Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A post from the past.

Here's a re-post. Yes I wrote it. Yes, it's all true. (and no, I'm not resting on my laurels here, I thought a little humor would brighten up my day).

How Halo has made me a better Mom.
No, I'm not even kidding. Halo really has made me a better mom. I think I'm going to have to explain that a little bit.
See, in video games there are really two types: the kind where your character gets better through upgrades and leveling and what have you, and the kind where your character never gets any better. In the second type, the only thing that ever improves is your own personal skill at the game. You are ultimately the weakest link in this sort of gaming environment and to quote Yahtzee for a moment "They hurt us 'cause they love us." Yeah, it's hard, yeah sometimes you spend more time fragging hairy apes than you meant to, but you learn to be a better player or move on. With each death you learn about how to evaluate situations and make snap decisions (do I shoot the grunt in the head or the groin? should I hit the big dude first, or the dude who's closest to me first?). All these decisions have to be made in a split second or your character dies and you get to replay the scene all over again (not much fun).
And some of you may be asking yourselves how this has *anything* to do with raising children. Well let me tell you, when you're raising kids there are no upgrades, and there are no do overs. So, in light of this strict environment I'd like to propose these simple rules that have, over the past few months been honed to a fine edge (molecular even).
Baby rules from Halo
1. Know where the enemy is at all times. This quickly translates to diaper changing, especially as M becomes more adapt at deciding what she picks up. For some reason she has become fascinated with diapers. And, of course, her favorites to get a hold of are the ones full of poo. I'm not sure how she can tell, but rule number one of all diaper changing situations is know where the poo is (preferably out of the reach of the child).
2. Always be faster than your enemy. Translation: pick it up before the child does. If it's something she can have, hand it to her, but in case it isn't, just be in the habit of picking it up first. This is particularly helpful around cutlery and wineglasses.
3. Encourage confusion in the enemy. Translation: if the child is enthralled by a popping noise you learned how to make in junior high she might open her mouth and stare at you. For you rookies out there, that's a good time to insert the peas into your child's mouth.
4. Distractions are your best friend and worst enemy. Translation: don't become distracted by something anyone is doing unless it is your child. The second you aren't paying attention to your child is the moment she'll grab slimy dog food (preferably from the dogs lips, as my older sister did in her youth) and attempt to swallow it whole. On the other hand, if your kids in a terrible mood a little distraction goes a LONG way. Of course, in Halo, I use grenades as distractions... less useful around small children, but the premise is the same.
5. Team work is always more effective. In Halo, Ravenna and I team up for a crushing victory over the covenant when we need a little down time. Similarly, M stands little chance against our combined might. Though I'm not sure exactly which prophet she'd be, especially considering that all they do is whine and get carted around by mechanical things... oh, and they have english accents...Well, if she has to be one of the prophets, I'm going to go with Truth, he's the one with the great monologue.

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