We were having trouble figuring out what to do on Saturday.
I suggested that we sit down and watch the entire Lord of the Rings series with the kids. My wife didn't think it was appropriate for a seven and four year old, so I decided to poll my Facebook friends. It turns out that it was a pretty unanimous agreement with my wife. Apparently, a movie series that involves zombie horses and getting attacked and paralyzed by a giant spider is inappropriate for kids...jeez.
Therefore, we decided to fire up the old Wii and have a Super Mario Brothers marathon.
We grabbed four controllers and went after Princess Peach. For the next few hours, we were in a zone. Goombas were smashed, turtle shells were thrown (mostly at each other), and there were times where the family barely survived. Most of all, were learned a lot about life and each other. Here are some of those lessons learned.
1. Strength Doesn't Always Lie in Numbers
I've been playing Mario since I was about eight years old, so I have some skill. Once I get to the more complicated worlds, I'll have issues, but I can normally breeze through the beginning worlds relatively easily. That's not the case when there are four people jumping around the screen. Every time I try to jump, there is someone jumping on my head. Whenever I jump on a turtle, someone feels the need to throw it right at me. Levels that should take three minutes started taking two hours. When we finally beat the castle on the FIRST WORLD, I just about cried from joy.
2. My Wife Will Do Anything for a Mushroom
I'm not kidding here. Normally, my wife is one of the most caring and loving people on the planet, but when you put a Wii controller in her hand, she turns into a maniac. Does Little Dude need that mushroom? Too bad, mommy got their first. Of course she's already grown and has no need for it, but that doesn't mean it's yours. Oh, you're going to start crying? Try not to be in my way next time! There's no mercy in Mario!
3. The Kids Will Either Leave You Behind or Push You
Are you delicately balancing on the edge of cliff to wait for the flying turtle to go down before you jump? Not anymore because my daughter just pushed you off the edge. Trying to get into that nook to find the 1 Up? That's not going to happen because our son is on a roll and he's not slowing down to wait. You better start moving before you get left behind. There's no mercy in Mario!
4. It's a Team Effort...Until It's Not
We tried to stick together each level. We would move together in a pack and try to tackle each obstacle as a team. This worked on a few levels...then we entered the first castle level. It quickly became every man for himself. If the kids were slowing me down, I just left them behind. My wife can't keep up? Don't worry, I'll break you out of your bubble after you die from falling off the screen. I've got a boss that I need to get to. There's no mercy in Mario!
Amazingly, the family survived the day. We didn't rescue the princess. In fact, we barely got past the first world, but it sure was fun. Maybe next time we'll break out Mario Kart. Since we're not supposed to work together, that will probably be even better.
There's no mercy in Mario!
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