So, last weekend I went on a much needed, MUCH deserved girls weekend in Austin, Texas. Most of us were mothers, so you can imagine the craziness and chaos that ensued when we arrived in A-Town for a little R&R. You guessed it, window shopping by day and Jazz Clubs by night….CRAZY! Anyway, I left my two precious children in the care of their dad, AKA “Mr Fun.” Now, I understand that dads usually don’t parent like mothers. When I mean “parent,” I’m more referring to the sort of non-essentials of parenthood: bathing, clean clothes, regulating TV time, etc. I returned on Sunday and here’s what I know for sure, it all looked seemingly fine…at first glance.
The house was actually not that messy, the kids were happy, dad was happy, dog was happy. However, I noticed that the kids were both in the PJs from the night I left. Okay…not such a big deal, it WAS the weekend after all! Then I noticed the half eaten dinners on the table were mac and cheese and cheese quesadillas. Oooohhhh-kay, I would not necessarily have chosen processed cheese and carbloading our children before bedtime…but hey, they were all happy and content so who am I to judge.
But something was off and I couldn’t put my finger on it…then it hit me. When I left, Max needed help playing Mario Kart. It’s a pretty tough game for a 3 year old because you have to have good spacial and motor skills to actually maneuver the game AND drive the courses. When I returned from my weekend away, I noticed Max was sitting on the couch playing Mario Kart all by himself. There he was….sitting there in his PJs, socks pulled up to his shins, and staring intensely at the television with the focus of Mario Andretti. He kinda looked like that brother or husband’s friend who stays with you while he “looks for a job,” but decides that free rent at Chez Roberts is way better than actually looking for employment. So I asked Ryan, “Umm…exactly how much Mario Kart did he play?” Ryan proceeded to inform me that Max pretty much hasn’t left the couch in two days.
Well, I thought this was funny. I mean, what’s the harm right? Wrong. It has been four, long(oh so long) days that I’ve been weening Max off of Mario Kart. I liken it to that scene in Trainspotting where he’s detoxing from herion…and it ain’t pretty. To make matters worse, today I allowed a bit of Mario Kart(just to take the edge off), and I walked away to put Katie down for her nap. I returned to the family room and noticed the screen…Max was embattled with another player halfway around the world! Some person named “Dash” was playing MY 3 year old in a Mario Kart race to the finish! I immediately pulled the plug mid-race and a fleeting, yet amusing thought, ran through my brain, “I wonder if Dash knew he was playing a 3 year old….” I sternly looked at Max(who was innocently staring back) and said to him, “Now, I DO NOT want you to play with the other players….I ONLY want you to play with yourself.” Yeah.