Friday, November 10, 2006

Joe and Grandma

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I "teach" monsters. They are mostly all seven years old, wild, disrespectful, unable to speak any English, and I dislike most of them. One howls like a wolf whenever I try to say "be quiet". Another regularly takes naps under his desk on the floor, and is unresponsive to any sort of remonstration, other than the 13 year olds I sometimes employ to "give 'em shit" in Korean. And yet another little bastard spits on me and tries to bite me whenever I drag him out of class for being an irritating little shit.

So it was with great joy that I managed, on Tuesday, October 24, to convince my boss to give me half a day off in order to pick up my mom from the airport. My mom had amazed me... before this, she had never ventured outside the borders of North America. But after hearing about Dad's adventures here this summer, and of course the stories and photos of an ever-growing Joe, she was convinced to make the trip here herself.

Unfortunately, we were unable to take any time off work during the 2 1/2 weeks Mom visited. But we made several trips into the city (to Namdaemun Market, Insadong, Gyongbokgung Palace, Itaewon... all the big tourist stops). But we all knew the real reason behind her visit... it was not to see Korea, nor really to see Matt or me... no, it was all about Joe.

Look Out! Here comes the Spider Joe

Can he swing from a thread?......
Well not just yet, but given the chance I'm sure he'd try.
Our son is a Spiderman-a-holic. He runs back and forth in our little apartment, shouting "boy's running like spiderman", he has spiderman poses and even a spiderman face. Joe is addicted to spiderman.

When we had trouble with him using the potty at his babysitters it was "his" spiderman we bribed him with.

Then on one glorious day in late October, his Grandma came to visit, whom he hadn't seen in nearly a year. If there was one thing that could break the ice it was spiderman. Is there anything like preening over yourself in the mirror admiring your new Spiderman pajamas?

(Hanna's aside: Back when Matt and I were "just friends", he would often talk about how he wanted a child, just in order to train him to be a superhero, specifically one that was imbued with the amazing superhero assets one could only obtain through the bite of a radioactive insect (or arachnid, for you nerdy biology types). Personally, I am more inclined to admire and empathize with the Green Goblins or Dr. Octopuses of the world - even though they suffer the inevitable downfall inherent in all supervillains, they, well, always seem admirably motivated to accomplish their lofty goals, like taking over the world. Spiderman, and other superheroes, seem, in comparison, predictably reactionary. As a child, I would always watch Inspector Gadget, not because I liked the cartoon, but because I harboured the faint hope that "today, maybe today, Dr. Claw will finally get that damn Gadget!!").

(sigh.....Matt's aside to Hanna's aside (could this get more ridiculous). Why is it that older siblings tend to have a penchant for siding with evil? some sort of quick excuse for the crimes they commit against their younger brethren....I'm not sure. I do know that I grew up with a brother who always had to be the bad guy. He was Darth Vader to my Luke Skywalker, Shredder to my Ninja Turtles, Megatron to my Optimus (seriously I can go on and on) Mummra to my Thundercats, (does anyone remember the Visionaries?) He was the bad Visionaries to my good Visionaries. I kid you not, he was, when we were children, the Germans to my Allied forces (Yes that's right Dave, I remember "The Battle of Britain: Their Finest Hour", the computer game.)

So Matt wonders why we older siblings feel this inclination to the evil side of human nature... with our "younger brethren" so uppity with their "morals" and "righteousness", all we could really do was counter it, our yang to their yin, etc.... Or just punch them twice when our parents weren't looking. Or frame them for crimes they hadn't committed. Or steal their cookies. Or lock them out on the roof of the house when you were supposed to be taking care of them for the afternoon (I slap my knee with mirth at the very memory).... ahh, delicious deception, enforced through brute strength.

And who can blame us younger siblings for desperately hanging onto to some out dated twisted perception of justice? There just had to be something coming for our older siblings, didn't there? Shouldn't they be struck down by God's fury, or at the very least suffer something utterly humiliating in front of their friends, perhaps along the lines of what they did to us infront of our friends? Doesn't it seem right? DAMN IT GOD, WOULDN'T IT BE JUST??!!!!!!! Why did they always win?......What the hell happened to Karma???????

Somehow, somewhere along the way I think we forgot we were talking about Joe. He's doing great and learning "that with great power comes great responsibility"....(At least as long as he remains the only child).