Monday, July 11, 2005

Star Wars Fatigue

It is the mistake of many parents to think that the natural and unintentional humor of a kid still learning the ropes of the language makes for grand humor when translated by those parents in the company of friends. That mistake manifests itself in the correct perception that the kid might be funny, but his parents are colossal bores. The unintentional humor of the syntax and vocabulary of a three-year old has to be experienced directly.

Jake is at that age – three going on six – jumping right to the slang that his brothers have picked up, and using it as a blunt instrument to insult and demean his brothers in the course of any disputes. Sometimes he relies upon an emphatic “stupid”, directed out into the ether rather than being directly applied to a subject, but the intended subject is usually quite clear; other times he opts for the less favored “hate you”, but enough punishment for saying he hates any person in his family has curbed him to saying “hate this,” with the ambiguity of “this” allowing the benefit of the doubt in most cases. These pronouncements have earned him some vinegar on the tongue now and again, and on occasion some garlic, but we are shying away from creating a negative association for a spice that can never be overdone. The other fear, given his strange mood swings, is that one day he’ll react to the garlic in the same manner as a vampire, an entirely possible scenario given his recent behavior, but the vampire status of your son is one truth you’d rather save yourself from.

Language aside, Jake has discovered his first obsession, Star Wars “chariters,” small little teen-aged versions of Luke, Han Solo, Chewie, Ben and the whole gang. All he wants to do is play Star Wars. His obsession is to the point that he wakes up an hour earlier than he should, comes tramping down the hall to our room, jumps into our bed, and the first words out of his mouth are “you be Luke Skywalker dad.” There are worse ways to wake up, but that is just the beginning. One day I awoke before him and headed to the basement to workout while watching SportsCenter. Half an hour later he follows, sees me surrounded in the basement by Star Wars chariters that I am completely oblivious to, and with an extremely puzzled look on his face, asks “why you not playin Star Wars, dad?” The true mark of the obsessed – the assumption that it is irrational for others not to be similarly obsessed. If he keeps this up, I’ll be playing more Star Wars than George Lucas.

The play is pretty easy as it goes – there are good guys and bad guys. All Star Wars characters are generally good, but the much larger species of Rescue Heroes, a totally unrelated species of toy I might add, get recruited to be the bad guys, which is generally against their nature. But they have no time to protest – before they know it Han Solo is landing the Millenium Falcon on the deck of the Rescue Heroe Command Center (it’s an aircraft carrier), and Luke Skywalker is all over Billy Blazes.

Mom gets a pass on Star Wars playing because she wisely found a discrete way to dispose of Princess Leai. Most of these Star Wars figures were given as birthday gifts to the twins last year, and it was Mom, not Dad, who picked out a Princess figure for a five year old. Joey opened it, scowled and said “oohhhh”, and promptly gave it to Jake, who was glad to have it as he is not yet old enough to understand that girls are ickie. In any event, all Star Wars activities, including endless light saber battles, fall on my plate.


Blogger Clupbert said...

You better teach him that girls are ickie soon. And that scenario sounds like me back when... nevermind, right now.

8:17 PM  
Blogger John Wolfram said...

Well it certainly is a twisted universe when the Rescue Heroes are bad guys. Must be Billy Blazes' moustache...

For our 2-year old, it's not Star Wars but Scooby Doo. Everywhere we go, Vince says "I bring my guys!" which is a colloquial reference to Freddie, Vilma (sp?) Daphne and Shaggy. He likes Fred and Daphne the best (and who wouldn't?) He sings the song -- "scooby dooby doo, where are you, got some work do now!" and he imitates Fred by saying "gang, gotta nother mistry on hands!" So far the highlight was when he woke up in his crib and yelled for help because Daphne was stuck somehere down in his pajama pants.
PS Man what a colossal bore _I_ am.

8:30 AM  

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