Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Young Love Looks Like

You know, I'm really going to get myself in trouble if I keep this up. One of these days the Pillowfight Fairy is going to figure out how to read my blog, and when she does, she's going to be really, really appalled.

That's part of why I don't use her real name here.


Anyway, she had quite an experience the last few days. You see, Tonya had a doctor's appointment yesterday morning, and so our three kids were left with a family from church for the duration. This family also homeschools their kids, so they had their kids at home, and the event for all intents and purposes became a playdate.

Now, this other family has a son, about age seven, who for the sake of anonymity we will name "L." L is a good kid. He is, however, quite rambunctious, as most seven-year-old boys are. But even more so, he has that twinkle in the eye that, to wise observers, indicates trouble. You've got to keep your eye on that one, he's full of mischief.... Mind you, he comes by it honestly; his daddy has the same eye-twinkle. In fact, so does his grandpa, and his aunts and cousins. It seriously runs in that entire family....

Well, L was just as happy to have company over as my kids were to be with someone else for the morning. And so he decided to make the Pillowfight Fairy feel right at home, in the way that only a boy with that mischievous eye-twinkle could.

He pulled out his magnum opus, a volume that the Fairy later described as his "Idea Book". Now, I'm not sure of the exact nature of this Idea Book, but it seems to be some kind of journal or drawing pad that L has been using to draw things that catch his fancy. And L pulled it out and was showing all his monster drawings to the Fairy.

Now, to understand the significance of this, you have to understand that the Fairy lives on an imaginary plane. What she imagines becomes real--every bit as real as Spaceman Spiff was to Calvin. (And we suspect that the opposite happens too--everything that she stops imagining, ceases to exist in her own little world. When we're not there, we cease to be thought about, and we stop existing. Kind of a weird feeling, if you ask me....)

So now the Fairy has been exposed to L's Idea Book full of monsters, and the Fairy is becoming a little freaked out. So what does the mischievous little seven-year-old do?

"You know, this one likes to eat little girls."

Well, to hear the Fairy describe their conversation later, it's pretty apparent that L's comment had exactly the effect he wanted. The Fairy started to get seriously weirded out. So, L continued:

"In fact, this one over here really likes to eat the ones that wear blue shirts."

Later, the Fairy would tell us: "...and then I looked down at my shirt, and I noticed it was blue! And then I got really scared."

Apparently, yesterday morning turned into a fairly traumatic event in the Fairy's brief life. She's been creeped out pretty much ever since.

But! She decided she wanted to get back at L, by fighting fire with fire, so to speak; she decided that she would dream up some monsters that only ate boys, and she would put it into her own Idea Book. So yesterday afternoon, out came the crayons....

Here's the cover page, with her name artistically edited out by me for safe internet consumption. And you know, she's right; I wouldn't want to run into one of these late at night. Even if it is powder blue.
Of course, the Fairy has enjoyed using the Spore Creature Creator, and I can tell its influence. She knows all about how to shape a monster now for ultimate scary effect--what kind of mouths to use, and where the claws go, and what kind of shape to put at the end of the tail.
I've always hated bugs with stingers. And the creepy thing about this one? It has red eyes--and an odd number of legs.

So I was pretty impressed when I came home from the office and saw her work, and I asked her why she was doing it. She responded that she was going to use it to scare L.

Well, I told her that, impressive though her monsters are, it probably wouldn't work to scare L. I told her, see, that boys and girls think differently; that big monsters, and dinosaurs, and loud noises don't tend to frighten off boys. In fact, said I, when boys get together and play, they tend to get pretty noisy, and they pretend to be monsters, and they chase each other all over the place. I told her that by showing off his monsters to you like that, L was trying to play with you in pretty much the same way he plays with other boys, and she should take that as a compliment, even if she didn't particularly prefer the noisy, bouncy way that boys play.

And then I said it. I probably shouldn't have, but I did.

"But if you really want to know what scares off boys, the way to do that is with all that kissy stuff."

I was just joking. Really I was! But I should still have known better. The Fairy took what I said, and treated it like gospel: if you want to scare off a boy, get all kissy around him.

Well, tonight she put her little theory to the test. Our church sponsors mid-week meetings in various members' homes, with a small number of families in each; and it so happens that L's family was there tonight. And L was his normal, happy, bouncy, mischievous, seven-year-old self.

The kids (there were eight of them tonight) were playing mostly in the back room, with a couple of adults supervising, while the rest of us sat in the front room talking about dull, grown-up things. And out came the Fairy from the back room. She came up to us, and announced with great seriousness and gravity: "I just kissed L because I was trying to scare him away."

Anyway, one of the other mothers patiently explained it to me after the fact: it's not so much that the kissy stuff scares away the boys; it's more like it scares away the mothers of the boys.


Why does this whole thing remind me of Calvin and Susie? I mean, seriously. They couldn't stand each other, but they so enjoyed not being able to stand each other.


Arby said...

Her book should contain pictures of a sweet looking fairy who descends upon unsuspecting boys and with a wave of her magic wand, causes them to turn into little men at tea parties. She should draw pictures of L at a small table with a tea set, cup in hand, pinky in the air. Another picture could show the Barbie Fairy, a little doll of a fairy who makes little boys like L play with Barbies. There could be a dress-up fairy, a make-up fairy…well, okay, maybe not a make-up fairy. That could send the wrong message…

Timothy Power said...

Dude, I got scared just reading your suggestions. Yup, that would do it.