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Journal Entry

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


A few years ago, our house was all about the narrative. Aviva demanded stories every day. Stories were the principal currency of parental bribery.

Now, however, during the Reign of Noah, we are all about the improv theater. Here are some of the games currently in circulation, and the casting thereof:

Homer & BartHomer SimpsonLisa SimpsonBart SimpsonMuch ado about donuts.
PiratesCapt. SaltybuttLassie or MaddieLaddie, aka MateyTakes place aboard the Black Pimple, in constant pursuit of, or flight from, the White Wimple, captained by nemesis Capt. Stinkyfeet. Maddie was washed overboard for many years and recently rediscovered.
Shrek & DonkeyDonkeyFionaShrekGood for introducing the richness of American dialectual English, via Eddie Murphy:
  • "but if you started with a T you'd be a tonkey!"
  • "I ain't no tonkey!"
Fancy WaiterFancy WaiterPatron #2, or BusgirlPatron #1, or Parsley the TramboyUseful for instruction on fine points of elegant dining and hostelry
Nurse BruceNurse Bruce Gumption BruceMs. Rosenbaum (a resident)Mr. Rosenbaum (a resident)Good for calming down at bedtime, and elderly reminiscences about childhood in 2007
Ben from 1975Ben, 6 years oldAvivaNoahAs a time traveler from 1975, I do not know what CDs or DVDs are, but expect robots and moonbases. It is also nice to be the same age as the kids and not worried about fine points of etiquette.
Frog & ToadToadRabbitFroga classic
various games set in Ellwood CityArthur, Binky, Mr. Read, or DaddyArthur, Francine, or AvivaAliens, Buster, or Noahand other variations
the bakery gameOsonoKikiTombo good for getting help with cooking

Some days we spend up to 80% of our time in character.

Esther is pretty much always Esther. If your Daddy is always someone new, it is nice if your Mommy, at least, stays the same. Posted by benrosen at September 25, 2007 02:03 PM | Up to blog


Hm, that's funny. It's the same with Luke and I - the games change around, and the characters do as well. Popular are [some character from the movie Cars] and Luigi (with me as Luigi - a character from that movie); variants on Winnie-the-Pooh stories, with me often filling multiple roles; characters from Monsters, Inc. in wildly random configurations; characters from Dora the Explorer, also in wildly random configurations; characters from Thomas the Tank Engine.

A theory that I'm making up and exploring as I type this post is that the more familiarity Luke has with the source material, the more set the game parameters are. Frequently the Winnie-the-Pooh games involve Tigger and Eeyore meeting Winnie-the-Pooh for the first time (this improv is most assuredly Not Canon...), for instance, while the Dora games are pretty free-form.

Also, a number of these games involve playing with toys, so they're almost puppetry improv, and not simply improv. That doesn't work so well in the car, though, where these scenes frequently take place.

As an aside, when I was small, my usual daddy-time interaction was improvised stories, along the lines you described a couple years back with Aviva. One of the recurring characters in these stories, oddly enough was Stinkyfeet, who I believe was my avatar, but I could be recalling incorrectly...

Good to know I'm still up to no good ;)


Posted by: Matt Hulan at September 27, 2007 09:58 PM

Role playing in our house:

** there is still a lot of 'family dinosaur' in which Daddy and Eli hide in their 'cave' (ie, under the covers on the parent bed) and refer to one another as 'Daddy T-Rex' and 'Baby T-Rex'. Often there is roaring and discussion of killing and eating various other types of dinosaurs because Baby T-Rex is hungry. Variations include being Apatasauruses (who have 3 fingers instead of 2).. and sometime Troodons (for when you want to be super smart).

** Super hero adventures.. in which Eli decides which super hero he is.. and which super villain you are. Best played with a friend visiting so you can have another super hero on your side.

** Bad Dragon - which involves the parents being 'bad dragons' and Eli and any attendent friends being various 'bad dragon fighters'


Posted by: Jeanne at September 27, 2007 10:48 PM

Oh, crap, I knew it -- I'm not nearly entertaining enough to be a parent. Quick, tell me: what can I do to cover? And how long do I have before my acting repertoire becomes relevant?

(Only half joking.)

Posted by: Dan Percival at September 28, 2007 02:06 AM

Dan, your kid will be the entertaining one, all you'll have to do is play along. It's awesome.


Posted by: Matt Hulan at September 28, 2007 10:37 PM

What Matt said.

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at October 2, 2007 05:08 AM

I knew that burping the alphabet would wear thin eventually; I just didn't realise how much time I would spend talking in funny voices. We used to play a game called traveler (no, not that traveler) where the children would pretend to be orphans and knock on my door and I would adopt them 'cause I loved 'em so much. Nice to know they would choose me if they had a choice. Hayleigh has grown out of those games... Except for the "mommiemonster" who sometimes chases them to bed :o)

On another note, would you like to buy some pharmaceuticals or have your loan approved?

Posted by: susan at October 16, 2007 10:53 AM
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