Life with the Caped Crusader

My four year old frequently introduces himself to new people he meets as Batman. I’m quick to follow behind him and let them know that this is not actually the name given to him at birth. His dad and I like to call him Anders.  Which of the names is a misnomer is the subject of repeated debate between the two of us and it’s a debate I often lose.

“If I’m not Batman then why am I wearing this cape?”

“All right, fine! Please meet my son, the caped crusader, and your wedding ceremony was just lovely. Thanks for inviting us.”

I’m always excited when Halloween rolls around because I can replenish his stash of costumes which are reduced to rags after a year of wear (It’s almost like these twenty dollar Halloween costumes weren’t made for everyday use!) and people in the grocery store aisle seem to find the sight of a kid in a cape and mask a bit less odd in the month of October than they do in the middle of March.

The one place we don’t allow him to dress as Batman is pre-school, a rule he happily complies with on the condition that a majority of his days at school are spent wearing a shirt depicting a super hero.  I’m told that some children grow into and out of phases—trains, dinosaurs, Sesame Street—but for Anders it has always been Batman.

“Mom, I’m going to grow bigger and taller and soon I’ll be too big for this costume.” He tells me this as he tries unsuccessfully to squeeze his head through the sleeve of the latest addition to his wardrobe. “I’m going to be bigger than all the grown-ups, bigger than you and bigger than dad, and then I will wage an ultimate battle against all the villains.”

I resist the urge to help him dress as lately this is something he insists on doing with complete independence.  He’s figured out the top and has set to pulling on the lower half of his spandex costume. The legs are turned inside out, presenting quite the challenge. He begins turning them right side out as I agree that one day he will indeed be bigger than daddy, but I stifle my giggles over the waging of ultimate battle bit as, to Anders, this is a matter of serious business.

Finally, his costume is in place. He turns around so that I can snap it closed and fasten his cape to his shoulders. He pulls on the matching mask and turns to face me.

“When I get big, mom, I’m going to need to drive your car.” My heart pounds a little faster at the thought and that’s when he crawls into my lap, lifts his mask, and leans in to whisper. “I’m going to drive it a little bit fast. Okay, mom?”

Heaven help all mothers to little boys. Anyone else have a kid that rarely goes into public dressed as a civilian?

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