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question. do you know the two words most used by a three year old? they are 'no' and 'why'. another question. do you know how demoralizing it is to get whittled down in an argument by an opponent who refuses to say anything other than 'why'? it is the equivalent of losing a chess game to someone who moves nothing but pawns, which for those who don't play chess is pretty sucky.

another question. do you have first hand experience at how excruciating games geared towards three years olds are? alex has a game called DON'T WAKE DADDY. i can't engage in this game without staring, no, obsessing on the plastic man positioned in the middle of the board who serves as the centerpiece of the contest. first off, he is dressed better for bed than i am for work. second, he is sleeping alone in a single bed. i know this should not move me but this flaw of detail grates on me. and his hair, his hair is magazine perfect. not a single tangle or stray. i get that for the purpose of this game, parker brothers isn't interested in having a naked guy fall out of bed. perhaps a beer can or dirty magazine spilling from the covers as well. and then having the man rise and shriek obscenities at his ruckus children, but details people, details! can't he at least be wearing a wife-beater. or have an odd-shaped back mole. some stubble. a crease on his cheek. something. anything. i think in the end this distresses me because this spring loaded dick van dyke is presenting my children with a false sense of possibility. and come to think of it, where the hell is the sister game to this, DON'T PISS OFF MOM. here they could have a woman with curlers in her hair, panties bunched at her ankles reading cosmo on the toilet. when the spring is sprung she could leap from the john raising the magazine high in the air ready to swipe at a mis-behaving child sprinting by. they are realistic possibilities and i can't help but feel our children deserve a more authentic portrait of the world they are part of.

now here's a question of another vein. do you know how cool it is to buy your just-turned-three son a game that comes with the following warning?

CAUTION: Magnets can cause serious health hazards. If more than one magnet is swallowed, magnets can attract to each other and cause intestinal perforation or blockage, which can be fatal. Keep all small magnet parts out of the hands of children who place objects in their mouth, especially children under the age of three.

i don't know your answer to that but mine is yes. i feel like we're two gulps away from a story that would grace our dinner table for generations yet to come.

MAY2006

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