That favorite saying of mine is courtesy of my Dad.

“Nice to meet you, Hungry. I'm Ron.”

Because I was always hungry.

I still am – but I only have myself to tell because no one else is going to toast me a bagel and put just the right amount of cream cheese on it.

Thanksgiving break.

Day seven.

My children have fully reverted to summer mode.

“I’m bored.”

“Nice to meet you, Bored. I’m mom.”

That favorite saying of mine is courtesy of my Dad.

“Nice to meet you, Hungry. I’m Ron.”

Because I was always hungry.

I still am – but I only have myself to tell because no one else is going to toast me a bagel and put just the right amount of cream cheese on it.

My kids aren’t as lucky either. They don’t get much sympathy from me.

They rolled their eyes and walked away while I yelled at their backs.

“Go outside and play!”

But their winter gear was lacking because I just wasn’t expecting a blizzard in November. They were as bored as summer but with winter weather on a rather schizophrenic fall day.

So, these last two days have been mostly planted in front of the TV.

I wanted to gripe at them and break them out of the PlayStation trance they go into when that emblem pops up on the screen. I can’t do that though.

That’s because I am on level 214 in Toon Blast. Let that roll around in your brain – level 214. That’s a whole lotta toon blasting.

Toon Blast is cartoon game like Candy Crush and just as addicting. The levels are challenging, and the lives are rationed in fives unless you want to pay actual money for them – thankfully I am not to that point.

So, my real life was being lived in-between my Toon Blast lives reloading. This takes several hours at a time during which I clean the house, cook supper, put away laundry, and execute top-notch parenting.

Then just like the kids who go starry-eyed in front of Fortnite, I find myself sucked into a gaming vortex when I sit down with my phone. I did the same thing with Candy Crush several years ago until I realized I just can’t handle something so addicting literally at my fingertips, so I vowed to never play again.

Now I am probably going to have to do the same with this game.

I am not knocking people who play games. Just like everything else, though, some people can’t handle it – by some people, I mean me.

We all have our things.

I can sit down at the end of the night and drink a glass of wine without the desire to get drunk. I can go to a casino and play twenty dollars on slots and walk away (five minutes later).

Those aren’t my vices.

For me there are two major areas of struggle.

Food and time wasting.

When I am happy, I eat.

When I am sad, I eat.

When I am excited, I eat.

I am surprised I haven’t figured out how to eat in my sleep.

And with food in hand, I sulk by the light of my phone.

The problem with all of this is that I can’t parent between lives on Toon Blast or when I look up from Facebook. I also can’t tell the kids to go outside and get some exercise when I am sitting on my butt stuffing my face with a crème horn.

See, parenting is a 24-hour gig.

I have taught them by example that instant gratification is more rewarding than the long-term benefits of hard work. This will prove untrue when they can’t sit down without undoing their pants buttons, or when they realize they’ve disconnected from everyone in the room just to pass another level in Toon Blast.

My examples are setting them up to fail in certain areas.

Truth is, it’s impossible to be a perfect role model to our children, and if we pretend to be perfect then they will try to live up to something they can never attain.

We can’t stop being human.

Just so you know, there are other areas I am nailing.

My kids have strong communication skills (some say this just means I talk too much) – and the courage to laugh themselves.

Because it’s okay not to take yourself too seriously.

It’s also okay to admit your faults, and work to change them.

So, Level 214 was my last Toon Blast Level, and now I am little bored.

“Nice to meet you, bored. My name is laundry.”