We’ve just returned from a wonderful visit to Toronto to see my in-laws, and while Ayoub spent a good chunk of time bonding with Grandma and Grandpa, Daoud’s new best friend is his Uncle K, who is very tall and willing to carry him on demand and let him touch the ceilings on the first floor of the house.
Lately, Daoud has become increasingly taken with the idea of super-powers (I blame Elsa and her Snow Powers, but that’s another conversation for another rant). A few days before we left for our trip, he called out Abra Cadabra in the car, and informed me that there were now two Ottawas. By the time we’d arrived at our destination on that particular car ride, we were up to 5 Ottawas and 4 Torontos and Montreals, respectively. Abra Cadabra has really taken off with him, so I wasn’t surprised when he turned to Uncle K one morning, while cuddled happily on his lap, and told him that it was time to use their Powers to fight me, since I was the Evil and I was “never ever going to be their friend.” (Imagine this last bit spoken with eyes widening at each word, and the intensity / utter seriousness that often accompanies a child’s “pretend” game).
Uncle K and I both played along. First, I was attacked with Tornado Powers (with which I of course attacked back – you can see how this easily devolved into a “no I hit you” “no I hit you” scenario), followed by the much scarier Fire Tornado, (I countered with Water), followed by Water, followed by some other stuff I can’t remember… At some point, Daoud didn’t like the fact that I was able to use my own super powers, so he promptly informed me that his were stronger, and that I was now dead. I didn’t mind this so much; see, I was chronically sleep-deprived by this point in our visit (thanks to a certain toddler who was the subject of my last post and who, on this trip, discovered octaves I didn’t know existed), so I took my death as an opportunity to collapse on the couch and take a semi-catnap.
This is the point in the story where Daoud tries to revive me. You’ll recall, we are a little confused as to how death operates. I refused to wake up, as I was now dead in the game, and Uncle K reasonably pointed out that since Daoud had killed me, it wasn’t actually possible to wake me up. “This is why it’s not a good idea to kill people,” Uncle K said, very reasonably. “What if you stunned me instead?” I offered, breaking character for just a moment, “then you could wake me up, no problem.” We are both pacifists. It’s possible that we let our dislike of killing and our general want for better gun control get in the way of a four year-old’s game, but hey, who’s judging, right?
Daoud wouldn’t have it. He had killed me, he informed us, and he could revive me, because he’d gotten special powers from Jamaica called “Wake Dead” powers, and these would bring me back. We continued to debate. The Wake Dead powers were very powerful and could definitely wake me up, he insisted. And no, I couldn’t simply have been stunned, where was the fun in that? Besides, he’d gotten them from Jamaica. Hello? What was wrong with the grown-ups? Couldn’t we see that this clearly resolved everything?
So, we conceded. I let Daoud use his Wake Dead powers this time, and I’ll probably let him use them again next time, and the time after that. Honestly, I’m not sure at what point you have the gun control conversation and at what point letting a little boy play should just be letting a little boy play. I’m an equal believer in the importance of using every opportunity as a teaching moment, and of letting kids be kids and have fun and pretend whatever they want, and sometimes, these two things manifest in the exact opposite way. It’s just another example of how little I actually know when I come to apply the theory of every parenting article I’ve read and childrearing conversation I’ve had with my mom.
As for Jamaica, it comes up roughly 25 times a day right now. For super powers, for where we can get a hat, for just about anything. The boy is obsessed. Which is fine by me: one of my all-time favourite movies growing up was Cool Runnings.