Friday, February 20, 2009
Our kids' obsessions seem to progress in lockstep fashion. Both kids were totally gone for Thomas the Tank Engine until just after their (Thomas-themed) fourth birthday parties; then, at four years plus one day, we abruptly transitioned into "all Justice League, all of the time." While PJ is channeling Superman in this photo, both boys are in total and complete agreement that Batman beats all. Connor was Batman for Halloween two years in a row (okay, technically he was Batman the first year and Batman Beyond the second, and if you have boys in your life then you, too, know that the former is Bruce Wayne and the latter is Terry McGinnis, but I digress) and he enjoyed wearing his costumes - well, everywhere. The highlight was the evening trip to Walgreens with his dad: Connor, sporting the "old- school, non-muscle-chest" gray, black and yellow getup, refused to hold Parnell's hand in the parking lot ("because people will know that I'm not really Batman") and then serenaded folks in the office supply aisle with a very loud rendition of "Play That Funky Music, White Boy." Complete with choreography. Guess the anonymity of the mask and cowl is a bit empowering?
My oldest (at the age of four and a half) explained the appeal thusly: "Superman is a superhero because he was born an alien. Spider Man got lucky and was bitten by a radioactive spider. But Bruce Wayne is a superhero because he is smart and good at business." (Those of you who know Connor understand that he was born a miniature Donald Trump with better hair, so his opinion on the subject? Really, not all that surprising. However, we were quite amused to hear the Sheldon character on "Big Bang Theory" advance the same theory last season. Come to think of it, Connor's got a lot of Sheldon in him as well - but I digress again.)
Mom's also a Batman fan, but for another reason. See, the Justice League Unlimited version of Batman/Bruce Wayne? Totally and completely hot. Broad shoulders, barrel chest, piercing blue eyes, sexy-as-heck voice . . . definitely not the "kind of effeminate/hangs out WAY too much with Robin" Batman from my childhood. Clearly, the JLU people were marketing geniuses: if Mom happens to find the show less grating then - well, Scooby Doo, for one (Freddy and Shaggy - definitely not hot), she's less likely to protest when the kids chunk the DVDs in the basket at Super Target, right? To up the mom-friendly quotient, they've scripted it so that everyone hooks up with everyone - Wonder Woman is crushing on Batman, Green Arrow's got a thing for Black Canary, Green Lantern's involved in a love triangle, etc. It's like "Grey's Anatomy," only McDreamy can shoot laser beams out of his eyes.
Anyway, I've begun putting my Batman obsession to good use with Parnell. When he gets out of line, I throw the spectre of Bruce Wayne in his face. As in: "Bruce Wayne would not break his arm hanging Christmas lights. Bruce would have Alfred hire the whole manor done. Then he'd fly me to Tahiti for the holiday." Hey - it could happen.