As a child, did you play make believe? I have a feeling you did. If you had comic books you might have wanted to be your favourite super hero. If you didn’t have that form of entertainment, you might have wanted to be a firefighter or a teacher or a doctor or a dinosaur. You could be anything and be wonderful at it. When we got a tv and the Super Friends were on, my brother and I loved to be the Wonder Twins. Here I am, all grown up and I am still playing make believe. I make believe I am an adult (lol). The grandchildren are into pretend play too. Recently I watched in amazement as they huddled in a circle, arm in and then shouting out as they raised their hands out of the circle. Welcome to the new power partners.
What did they holler? MINI SQUAD! Yes, they are little, but I am thinking maybe there is a video game or something with that title. Their power members consist of a 7-year old, and two 3 1/2-year olds going all gung ho with excitement. I had to find out what this squad of theirs was all about. Here is what I learned.
There is a lot of running around. First you stand in the circle with your right arm into the centre and then as you are lifting your arm out of the circle you yell: MINI SQUAD! Note: there is also a second type of huddle. Instead of arms and hands in, you do it with arms and fists in yelling MINI SQUAD! “It’s totally different,” said the 7-year old. I had to agree. After that all important battle cry is done you run around looking for stuff. What kind of stuff? “Well, the one holding the flashlight is searching for monsters,” said the eldest cousin. The other two? “It changes,” she remarked matter-of-factly. “Bugs, birds, shadows…anything,” she continued. It doesn’t matter what you look for, eventually the eldest will yell for her cousins to come back to do the rally cry again. Uh huh. So, no real rules. Then I got curious about names of the members.
“So,” I began, “how did you get the name Mini Squad?” Boy wonder got a shirt from his parents with Mini Squad on it. His aunt saw it and decided to buy it for her girls and ta-da! They were now “officially” the Mini Squad because, well, as we old folks like to say: Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt.
My next question was about the running around and seeking for things. “Well, it’s different every time. Unless you have the flashlight because then you are the monster hunter.” Fair enough.
“What are your names?” I inquired.
Eldest: My name is Flash. [pointing to her younger sister] She is Spark. [pointing to her younger cousin] His name is Jonathon. WHAAAAAAAAAT!!?? OK, I admit I snort-laughed then. What the heck kind of superhero name was Jonathan?
Well, after my obnoxious display of laughter she decided that they should have different names. The chooser of names decided that she would be Shadow, sis would still be Spark, and Jonathon would now be Flash…no no…Flasher. (Ok, not much better for helping stop my laughter. She should’ve quit while she was ahead with Flash. lol) One day she is going to read this and definitely laugh her head off. (Ha Ha Ha…Plop). Until she gets bumped into adulthood and realizes the definition* I ain’t gonna spoil the fun.
Ready everyone? Stand in a circle, arms in. And ready to move arms out and yell out:
* Note: The adult brain can really stunt a child’s imagination. As a pre-tween I recall a school project where, working in groups, we had to come up with a product and an advertising campaign. My group decided on something like Jello. Being so genius, we were happy to show the teacher our progress with our new product called “Jiggle-o”. She smiled weirdly, took a couple of breaths and then said we needed a new name. “Why?” we inquired. She tried to explain without explaining. To this day I don’t recall her lame explanation. Our cool product name was changed to…ugh…Wiggle-o. After I crossed the threshold into adulthood I heard of a movie called “American Gigolo.” Oh my. A-ha moment. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt.