The Force is strong in my family. Or so I learned this month when my 20-month-old son fell in love with “Star Wars.” I couldn’t watch another episode of “Dora the Explorer” and stumbled upon the sci-fi classic on cable.
Bubba was instantly mesmerized.
A day or so later, I was able to avoid a total meltdown by showing him “The Empire Strikes Back” on DVD.
The plan ultimately backfired. My toddler now is so addicted to “Star Wars” he throws a tantrum when he denied his favorite movie.
His favorite character is Darth Vader – whom he calls “Day-Quar.” Get the boy within 10 feet of a television and he points the to screen, demanding “Day-Quar! Day-Quar?” Sometimes, he’ll pat his head, saying “Day-Quar. Hat.”
“That’s right, Darth Vader wears a hat,” I reply.
The other day, I caught him wielding his sippy cup like a light saber and making the corresponding “choo, choo, choo” noises.
We’ve watched “Star Wars” so many times this month that I’ve begun asking the sort of questions only someone with a Stormtrooper outfit in the closet would think to ask. Things such as:
“How would the destruction of the planet Alderaan by the Death Star impact the Empire’s tax base?”
“Why was Luke Skywalker seemingly more distraught by the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi than the murder of his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru? These people raised him, whereas Luke only knew Obi-Wan for a couple of days.”
It probably sounds like I’m ready to attend the next “Star Wars” convention with a briefcase full of Kenner action figures. But, I just can’t keep my mind from wandering while I watch the same movie over and over again.
I’d definitely use the old Jedi mind trick to get my kids to eat their veggies. With a wave of my hand, Bubba would scarf up peas like they were chocolate chips. Then again, that trick only works on the “weak-minded.”
Moving objects with your thoughts also would be helpful. Imagine folding a whole basket of laundry by just concentrating really hard.
The Jedi uniform also looks comfortable. I could see myself chasing toddlers in those loose-fitting robes and playing peek-a-boo with that 10-gallon hood.
Of course, all this Jedi dad stuff could backfire. Imagine trying to discipline a mouthy Padawan teen. Jedi dad sends him to his room, only to see the young apprentice leap through the second-story window andcarve “Sith Rulz” into his dresser.
I’ve clearly thought about this way too much. Spring better get here pretty soon, or I’m going to start howling like a wookiee in a waxing salon.
Article image By: Onur Aksoy
Howard Ludwig is a former business writer who traded his reporter’s notebook for a diaper bag, becoming a stay-at-home dad.