Toast

DB started working the night shift last week and it’s had an interesting effect on me.

Yup. That’s me.

Of course, if I’m burnt toast than DB can’t be any better off. Worse, I’d wager.

At least with me, we could scrape off the burnt parts and still come out kind of edible.

Despite our crusty states, these three small things just keep bouncing around us without pause. Like, literally. As in, please-pass-me-the-remote-all-this-motion-makes-me-sick without pause. Even during the night, the wild things creepeth. It’s like they can smell that Momma’s spidey-senses are on high alert and even the littlest, tiniest, cricket-like-est sounds will send her bounding out of bed and streaking into the hallway, a veritable Wonder Woman, magic lasso at the ready.

...tell me, did you REALLY think I’d give away my secret identity to you just ‘cause you read my blog?

Unfortunately, all this nighttime activity leaves my super-strength a bit sapped during daylight hours (bet you didn’t that super-mom’s weakness is daylight, did you? Mothers are vampiric that way). I think what this means is that I need to level up.

Level Up, Verb: To gain enough experience in a video game, through either fighting or questing, that your character “gains” a level, thereby increasing strength, speed, magical ability, etc. Eg., “I got Cloud up to level 99 in the first disc, tracked down Sephiroth, then pwnd him so bad that my PS exploded.” 

If you didn’t already know what leveling up was, that probably made it clear as mud, yes?

Let me explain in pictures.

In a video game, as you progress the enemies you fight get more and more difficult. If you fail to level up sufficiently, your characters stay relatively weak. Then bad things happen and you start looking like maybe a zombie revolution would actually be in your favor.

Characters names have been changed for their protection.

So you go out, and you just keep fighting. Even if it’s barely by the skin of your teeth that you make it through battles (or even if it’s only by dint of multiple saves of your game; I’m not sure what the parental equivalent to that would be. Possibly Momma time-out, when you put the kids in their rooms so’s you can pull yourself together), you’ll eventually find that this wonderful, glorious thing happens.

Yippee! I’m strong now!

All at once, you hit harder, run faster, think clearer, and definitely would never, ever lose to munchkins.

Ladybug dressed herself just like this yesterday. I’m not even making that up.

Let’s face it: I can’t give up. My kids will still be there in the morning (and evening and night) regardless. So am I going to give in? Will I lose my schmidt all over everything? Will I explode like some disgusting pig-lizard that’s been turned inside out by a malfunctioning teleportation device?

Maybe.

But I’ll clean up after myself.

And then I’ll keep going.

Because that’s what we do, parents. We haul ourselves up by our bootstraps, and when the bootstraps break we levitate because we just freaking have to.

Props to you, all my parental friends. Go forth and gain many levels so that someday, when we reach the golden years of level 99, we can watch our children struggling and, even though we know we could take all their enemies out with one swing, we won’t. Because we love them.

And we know that it’s worth getting stronger.

                                                                                                                                                                

Note: The video game I took the screens shots from is Final Fantasy IX, produced by Square Enix. Just so we’re cool on me not stealing other people’s stuff. The legs are from The Wizard of Oz; same thing. 
Second Note: Thanks to Real Life Comics for reminding me how much I lurve FF games. You are one funny guy, Greg Dean.
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About Carolynn the Dyer

If I've learned one thing by having three children in four years, it's that babies are not, in fact, the best birth control. ... Okay, just kidding. I've really learned that laughter is the only way to survive the wilds of parenthood, and life in general. Also, that it is indeed possible to do dishes, parent, and carry on a conversation at the same time. If that sounds like fun, or just impossible, then come join me on my blog--and join me in the jungle.
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