Romance Man + God's Princess = Loooveby Bridget Stuart
When I was putting my six-year-old son Richard to sleep tonight, he turned into his ardent alter-ego, Romance-Man. He gushed the sort of stuff my husband wouldn't be caught dead saying: "Mom, my world would be nothing without you. I can't stop thinking about you. You're prettier than all the other mothers." Once, Romance-Man was trying to think of the most superlative compliment ever, and said I was like God to him. I hastily broke the news that I had no claim to divinity, and so he thought about it for a few seconds and decided, "Well, then, you're God's Princess."
Just so you all know.
But sadly, in the past few months, Richard's been Romance-Man less, and Screenplay-Pitching-Man more. He's constantly interrupting me to deliver punchy three-line hooks about the current scenario he's dreamed up for his Lego figures. "Mom, Spider Man and Mary Jane are lost in Harry Potter's castle. They were looking for a magic goblet. Now things have gone horribly wrong." (I'm not kidding, "horribly wrong" is one of his favorite phrases.) Poor Mary Jane--this little Lego figurine from the Spider Man collection gets into all kinds of heinous situations. If she were a romance heroine, she'd definitely fall under the "too stupid to live" category. When we bought Richard the "Dinosaur Attack" Lego set for his birthday, he ripped the giftwrap from the box, goggled at the towering T. Rex and commented in awe, "Mary Jane's in *big* trouble now…"
I think the fading of Romance-Man and the ascendancy of Screenplay-Pitching-Man means that my little guy is starting to grow up.
I got some back-up for this theory when we were attending an amateur performance of "101 Dalmations", which my older son Peter had gone to theater camp for a week to prepare for-- his being the taxing technical role of pushing a button to dim the lights at the beginning and pushing a button to bring up the lights at the end. Anyhow, Richard watched the play with rapt attention, horrified at Cruella de Vil's evil quest for dalmation puppies…and then one of the characters spoke the brilliant line, "Oh, no! Whatever can we do to stop that wicked Cruella de Vil?"
Interpreting this as a bona fide request for advice, Richard spoke decisively into the hush of the darkened theater: "Fighter jets."