Since I know that pictures have been few and far between for a long while, I thought I'd share with you all this intimate family portrait, with members represented according to my 2-year-old daughter M-'s remarkably consistent series of dramatic scenarios over the past several weeks:
Spoiling his long-held secret identity, I'll admit that the fellow on your left up there is my dad, whom the kids call Dado (DAH-doh) in the Irish custom. On the right, in an uncanny representation right down to the giant titanium claw hand, is my mom, whom the kids call Grammair, similar to the French title.
Now, the two in the middle are harder to pin down. The lady on the left was originally employed as my 5-year-old son D-, with the smallest (grown male) figure representing M- herself, but, I believe over D-'s one-time objection, at a certain point she began identifying herself instead as the (bipedal, clothed rat-) woman, with D- then played by that man a fraction of "M-'s" size.
I'm thinking that the size/power upgrade was a big reason why she didn't mind abruptly changing the conventions of her personal game to suit the whims of her bystander brother, who's as prone to ranting power-trips these days as she has always been to squeezing someone's face with her fingernails until they stop saying whatever it is she objects to, such as, "what [she] should do."
To explain the likely disappointing, for you, lack of my wife and I in this portrait, I get the sense M- herself is the Momma in her games, and I imagine I'm not usually given any inanimate representation because I represent myself so well in that state throughout her waking hours. I am omnipresent and omnisomnolent.*
But it's our (virtual) loss, I assure you. Because oh, what fun this crew has, day in, day out... almost as much fun as my wife J- had before she was formally introduced, trying to figure out one night after bedtime what in the world M- was talking about when she was crying for her to "go find M- and D-... I want you to bring me M- and D-!"
The answer J- would have given, had she been up to speed on the fast-changing world of Imagination Games that is our afternoons around here, is that M- and D- were not available that night because they were still unconscious inside a shoe under the coffee table after Dado shot them in the face with a giant web-missile while attempting to pass the sugar cubes at teatime.
You know, the usual disfunctional family hijinks. Plus robots.
* Don't feel bad if you don't recognize that word, because I'm pretty sure I just built it right this moment, and I love it.