Luke is big into improv. He likes to cast me and himself as teammates in various ventures such as farming, war, racing and dragon/dinosaure/robot killing. He tends to make himself the man and me the boy. For instance, when he is Tractor Man, I am Tractor Boy. When he is Batman I am Robin. When is Good Army Man, I am Good Army Boy (we fight The Bad Army). And often we are the Bad Army, battling that uppity Good Army.
These games are quite informative, as he interprets my parenting style and discipline and inflicts his version of them on me. For instance, this morning I tried to turn on the tractor (an ottoman) by turning the imaginary key.
"No, Tractor Boy," he said sternly. "That's too dangerous. Don't you touch that or you can't watch a show later."
Sometimes he offers subtle hints of how he'd like to be treated when the situations are reversed. He calls himself The Maker and starts messing around with the effeminate play kitchen Jessica insisted on buying him at a garage sale. Then he says "Boy, here's some ice cream."
"Don't I have to eat my dinner first?" I ask.
"No, that's OK. That's your rule. My own rule is you eat ice cream."
That is one of the few benefits of being the boy. Mostly I am condescended to, sheltered and forced to wait there idly as Luke accomplishes his tasks. Yesterday I was so bold as to get up and go to the bathroom.
"Did I say you could leave?" Luke shouted.
Such is life as Tractor Boy.