and defended himself.
I told him he was not ever to play that game, ever, and that he needed to go to his room. I also added he was grounded from screens (TV, computer) for the rest of the day.
Which started the yelling, and threats, and the typical tantrum he throws.
"Fine! I am never going to play another video game again. And I am never going to come out of my room again. I don't love you anymore. You are the meanest mom in the world. I will never like you again!"
I sighed, turned off the computer, and then sent Jeffrey a message letting him know that Keith is off the computer forever more, until something can be done about his hacking into things he shouldn't.
Jeffrey has now set up a profile specifically for Keith. There is no access to the internet, and only parent approved games are allowed in his profile. I just hope he doesn't figure out how to hack back into Jeffrey's profile and those games! And if he does hack it, I have to say, I will be impressed and slightly proud. Mainly for the fact that he is learning those skills so early in life which will help him down the road. And only for that reason.