Max and Miles who, to Me, Will Always be Secretly Named "Gus"

The blog about Max and his little brother, Miles. Stunningly cute boys and future leaders of the rebel forces.

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Son the Post-Structuralist

Bear with me here:

Back in the day, once, for a brief period of time, I was almost pretty smart. One of the many things I could think and talk about was Post-Structuralism. P-S is one of a few critical or cultural theories that smarty-pants types refer to when they're trying to make sense of our coo-coo, crazy world.

My favorite thing about Post-Structuralist theory is the slightly conspiratorial attitude it holds towards truth and meaning. In a nutshell, if I say "tree" and you think "tree", we're conversing about my idea of "tree" and your idea of "tree"; in reality, we're never really talking about the exact same thing. Under Post-Structuralism, meaning gets lost, slippery, they say, since there's never any exact definition you can firmly attach to any word or image. The truest thing you could ever say is still a little bit of a lie. I like that kind of thing.

So, when Max and I are drawing in the tub--we're in there every night--Max orders up drawings of bulldozers, the Count from Sesame Street, Elmo, chainsaws (don't ask), and whatever else pops into his head, it's totally Post-Structuralist! I have no idea what Max really wants; it could one of about 40 thousand bulldozers he's seen and freaked out over. When I draw The Count, he knows what he wants and I know what he wants but all we get his my crappy drawing of The Count.

But then, Max, my superboy, takes it to a whole. 'Nuther. Level. Towards the end of his bath, he takes his washcloth and scrubs away the drawings, then points at the red or green or orange smudge on the rag and says, "Bulldozer!" Every time, I pick him up, give a big hug and say, "Yes, yes! Daddy's drawings are lies!"

Oh, I have to go now. Katie has some divorce papers for me to sign.


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