Sunday, October 17, 2010

Considering: The Joeymom Avatar

My boys are growing up. Kids grow up whether you raise them or not. It's a time thing. Time keeps marching on.

Some folks have asked me why I am Joeymom and Not JoeyAndyMom (especially since my husband is JoeyAndyDad, and the blog address is joeyandymom). It's a time thing. When I set up this blog, I was using an older blogger account, and just set up a new blog instead of starting it all from scratch. I had been Joeymom for a couple years before Andy came along. Funny enough, I don't think anybody who actually knew me online in those two years is anywhere on the radar now. Something about no longer being able to compare my kid's milestones to theirs. Moms can be funny things.

When I set up the blog, the new thing was picking an avatar: a little picture to represent me to the internet world. This was new and exciting for me four and a half years ago. I started my internet life with text-based MUDs. Even chat rooms had minimal choices for little pictures to go with your name. I knew this was important, though. When your contact with a person is exclusively online, that little visual image is how they think of you. Art is a powerful addition to a world based entirely on the visual. Now I would be more than words, I would be a little picture.

Should it just be my face? That may sound logical, and in fact, is the option selected by many online. But what does my face really say about me? After all, an avatar is a mini-portrait: a creation of your online presence, much more about who you are than what you look like. An image that gets recalled and connected to you, to your presence, to your "I was here!" in the comments section, something to search for along the many tweets and have that leap of, "oh good! something from you!" when it is scanned and found. Is my face a powerful enough message? How about using the boys?

Besides, the avatar is usually pretty small. About a half-inch square. How legible is my face at that size? And trying to fit two faces in there? Ha! Perhaps something a little more legible in mini would be better. Something like Maddy's goldfish- clear, loaded with symbolism and meaning, and yummy. Maybe something like Miss Kitty's cat, which goes with the name and expresses love for cats. Or Stimey's gerbil. Actually, that kinda fits her to a T. She kinda look like that gerbil. Cute and fuzzy with the tiny claws ready in case you threaten to mess with her, if you know what I mean. Seriously, meet this woman, and tell me I'm wrong. Stimey totally rocks, in a comforting, wonderful way.

Maybe something more graphic. Sunday's banshee comes to mind. Or one of my favorites, mommydearest's gothgirl.

Right. So I made my choice. And I chose...


For those of you unaware of our history, Joey basically learned to talk watching Oobi, with the help and support of intensive early interventions. He loved Oobi, the talking hands on Noggin. The show is hilarious, gentle, imaginative, and beautifully captures the concerns of young children. Uma is Oobi's little sister. No, that isn't my hand. I can tell you that the voice is Stephanie D'Abruzzo, but I am not sure if she is also the "puppeteer" or not.

I have been Uma now for four and a half years. I wonder how many people think of me as a hand puppet with googly eyes. Hey, Stimey, do I look like Uma? Or more like a Shmoo?

My kids are 6 and 8 now. Oobi has been left behind with a world of preschool cares and joys. They are growing up. I do sometimes miss those little babies, so squishable and giggly, but I do so love the boys they have become, and I look forward to teh men they are going to be. Perhaps it is time to move along, and find something new.

Maybe a shmoo.