Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Monday, November 28, 2005

My Boy Likes The Games

Caleb is home from school today because of a strike. I've lost count of the days this has happened at his school this year. Anyway, it's cool to be able to spend more time with my oldest boy. And most interesting to watch him play - to see what his interests are and compare my own memories of being that age to his present day reality. Although we're very similar, personality-wise, Caleb and I differ greatly, at least as far as our six year-old lives are concerned.

At six, I was all about reading. I would read anything I could get my hands on. This love was nourished by my father's example...probably the most precious gift he ever gave to me. My Mother taught me the fundamentals of reading - the letters, their sounds, how they magically joined to form words, then sentences, then paragraphs. How incredible to me it was that a being could put their thoughts, their feelings, their dreams and imaginings all down on paper for others to see and experience.

My Dad is a manic-depressive. When I was very young, living in PMQs in PEI, my Dad was very sick and hadn't yet been diagnosed. So, when he was home, he was doing one of two things: running or reading. He would run around the block when he was manic...circling and circling to my friends' (and my own!) delight around the block. We would sit on the cement steps and watch him. When he was depressed, he would read. He would sit in a chair, beer in hand, and read for hours and hours. In many ways, my Dad was unreachable, and to a three year-old child, that's painful. So I would sit beside him as he read. I'd watch his face...I'd study his hands, keeping the beat to the music he listened to constantly over his headphones. I'd feel like someone handed me the moon when he'd place the headphones over my ears and praise me as I kept rhythm with my hands, or head, like him. But the most cherished moments were when he'd tell me about what he was reading.

I could read children's books by three, and begged my parents for books, books and more books.
Caleb does not beg for books. Though he easily comprehends the mechanics of reading in not just one, but TWO languages (he's got me trumped there!), his interests lie in more modern accoutrements, namely, games. Not the Snakes and Ladders or checkers of my youth, but video games: Ratchet and Clank, Pokemon, Katamari, Mario Sunshine, Super Smash Brothers, Zelda, and Megaman of Gamecube or Playstation fame.

This morning, I suggested he draw instead of play games, and he obliged. I was ecstatic when he spent a half-hour at the table, deeply involved in his project. Guess what it was? It was a maze of sorts, fraught with various "enemies," "bonuses," "bosses," "warp-zones" and "prizes." He calls it, "The Monster Traps in the Maze:"

He insisted that I play, and after all the thought and effort he had put into it, how could I not? After all, the prize, as you can see, was a million bucks!!! The way you play is you let Caleb hold your finger and lead it through the intricate tunnels and obstacles. I was entertained by a constant dialogue that involved such exclamations as, "Oh! Ghosts! Use your ghost-refrigeration power!" And, "You got the secret key!" Oh, and, "You have to get the squishing power so you can go past the lines! Oh! You got it!" In true interactive fashion, he squeezed my finger (aka: my "guy") as he led me down the long, lined tunnel which was NOT a ladder, although it looked very much like one (see above). The final descent down this tunnel led me to my prize and I was declared "THE WINNERRRRRRR!" All in all, it took about 15 minutes and I didn't get to make a single decision. Really, I just let him guide my finger around the paper as he animatedly described the action:

Maybe next time we can sit down with a book.


At 2:17 PM, Anonymous James said...

hahaha, what a game! You can just relax and think of something else while you play :)

I probably started reading when I was six as well.

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Tree,
I love your posts. You write so well. I noticed that you had a link to Very Mom's blog. Here are some mommy blogs that I like to read.
Check them out. All three women have different writing styles but all talk about the same thing...their kids! I love reading them.
Keep them coming!
Jo Lamarche

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Tree said...

Hey Jo!
Thank you so much for the compliment! Feels great to know you're enjoying.
I'll definitely check out your links...always looking for more reading material.
Hope all is well with you dear; hope school is good!

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Pappy S. said...

Hey, my Treese! Yep, you actually are a very good writer. I like to check in with you here every couple of days, makes me feel like I'm keeping in touch in my particularly distant way. Love you, girlie...

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Tree said...

I love you too Dad.


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