Max has created this game in which he, Ian, and Maggie run and hide, and then the monster (me) thunders ominously down the hall in search of prey. The plot line of this game grows increasingly elaborate as time goes on. Max seems to simultaneously be: the wily escapee of the monster, the sassy yet naive gingerbread man, the only known world expert on optimal blanket placement for monster concealment, and the bold and fearless rescuer of Princess Maggie. He's got a lot of balls in the air, folks. (By the way, every time Max discusses rescuing Princess Maggie, I feel the need to apologize to Margaret the elder. I am so very sorry for Max's not-so-feminist attitude, Margaret the Elder, but this is a direct quote from Mario, which he plays with Ian. If it helps, Maggie seems to be heading down a very self-rescuing developmental path.)
The role of Monster is a challenging one for me, because I have to be the scary monster, and then I have to do a 180 and be the comforting mama if the monster gets too intense, and then I get taunted for being weak and I have to go back into monster-mode. I am a shoe-in at the Oscars this year.
Maggie's inclusion in this game was allowed by Max grudgingly at best, initially. As Maggie gets older, however, she is increasingly not content to remain in the background of activities, and her titan-like strength means that one has to take her desires seriously. After some negotiating, though, Max now seems to enjoy making her a part of the action, and will remind Ian that she needs to hide, too. Maggie, always an avid Max fan, is THRILLED to be a part of his play. Their cuteness is really quite extraordinary.