This weekend was one of the proudest moments I’ve had as a parent.
I’m a father of two amazing 9 year old (obviously twin) girls. This weekend they blew me away with their ingenuity and creativity in solving a problem.
Like a lot of kids of that age, ours are somewhat addicted to trading card games. In their case, that means the dreaded, dare I say infamous, Moshi Monsters. (Parents will know)
Anyone with twins or siblings of a similar age is aware of the Armageddon that any attempt to teach sharing, can bring to a household. Well, enter stage left, “Trading Cards”.
Around 18 months ago our home was being turned into a war zone on an almost nightly basis. Squabbling was unbearable at times and weekends began to be anticipated with dread. Yes all of this came from brightly coloured deck of playing cards and some small plastic tokens, all mixed up with a heavy dose of envy.
No amount of mediation, or for that matter meditation, proved effective. Eventually we resigned ourselves to the sad inevitable fact that the cards had to go. (We briefly debated the twins, but felt the cards were less likely, eBay aside, to provide for us in retirement)
Shortly after reaching this decision, our girls school made an announcement. It seemed dealing with hundreds of daily squabbles was too much for even them to bare. It was official. Moshi Monsters were banned! Yes all this from a simple kids trading card game. (What a franchise!) I’ll spare the gruesome details of the obvious fall out that followed…..
Well here we are in late 2013 and people of a certain age will have noticed a movie is about to arrive in theatres across the country. On the 20th of December *Moshi Monsters the Movie* hits the big screen. Cue cute faces pleading with mummy and daddy for a return of the monsters. Endless promises of, “it will be different this time”. On and on and on and on they went. Yes they’d fallen well and truly off the wagon. It seems, once a card trader, always a card trader.
On Saturday after their umpteenth attempts at negotiating access to the “Moshi safe” (AKA a drawer in my office holding the confiscated contraband) they finally gave up and walked away. Peace reigned and all was quiet in the house, or so it seemed….
Enter stage right a committee of two nine year old girls. Clutching what appeared to be a small stack of cards. Individually (hand drawn) cards. Their eyes were gleaming. They then proceeded to proudly present their new creations. Yes, they’d devised their own trading card game, including their own characters, point scoring system and set of rules of play. Over 20 cards in total were on display.
They had me cornered. I joked for a moment, that now they had to hand over the new cards, just like their precious moshi’s all those months ago. To which their nominated spokesperson said, “ take them, we’ll only make some more”. Precocious, very possibly. Creative, most certainly.
As a father and an employer I worry, as I’m sure each generation does, about those who follow. A lot is spoken about millennials these days. How the younger generation seem to struggle to make decisions and solve problems that every day life can present.
What I witnessed this weekend made me both proud as a father and hopeful for the generation that follows. Creativity is very much alive and well, living on the dining room table of two 9 year olds in England. (129 cards and growing, in case you wondered)