Considering the reliability of four-year-old testimony there’s really no way to tell how it all started, but the kids in Colt’s preschool class have all assumed alter egos. It seems to have been going on a few months and it’s probably more or less a carryover from a particularly spirited Halloween. He comes home every day talking about Robin, Batman and Wonder Girl, among others. And since I know you’re all wondering if there’s a fire-fighting and/or tool-wielding super hero out there, allow me to cut short your Googling and end the suspense.
Last Sunday, when we retrieved him from children’s church we got confused looks from his teacher and heard, “who’s Tweet?” Well, friends, THAT is Tweet.
Colt’s alter ego.
I’ve started noticing more and more of his school papers and artwork are signed “TEEWT” and after years of loyalty to orange he’s recently informed me his favorite color is green. “Like Tweet.” He reminds me at least 12 times a day I’m supposed to be searching for a Tweet costume for next Halloween and – no doubt because he’s suspicious of my “efforts” – he plans to line up Mamaw as a backup plan. He usually ends these exchanges with a look of pity and disappointment. “Because we don’t have a sewing machine in our house, Mommy.”
Tweet is a proud member of the Octonauts, a group of eight (right?) little animals who live under the sea and explore different types of sea creatures and whatnot. They live and work in the Octopod and only about half of them are actually sea creatures themselves. They’re led by Captain Barnacle (a polar bear) and include, among others, a (Spanish) penguin named Peso — he’s the medic of the group, Kwazii the cat — who is also a pirate, Dr. Shellington the (Scottish) sea otter, and Dashi the (Australian) dachshund who serves as both IT support and the photographer for the group.
The show is ADORABLE.
And Tweet. Upon doing some homework I learned it’s actually TWEAK — and a girl. But whatever. Here’s her description on Octonauts.com:
Tweak is the engineer for the Octopod. She keeps everything shipshape below deck in the engine room and maintains all Octonaut vehicles: GUP-A to GUP-E. Tweak loves working with machinery and building strange contraptions that sometimes work in unexpected ways.
You may have guessed by now, but please notice the tiny silver object in Tweet’s right hand. A wrench! And she wears a tool belt! The boy is HOOKED. As if it’s not enough that she’s a green bunny rabbit living and working under the ocean, learning new things about spider crabs and whale sharks and slime eels — I mean, what’s not to love? — she is the worker bee!
For a while, he toggled pretty evenly back and forth between firemen and worker bees — and he still hasn’t left the firemen behind completely. But it’s all about the tools these days. ALL. ABOUT. THE TOOLS. He and I spent last Sunday afternoon scouring the library for “tool books” and if I didn’t know better I’d swear he was studying them. The kid can’t read but he knows whether the job requires a wrench or a pair of pliers.
We are traveling this weekend and staying with family friends, Kent and Karen, in Texas. My parents will be there, too, and when I told him we are seeing Mamaw and Papaw, but not actually staying at their house he paused — then asked, “well does Mr. Kent have a workshop?”
And at school, the kids have been able to watch stages of a building demolition through a huge hallway window. Colt’s little heart skipped a beat when his teachers managed to convince one of the foremen to come talk to the kids about the work his crew is doing. Every day when we drive past the work site on the way home he shares a new tip from worker bee, Mr. Harris. Today he reminded me that you have to wear a REAL worker hat to go past the orange fence. “Not a pretend one, like mine.” *pause* “Mommy, I think I need a REAL worker hat.”