My son. He has an alter ego. I shall call him "Bad Boy." My brother, he wishes he had an alter ego. Or many, since he seems to have a love of all superheroes.
My brother goes to elaborate lengths to transform into whomever it is that he is that day. For instance, last week, he decided that he was Superman and biked to the park in a Superman T-shirt and red cape waving gloriously in his wake. What was particularly awesome about scene was that the kids and I happened to be attending playgroup, so there were many witnesses to Superman's arrival. Superman's existence at my house is no longer a secret. Then, he decided that the bike didn't give him enough of that flying feeling, so he hit the swings. I wish I had a photo of it. Picture a grown man, complete with mustache and cape, on his belly on a swing at the park, swinging with all his might and trying to keep his body stiff and straight as a board. That is my brother's transformation.
Or, sometimes he surprises me like this. At a party. A work party. Jake's firm's work party.
I definitely wasn't prepared to see this last night. Believe me, this guy was ecstatic to be the Incredible Hulk for the evening. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to convince him to wash it off before he went to bed.
That's my brother. On the other hand, my son's transformation to Bad Boy seems to be less self-controlled and more spontaneous. Something akin to a werewolf during a full moon or Bruce Banner turning into the Hulk. I have observed, also, that much like these fictional characters, Judd doesn't much enjoy his alter ego. It's a strange internal conflict.
Here's how Bad Boy operates. Judd is behaving well. I will call the good Judd "Juddy Buddy." Juddy Buddy is playing nicely. He is coloring with his big sister. He is kissing his baby sister. All is well. Then I am momentarily distracted, only to have my attention acutely brought back to the scene at hand by either (1) big sister screaming and crying; (2) baby sister crying; or (3) everybody crying. Upon investigation, I discover that Judd has either (1) yanked out a handful of Ellie's hair; (2) sat on Luella; or most likely (3) both and also pooped on the floor just for good measure. Did I mention that I hate poop? For more on my sentiments on poop, click poop.
That was an example of the transformation when if happens quickly. Today and yesterday, I witnessed, at a slower pace, the transformation as it was happening. Judd is playing nicely. He is Juddy Buddy.
He realizes that mom is not paying attention any more. He gets "the look" in his eyes. (I believe that all of the Rosses know about "the look.") Unbeknownst to him, I have turned her attention back to the kids and am now watching this change take place. As his hand slowly reaches out, undoubtedly to cause mischief, I hear him say, in a low, growly voice, "bad boy." At this time, I see that trouble is brewing and I stop him in his tracks. Sisters are spared, if only for the moment. Bad Boy is not happy to have been caught before he could have his fun. He screams, "bad boy!" and appears to be ready to throw a tantrum, but then turns back into Juddy Buddy. He giggles and continues on his way.
I believe I have a supervillain on my hands.
(1) I think Maki has about 5 Superman T-shirts.
(2) Yes, Judd has pooped on the floor. Totally used my hardwood as his personal toilet.
(3) Jake still holds his breath when he changes the kids' diapers. Not that I know for certain, but I don't think he does the same when he uses the bathroom . . .
(4) The biggest, baddest insult that Judd believes he can inflict upon a person is to call him or her a Bad Boy. He frequently calls Maki a Bad Boy. I have been called a Bad Boy on occasion.
(5) My brother and my son don't get along. I hear them fighting quite frequently, and it often ends with Judd coming to me to report that "Maki mean!"