The good news is that JJ seems to be adjusting to life as a kindergartener. The bad news is that he's become very worried about Bad Guys.
Bad Guys seem to be a very big deal for boys in kindergarten. (Maybe preschool, too—we're probably just behind the curve on this.) When I asked JJ if he was having fun with the other kids in his class, he shook his head sadly. "The girls don't want to play with me. And all the boys...well, they just want to play Bad Guys."
JJ doesn't like playing Bad Guys. Or rather, he's not too sure about it yet. He's making tentative forays into the world of Bad Guys at home: the boy dolls are Bad Guys who are trying to kill the girl dolls. (I find this quite disturbing, actually: why are the girls always good and the boys always bad? It's a common theme in the House of Crazy.) But no killing ever occurs, because the girl dolls inevitably build elaborate structures out of Mega Blocks, then use their magic powers to render these structures invisible. The boy dolls wander around aimlessly, saying things like, "Well, I guess we aren't going to be able to kill those girls. I wonder where they went?" Meanwhile, the girl dolls hunker down in their invisible fortresses until the coast is clear.
I'm guessing that the Bad Guy scenarios on the playground are considerably more bloody or violent. The only evidence I have is that JJ has added a new bit to his bedtime routine:
JJ: Mommy, I'm scared. What if a Bad Guy comes in my room tonight?
Me: Are you afraid someone might come into your room?
JJ: Uh huh.
JJ: I just am.
Me: Well, that's not going to happen. But if it did happen, I would hear it over your baby monitor. And I would come in and throw the Bad Guy out the window and into the street.
That satisfied him at first, but the next night he had another question:
JJ: What if the bad guy is stronger than you are?
Me: Are you kidding me? Feel this muscle.
JJ: But what if the Bad Guy's muscle is bigger than that?
Me: Well, that's very unlikely. But if his muscle were bigger than that, Daddy would come help me throw him out the window.
And the next night:
JJ: What if the bad guy is made out of fire?
Me: Oh, no problem. I'll throw water on him.
JJ: What if he's made of a grease fire and water won't work?
Me: That's why we have baking soda. And a fire extinguisher. I'll bring both just to be safe.
Each night the scenario has gotten more complicated. I'm beginning to think my child is losing faith in his parents' ability to protect him. I suppose that's inevitable—and even desirable—but it still makes me sad.
Tonight I'm going to give JJ his own squirt bottle to keep on his bedside table. Nobody—not even the baddest Bad Guy—enjoys being sprayed in the face. I'm quite sure I won't enjoy getting a faceful when I go check on him in the middle of the night.