When Lauren wants something she starts striking deals. Scheming, persuasion, kindness, bribery…she’s got a lot of tools in her belt (as most of us do). Having been (in her opinion) burned a time or two, she’s no longer content to take us at our word.

So last week we were presented with another of her famous “contracts,” that she demanded we sign.  IMG_3473

It reads:

“I said if I get off mine craft for a week I would get the extra that goes with mine craft. It is called pixelmon. Pixelmon is free and all you have to do is down load it. On Pixelmon you can find and catch Pokemon. You can also put your mind to work and build a big house. You can battle gym leaders and win badges. I have fun on normal mine craft I also have fun on Pokemon and it mixed would be double the fun. To get pixelmon you have to go to http://www.pixelmon.com. There will be a download button there. By the way Kelly has no say in this.”

Several things come to mind:

* Do they not teach comma use in middle school?

* What are gym leaders?

* Nice try slipping in the educational aspect of it (“You can put your mind to work”)

* Does Kelly have some sort of sister executive veto power I don’t know about?

But, ultimately, my biggest question is: What’s in it for me?

“Seems like a pretty lopsided contract, Ms. Cass,” I say to her.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, what do we get out of this? Why should I sign it?”

“Cause I’ll stay off Minecraft for a WEEK, Mom. A whole WEEK,” she emphasizes.

“Meh, that’s pretty weak. But I’ll sign this, with an addendum: You also have to do your chores for a week without whining or being reminded.”

We had a deal, so I signed.


To be honest, I’m not even sure if she held up her end of the bargain. She watched a lot of YouTube videos about Minecraft which is technically not playing Minecraft, but….awful close. But, whatever. I’m tired. I’m busy. I’m single-handedly holding up our world during the week now so..whatever.

I made her wait all weekend before I climbed the stairs to the office on Sunday afternoon to do what I thought would be a quick download and installation.

Only, when it comes to computers, nothing is ever easy, right?

Three hours later, I slammed my fists on the desk in frustration, having downloaded a half dozen installers, apps to “unpack” them, java updates…and still no Pixelmon. (What happened to a simple .exe file?)

“You know what, Lauren, I’m sorry, but I’m done. I can’t do this. I’ve spent three hours up here and I’m done. You are computer savvy. You understand Minecraft. You have a lot more time than I do. You figure it out.”

I handed her my administrative password and washed my hands of the whole  Mineworld.

I didn’t realize it at the time but my incompetence and impatience actually motivated and empowered her.

She worked on it all night long. She Googled for information, watched “how to” videos on YouTube, and, eventually got the installer to work. She rushed downstairs to tell me.

“Mom! Mom! I got Forge to work!”

I high-fived her.

When I got up to workout at 4:45 a.m. on Monday, she got up, too, and was back at the computer.

By the time I finished my workout, she was building her first Pixelmansion.

And I was preparing to hand over my IT Help Desk Crown to the new queen of the PC kingdom at Casa Cass.



About Just Write “What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”