Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shields Up!

I always wondered on Star Trek why they had to keep saying, "Shields up." Shouldn't the shields always be up? I mean, they're traveling through the unknowns of space, never knowing when a Klingon might de-cloak, a nefarious nebula might appear out of nowhere, or some robe-wearing near-omnipotent species might decide to toy with them. Shouldn't they expect the unexpected and always be prepared by having their shields up?

Why am I thinking about this? Because I let my shields down. Twice. Each of the last two nights I've taken a crippling shot to the groin from my two-year-old daughter, once from her knee and once from her big toy microphone.

I thought I had my shields up. I've been around kids long enough, both as a father and as an uncle, to know that when kids are climbing around I need to keep that certain area guarded. Especially when they are using me as a jungle gym.

But, it doesn't matter how guarded you think you are, they are going to get a shot or two past the defenses. It's like they have superhuman speed like The Flash, Superman, Quicksilver, or Dash from The Incredibles. Or something.

Given time, one of those feet will connect with that crotch to inflict pain, unless the shields are up.

And it's not just the speed. It's the targeting. I think they know the exact spot that will cause the most damage. It's like that climactic scene from the first Star Wars movie. (You know, the first movie that is really the fourth movie, even though they made it first, not fourth.) Anyway, the movie where Luke Skywalker has to use the Force to shoot his shot in the one tiny little place in order to blow up the Death Star. It's like these kids use the Force to find the one spot that will inflict the most crotchatic pain.

The other night The Girl's knee struck with a speed and precision that I thought were a once in a lifetime shot. Until the next night, when the toy microphone struck just as quickly and just as precisely.

Now, my guard is constantly up. I'm expecting crotch shots at every instant. The Girl is halfway across the room, but if she were to move, I'd flinch. This is no way to live. I can't walk around the rest of my life with one hand covering my private parts. People would talk. (And they wouldn't be saying nice things.)

I guess that's why the Enterprise roamed the stars without their shields up. Yes, it's good to be on alert, but you still have to live your life. It's impossible to be on full prevent mode all of the time. I just have to try to put what's happened behind me and move forward from here.

But, the next time she climbs onto my lap to have me read her a book, you can be sure that the Nard Guard will be on full alert.

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