Growing up, I focused on Barbie’s Dreamhouse and left the action figures to my brothers. I emerged from childhood with truckload of Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids and miraculously, little knowledge of super heroes.
Now, with boys of my own, it’s time to pay attention as my “ignore in lieu of the Dreamhouse” strategy won’t be in their best interests. This isn’t about pink and blue toys. This is about me as the most un-fun and un-cool Mom on the block when I’m calling Mr. Freeze, Fro-zo; Poison Ivey, Itchy; and The Riddler, Punctuation Dude if I don’t work on my boy toy knowledge.
Now that I’ve looked beyond the yellow balconies, the only thing I see is Spider-Man and this observation has sparked a few questions.
Why do I have Spider-Man stamps in my wallet and why am I excited about it? Why did I notice the Spidey Happy Meal while ordering my 3:00 pick-me-up milkshake last week and shiver with glee? Why is there a pair of Size 3 Spidey pajamas already tucked away in my sock drawer for my son’s next birthday? Why do I wish they came in adult sizes?
Why is my two-year-old the [incredibly] proud owner of Spidey sheets, light-up sneaks in two sizes, pajamas, cars, a mask, a toothbrush, a yo-yo, and a giant blanket? Why can he shoot faux webs from his hands with sound effects as tantalizing and crisp as a Bose speaker? Why can he locate Spidey from a mile away in any retail establishment be it a toy-store, big box store, or grocery store? (Ok, I know the answer to that, Marvel Comics. I’m just sayin’ the webslinger’s likeness is EVERYWHERE. The check-out at Hobby Lobby? You’ve sold out.)
I asked someone recently when it was that Spider-Man came back. This person told me very kindly as you might when explaining to your two-year-old that the wind won’t blow his hair off, “Wellllll, I don’t think he ever really went away.”
And then I remembered.
I remembered 12 years ago seeing the new Spider-Man movie with my then-boyfriend, now-husband. For weeks after, he shot webs like a little boy and tried to teach me to do the same. My form and sound effects needed work. I laughed. Ok, I laughed a lot during those web slinging sessions, but they seemed childish to me, a person who was about the take the GMATs to attend graduate school and embark on real life, where Spider-Man did certainly not exist. Especially for someone who was never having children. HA!
Well, haven't the tables been turned on me, Spidey.
With two boys and one Spidey-obsessed husband I’ve accepted that this world belongs to Spidey and I am just living in it. It’s not Batman’s or Thor’s or Wolverine’s or The Hulk’s. We are as tightly wrapped in webs as a newborn is in a Velcro swaddle.
How do I know this?
I know this because if you roll by my house on a random Wednesday night there’s a good chance you’ll find me in a Spidey mask, shooting webs and chasing a little boy clad in Spidey PJs who is in hysterics at “Spidey-Mommy.”
And Spidey-Mommy doesn’t miss, because she can hardly remember, the Dreamhouse. Well played, Spidey. Well played.