Monday, December 17, 2007

Secret Agent

Luke has always maintained--strangely, given his obsession with superheroes--that he wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. But yesterday, he told me that he wanted to grow up to be an astronaut and a good ninja.

"Is that a job, mom? The job of a ninja?" he asked.

The only respectable job I could think of that might involve some ninja moves was that of a CIA agent, although, in retrospect, I should have talked up acting. I mean, what mom wants her kid to be a CIA field agent?

But CIA field agent is now on Luke's list of possible career choices. And I must admit, I like the possibilities with this one.

"So Luke, you really need to work on your disguises. And also your spying skills. Why don't you very quietly try to hide and spy on me for about, oh, twenty minutes. Do you think you have the agent skills to do it for twenty minutes?"

Luke was off to work on his tasks.

Later, when he was complaining about having to go to school, I casually mentioned that CIA agents have to work very hard in school. They must be very smart so they can memorize everything, since it wouldn't do to write anything down. They also have to be very good at math and must know many languages.

Luke looked at me with determination and said, "Okay, Mom."

I asked Luke if he thought he might also like to get married and have a family in addition to being an astronaut and a CIA field agent.

"I won't have a wife," he said with the utmost certainty, "I'll have a boy master."

I knew that this must have something to do with a superhero partner or ninja master. But I didn't delve into it. I'll just save it, file it away for later use. Perhaps for a wedding toast?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Another Day in the Looney Bin

At the park yesterday, Luke jive talked me into another round of a variation on his standard game, When Skeleton Vampires Attack!!! Growing weary of yet another game involving fighting, blood, death and unwilling conversion to the dark side, I finally told him that I wasn't playing that any more, end of story. I would play Super Why, and if he wanted to join me, fine.

Super Why is a PBS show that involves superheroes who read and spell to solve problems. We've only seen it once, and on that day it was about Super Why and his friends going to a book, The Little Red Hen, and finding clues that would allow them to figure out why no one would help their friend. I hoped the superhero element would appeal enough to Luke that he would join in.

We started off by identifying who we would be. Luke, deciding to play, is Super Why (who is the actual main character of the show) but we can't remember the rest of the characters, so I'm Super Z and Henry is Super Red. Luke says that we have to find a wolf.

"What do we have to do when we find the wolf?" I ask in my best superhero voice. "Let's see. I think we need to L, that says llll, then we need to O, that says ahh, then CK, that says kkk. What do we need to do?"

Luke pieces together the sounds and says, "Lock! We need to lock the wolf in jail!"

I'm feeling pleased with the way this game is going, educational and yet fun, although certainly not Waldorf approved with its television inspiration. But hey, we are public school folks these days, so PBS lends me a feeling of moral superiority.

"I can't find the wolf! I can't find the wolf!" Luke yells. Then he crouches down, as if hiding. "Wait, I'm unzipping my Super Why costume. I'm the wolf in disguise! And I'm not actually a wolf, I'm a werewolf! I'm going to bite you!" he screams as he starts chasing me around the park.

Henry throws himself down on the ground and starts to K, that says kkk, I, that says iiii, CK, do you remember from earlier? What sound do the C and K together make?

"I am Super Red! I'm Super Red Hen!" he screams as he kicks, mixing up the original plot of our game, although I'm not sure any of us remember where we started. "I want to grow some corn for my chicks!" he continues to wail. Oh yes, except that Henry has trouble with first consonants, and so he says, instead of corn, porn.

"I want to grow porn! I want to grow porn!" Henry moans.

I kneel down beside him to try to reason with him. The werewolf jumps on my back and (pretend) bites me. Having given up on our learning game for the day, I pretend to die.

"Okay, time to grow some corn!" I say, jumping up from the ground. "Come on Henry!"

"Say 'Come on Super Red Hen Mama!'" commands Henry.

"Come on Super Red Hen Mama," I sigh. We go and pretend to grow some corn.

"Now I'm putting the porn in the microwave for my little chicks!" Henry proclaims, putting some leaves in the crook of a tree.

Luke, a werewolf or a superhero, jumps through the crook.

"Don't step on my porn!" Henry screams.

"Luke, don't step on Henry's porn! I mean corn!" I say.

"I'm not Luke, I'm Super Why," says Luke.

"Time to go!" I order, exhausted. And so Luke/Super Why/Werewolf and Henry/Super Red/ Hen/Mama and I, and our Leaves/Corn/Porn, go and hop in the car.