Do you remember a computer game called Lemmings? It was a simple point and click affair, but was highly addictive. It was one of the first games I played and I remember it fondly; the object was to stop a bunch of green-haired, purple-robed rodents from letting their natural desire to perambulate from left to right result in them coming a cropper. Well now my sense of nostalgia has been tainted by the fact that we suddenly seem to have one living in our house.
Yes, Xander seems to think he’s a character from a 90s video game. If there’s a flat surface he can walk on, he’ll get to it and do so. It doesn’t matter what the surface in question happens to be or how small it is; if it’s above floor level and he can stand on it, he will walk on – or, rather, off – it. He’s relentless. He understands what ‘no’ means, but is so determined to climb and subsequently fall off things that he ignores us. So far this week, I have reenacted scenes from the popular game by rescuing him from the sofa, a small table Dylan does his drawing at and the toilet. He was about to climb onto the cistern of the latter.
It’s not just the irrepressible urge to walk in a certain direction whether there’s sufficient area to set foot on or not though. Oh no. In Lemmings, you saved the daft creatures from peril by assigning them jobs, helping them to dig, mine, build or float their way to safety. You could also make them smash through earth and, if memory serves, marble pillars, crystals and brick walls with their bare fists. Xander seems to think he has that particular skill in his locker. I do worry for our house, especially as it’s on the market at the moment.
Apart from chasing after and grabbing him as he’s about to get an extreme close-up of the carpet, I don’t think there’s much we can do to halt this behaviour. It’s a shame I can’t control him with a computer mouse though. I guess we’ll just have to ride this phase out – and hope that the next video game he chooses to have a go at emulating is something like FIFA instead…