Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Never Underestimate the Power of the Dark Side

Screens are evil. When they are on, my children are happy and calm. When they get turned off, my children totally lose their cool. The other night, at his usual bedtime, I asked my son to go up to bed and read for twenty minutes. It was halfway through "Cupcake Wars", with the winner far from certain, but I was not prepared for the reaction that followed: Darth Vader appeared in our family room.

Yes, I could go with the Jekyll and Hyde analogy, but Star Wars makes much more sense to an eight-year-old. With the exception of the entire year he was three, my son is 99% Anakin Skywalker and 1% Vader. He is a sweet boy who loves to invent machines, build Lego and cook but once in a while, usually when he is tired or coming down with something, he succumbs to the dark side where he is no less creative.

This particular night, after a foot-stomping tantrum that woke up Minx and some weird rustling noises on the stairs, he finally took himself up to bed. When I went up some time later I had to step carefully to avoid the tacks that had been planted on each stair then quietly remove an entire legion of miniature Nazi and Allied war tanks and troops that blocked the door to my bedroom. Crumpled atop a Panzer was a note expressing his hope that I had regretted my decision to send him up before the show had finished and letting me know that he hated me.

All that running around I did for him that day - searching for the Halloween costume he asked for, mailing in his iTouch to have the screen fixed, buying the ingredients for a recipe he wanted to make with me, and then making it - all gone with one flick of the TV remote.

The teen years should be fun.

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