Friday, October 11, 2013
A young Sid in the making?
We've been talking a lot in our house about how our three-year-old is a bit of a terror these days. He's just gotten into guns (since moving to Australia, oddly, where there is no gun problem), and everything he does is aggressive. Even his signs of affection often leave one of us saying "Ow ow ow get off get off!"
But I didn't worry about the scope of the problem until we watched Toy Story on Wednesday for the first time in a month.
We were watching along fine -- him mostly involved in it, me popping in and out and alternating with adult activities -- when it came to the part where Sid, the sadistic next door neighbor, has Buzz and Woody in his "lair," ready to "interrogate" Woody.
Suddenly, my son started speaking.
"Talk!" my son and Sid both said.
"We have ways of making you talk ..." my son and Sid both said.
Sid focuses the rays of the sun through a magnifying glass, beginning to bore a small hole in Woody's head.
"Where are your rebel friends now?" my son and Sid both said.
If my son has indeed turned to the dark side -- and quoting no portion of Toy Story except Sid's lines would indicate that -- then perhaps I have no one to blame but myself. Like father, like son.
See, when I reached a certain age -- old enough no longer to play with Star Wars and G.I. Joe figures, but still too young to be using power tools -- I "tortured" some of my own toys in my dad's workshop. My dad, a very handy gentleman, had all sorts of lathes and power sanders and buzz saws, terrific ways of doing things to toys that should never be done. There was no lock on his shop -- in fact, there was nothing but a couple cabinets to provide a barrier between where he worked and where I watched TV. It was all too easy to get in there and play around with the tools when no one else was around. (Apparently, I was old enough to be left alone -- the sound of any of these tools would have sent adults running from even the furthest reaches of our house.)
I don't know how much of this torture I actually did, but I do have a distinct memory of using the power sander to sand Princess Leia's face off. This was not the traditional Leia, with the hair buns, but Leia in the outfit she wore on Bespin. I suppose by writing this I am willingly offering up the only piece of evidence anyone would need to nod their head solemnly if one day I am arrested for being a serial killer of women.
I do remember feeling some kind of remorse at having defaced -- literally -- some of my toys, which probably still had enough meaning to me that I valued them as parts of my collection. More than anything I think I just wanted to see how the power sander worked. (Note for those who know their way around a shop better than I do: The tool I used is not really called a "power sander," of course, but that's the only word I know to describe what this particular tool does. I suspect it was more often used to smooth the edges of metal than to sheer off the faces of action figures.)
So, maybe the apple doesn't fall far from the tree? I'll think twice before I set up a shop in our house.
When I shared this story with my wife -- the part that relates to Toy Story, not the part about Princess Leia -- she laughed it off, reassuring me that them being Sid's lines was only a coincidence. She said she thinks our son has reached a new phase in his memorization of his favorite entertainments. He's already shown this aptitude with storybooks, and now he's transferring it to movies and TV. As an example, she said she also heard him repeating back lines in an episode of the harmless kids show Postman Pat.
Well, I don't know. I've got my eye on him.
And I'm keeping all magnifying glasses well hidden.