Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Would Have the Power to Make You Listen to Me

We are very lucky. We live in a neighborhood with lots of kids and they sometimes play epic games outside. I love it when this happens as it means they are outside getting fresh air and exercise and not inside watching TV or nagging at each other (or bugging me).

I don't even know what the games are that they play these days. It used to just be Toilet Tag. Now the games have evolved in scope, breadth and majesty. The rules and the characters change all the time, based on who is around and what they feel like on any given day.

The games don't last for hours anymore either, they last for days. I suspect they sometimes involve Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. For example, last month I saw a lot of medium-sized little boys running behind my house pointing sticks at each other and screaming: "PROTEGO!"

Based on some of the things I was observing out the window yesterday, I guessed that the afternoon's adventure was pretty cool. So here is last night's conversation with the kids on the way to dinner.

Me: It seems like you guys had a great time playing in the neighborhood with all the kids.
Thumbelina (9 years old): YES. It was so fun.
Hawk (7 years old): We had powers.
Mini (4 years old): I was inside wif you, Mama. Because I'm small. [Snuggles into her car seat like a precious little stink bug, until I realize she is going to fall asleep in the two minutes before we arrive at the restaurant, thereby detonating any chance for a nice meal. I begin tickling her feet in a vain attempt to avoid this.]
Me: What kind of powers did you have? I only ask because I saw that one kid run by the house and it looked he had garden claws where his hands used to be.
Thumbelina: Yeah... That was awesome. [Hawk nods in agreement]
Me: So what was his power?
Hawk: At first he had lightning power. But then he sort of changed into a Phoenix that was as big as a dragon. You can see how that would happen, right?
Cap'n Coupon: Of course. Especially since he had a pair of garden claws right there.
[Kids heads are bobbing up and down as Daddy clearly gets it]
Me: And what were your powers?
Thumbelina: I had the power of water and vapor and moisture - even from clouds.
Me: Amazing. So you were a water bender?
Thumbelina: [glares at me] NO. I HAD WATER POWER.
Me: All righty then. What was your power, son?
Hawk: I had the power of fire and lava. [Shrugs as if expecting congratulations for picking the best power imaginable].
Me: What about the other kids?
Hawk: The one guy, he had the power of ants.
Me: Ants?
[Thumbelina and Hawk exchange a glance confirming that I am an moron who understands nothing]
Thumbelina: Yes - ants. He had an entire ant army. Ants are very powerful insects, mom. [Clearly implying that I should have already known that]
Cap'n Coupon: If I had to pick a super power, I would definitely be Wyatt so that I could use the power of words to read. And be Super Why.
[children snort derisively from back seat, even Mini]
Thumbelina: Super Why? Come on, dad. He can only use the power of words in English. That's ridiculous. He would be powerless in Thailand. He can't even speak French.
Hawk: Or Elvish.
Thumbelina: EXACTLY. Good point.
Me: Mini, what would your power be? [praying she answers me, which means she's still awake.]
Mini: I would fly. On a uni-corn! Dat is also a Pegasus. And is my pet and my best fwiend.
Me: AWWW! That sounds great. And is he super snuggly and lovey?
Mini: [Giving me side eye, loaded with contempt] Cece is a GULL.
Me: Your unicorn pegasus is a GULL?
Everyone else in the car: A GIRL.
Cap'n Coupon: It's like you can't even speak Mini.
Mini: Yah, momma. Like my favowite song. [starts belting] DIS GULL IS ON FI-YAAAAA!
(other kids exchange a glance and then start singing)
(everyone cracks up, in spite of the fact that this joke has now been in rotation for three weeks)
Me: Does anyone want to know what my power would be?
Kids: WE'RE HERE!! WE'RE HERE!  [pile out of the car at a pace ten thousand times faster than it took to get them in the car] 
Me: Sigh...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

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