I have discovered something (else) too late in life that I wish I had figured out sooner: Never, and I mean NEVER, tell your kids about something you really liked as a child and that you still sort of hold near and dear to your heart because they will latch onto it like it is their own and you will hear of it to no end until you are just so sick of it, that you wish you’d never even heard of it.
What am I talking about? Spider-Man…that’s what I’m talking about.
It all started innocuously enough. Some kid in my oldest son’s class was already into Spider-Man and my son was only mildly interested until one day I was briefly watching (I only get to watch things briefly at my house because the instant I sit down to watch anything, my attention is diverted by one of the boys) Spider-Man the movie—the one with the Green Goblin–came on television and my son came downstairs and quietly sat down beside me to watch. Well, I wasn’t sure I wanted him watching it, so as he sat there with me, I didn’t really respond to his questions of, “Who’s that?” and “Why is that man hitting Spider-Man?” with any gusto.
So now, since I didn’t respond correctly, the Green Goblin has become “The Green Guy.” And then sometime later, my son saw Spider-Man 3 with the black suited, mean Spider-Man who has big teeth and a long tongue and now he has become “The Tongue Guy.” So now we have “Red Spider-Man” to differentiate between the black one, “The Green Guy” and “The Tongue Guy.”
Oh and did I tell you that he wanted to be Spider-Man for Halloween, which earned him one silky feeling Spider-Man suit which he cannot stand to be without. From the moment he gets up in the morning to the moment he gets home from Daycare in the evening he wants to wear it. And I can’t blame him. If I’d had a silky outfit when I was a kid, I might have worn it too…but I digress.
So now, all I ever hear is, “Daddy, I’m going to be Red Spider-Man and you be The Tongue Guy” and we’re gonna get the bad guys.”
Now honestly, I’m all about playing with my kids and all, but there’s something about having my favorite superheroes reduced to blasé naming conventions that grates me and quite frankly, I’m tired of Spider-Man and his ilk.
But stupid me, in an effort to move his interests along, I introduced him to another of my childhood favorites, “The SuperFriends.” So far, it’s been tolerable, but that’s only because we’ve not yet exhausted all of the television episodes that still exist on Nickelodeon. But it’s coming. I know it is!
And not even Superman and his boundless powers, combined with Green Lantern’s power ring will be able to stop my son’s childhood enthusiasm from ruining that for me too! And I thought I HAD grown up!