“What is her name?” I asked youngest child, waving the blue stuffed thing.
I had done a google search, but it’s not so easy to track down character #64 in the Pokedex for Pokemon Black & White, one of Nintendo’s 137 games for the handheld device known as a DS.
DS stands for “Developer’s System,” which sounds dull. “DS” sounds unpromising and yet, in the seven years since its invention, DS has become firmly lodged in the family lexicon. “Get me my DS!” “Where’s the DS charger?” “Do we have a car charger for the DS?” “I left my DS game in a that hotel room in Connecticut!” “I’m sorry you don’t like your game, but please don’t break the DS!”
“You’re going to blog about him, aren’t you?” youngest child replied. “Allow me to take all the credit.”
We would not have Dewott in our household unless youngest child had fished the blue figure out of a bin in Nintendo World, the Manhattan branch. Of course, if I hadn’t taken him to New York in the first place—yes, this discussion could go backwards historically until the moment of conception about eight years ago, or even earlier. ”He started it!” is youngest child’s favorite comeback, and truly, it is difficult to determine the origin of anything.
I think of Dewott as female. Youngest child assured me that all Pokemon characters are of flexible gender. Dewott makes me laugh because she is always frowning, hands on hips. She is the unhappy housewife, and in my housewife life, she’s a hovering spirit, avatar of my id. (She resembles a frowning version of the tiny green alien, Gazoo, who hovered at the shoulders of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble in the 1960s cartoon series. Gazoo had been banished from his home planet for creating a weapon of mass destruction, though this detail escaped me—he was always so upbeat, and he wore a silly helmet.)
My yoga teacher Julie told us about the throat chakra, envisioned as blue, where our verbal expressions whirl into being. We can think about what to say, and release only the words that are kind. I am grateful to have blue Dewott, who beams her nasty thoughts across the kitchen: get your own damn Froot Loops, take out the goddam trash, would it kill you to wipe a counter, I’ve been cooking since I was nine for god’s sake it’s tiresome day after day, why do you get to pass out on the couch while I deal with toothbrushing and showers and feeding the guinea pig, if you don’t brush your dog I’m going to let him loose in the street, loose in the street I tell you! Oh, Dewott, you are so great.
Dewott is a “den mother figure,” according to Wikipedia. What I think of as a skirt is called a “blue adornment” and the yellow trim pieces are seashells that she can use as weapons. ”With rigorous training, Dewott acquires the ability to perform two-shell attacks with flowing swordsmanship.” In her highest evolved state she ”can silence enemies by glaring at them.” The perfect mother! Nothing makes her happy because nobody tries hard enough to please her. She will bang down a pan of brownies with a frown, she will thumb through How to Cook Everything impatiently and then give up and microwave a yam. Eat it and be happy, she will say, narrowing her embroidered eyes. No chicken strips for you. You should have started that research paper last week. She will throw shoes into their cubbies as if she’s throwing knives at a wall. Thunk.