Sunday, July 1, 2012

Just Use the Force, Mom

A few weeks ago, my 3-year old stood observing me as I was trying to force open a jammed drawer.  He looked at me quizzically and remarked in complete seriousness: "Mommy, just use the force."  

I chuckled but didn't think much of the comment.  Then, last night, this same son refused to brush his teeth.  I found him hiding in the shower.  My oldest son informed me, "He's waiting for you to use the Jedi mind trick."

"Are you serious?"

"You can do it, Mom," my 6-year old nodded earnestly.  I could feel three sets of eyes on me, waiting expectantly for my next move.

So I slowly waved my hand and said, "You will brush your teeth."  The little guy stepped out of the shower, grinning from ear to ear, took the toothbrush from my hand, and promptly began brushing his teeth.

Oh boy, I thought to myself, what has this family come to?  Sure, Daddy has an authentic Stormtrooper helmet and armor in his closet, and Mommy actually knows the difference between a Mandalorian and a Geonosian... I mean who doesn't, right?  And the boys probably have enough "Star Wars" toys to start their own Ebay business someday.  They haven't watched the movies in their entirety yet, but they've read enough "Star Wars" picture books to know what happens from Tatooine to Endor.

Still, I'd like to be certain that: (1) the boys understand the difference between science fiction and reality; and (2) we're not the kind of "Star Wars" fanatics that show up at Comic-Con dressed as characters from Episode IV, whom everyone laughs at because they are so ridiculous... are we?

So I started thinking about the boys' current interest in all things "Star Wars."  I don't know yet if it's just a passing phase, but I suppose "Star Wars" is a rite of passage for nerdy boys everywhere.  And let's face it... we are a family of nerds.

What do you get when you cross a female math major who uses Superglue to fix her glasses, with an engineering major whose hobbies include coding family vacation plans in Excel?  The answer is elementary: a litter of nerdy boys.    

And that is what I have in my home.  The boys love computer games, and think there's nothing more hilarious than setting their Ipad audiobooks to read aloud in French or Japanese. They ask to do math problems on long road trips for "fun." They come up with cringeworthy dance moves, completely oblivious to their own lack of rhythm.  They exhibit klutzy, accident-prone tendencies from time to time, and have been known to hike up their pants and socks too high for their own good.  They are nerds, just like their parents.

Alas, I guess "Star Wars" fits right into the nerd quotient of our family.  There's no point in fighting it.  So, tomorrow night, when I'm faced with another toothbrush standoff, I will calmly tell my 3-year old in my best Yoda voice: "Much to learn, you still have, my young padawan.  Brush or brush not, there is no try."

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