Monday, July 23, 2007

The Year of the Turtle, or more aptly titled “Wherein Spiderman’s Head Winds up in My Pocket”

Spiderman has been decapitated in my home. Three times. And I know because I am the resident scavenger, picking things up from the floor and, if they’re small enough, carrying them in my pockets until I reach a garbage can.

The Hub ran over one Spiderman action figure in the driveway and that’s where the first head was discovered. I was surprised to find yet another one in the playroom. And just this weekend I found a fairly large head in our laundry shoot. I should be concerned; what with three kids I’m raising to be strong, respectful, and not prone to decapitate…things. But I must admit this is a good omen for me. Because after four years of Spiderman obsession, I’m hoping this means his reign is finally coming to an end.

Kaleb began his love affair with the webbed one some four years ago, when he was about two and a half. I’m not even sure when and how he was first introduced to him. The Hub and I hadn’t talked about Spiderman. We had never even watched the movie. And with Noggin and PBS being the only channels we frequented back then, I don’t even think he saw one Spiderman commercial.

But regardless, Spiderman infiltrated our lives and consumed Kaleb’s every waking (and often sleeping) moment. I have purchased three Spiderman costumes for Halloween, made three Spiderman birthday cakes, sung the Spiderman theme song until I was close to swinging from the rafters myself, and have gotten enough Spiderman accessories to pay for Stan Lee’s cleaning service (okay, so I’ve probably just giving his maid a tip, but heh, that’s a lot when you consider how rich the Sultan of Comics must be).

But then TMNT came along and ever since Kaleb’s been trying on a new obsession: turtles. And not just any turtles, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (all named after Renaissance artists. Fancy.). They have scaly skin, they’re cultured, and they fight crime. Could a 6-year old hope for a better obsession?

For a couple weeks he would inform anyone interested that he was “trying to forget Spiderman.” It was like a bad breakup. Every time you mentioned Spiderman he would cover his eyes, shielding himself from Spidey’s mighty influence. “I’m trying to think about turtles now,” he would say, strong and resolute. What a noble boy.

And like any good mother, sick to death of Spiderman and ready for anything different (even if it included B-grade movies with a quartet of spongy characters), I supported this new “love” interest. I took him to the movie, I purchased the action figures (along with a host of loved ones—I salute your support) and learned a new theme song. Heroes in a half shell. Turtle power! Yes, folks, this is what motherhood is really about.

And we’re nearly there. Spiderman is a casual interest now and even the little guy pretends to be Rafael, waving thick sticks like fist daggers. Ahhh. It does a mama proud.

So good-bye, Spidey Sense. Farewell, blue and red. Sionara, that flicky wrist move that indicates web-shooting. Out with the spider and in with the turtle. Because the Belknap Family is doing its part to bring Cowagunga back.


Erin said...

That's awesome! That is too funny that it was a conscious effort to switch. Eli still likes Spiderman as his main course, with a big side of Darth Vader (???) and a sliver of Superman. He watched the old Turtle movie with my cousin and there had been no mention of it since. Don't corrupt my Spiderman loving son! :) I don't have it in me to switch obsessions :)

shauna said...

Just wait, Erin. He's coming over this weekend. It will be a virtual turtle fest. Mu-ah-ah-ah!

Mrs. Smith said...

A few years ago my then 4 year old daughter became very obsessed with Spiderman. We had lucked into a spot in "the" private preschool in our neighborhood. While most kids were dropped off in shiny white, or even cooler black, suburbans, my sweet daughter was dropped off in our over crowded, tape holding up the back window, given to us for free cuz nobody would buy it, Hyundai. On Halloween all the girls showed up in gorgeous Fairy/Princess/Ballerina costumes. Not my girl, she wanted to be Spiderman. I was amazed how many offers I got to let her borrow a girl costume if boys hand-me-downs were all we had. "No," I would explain, "actually she chose this one. You honestly couldn't bribe her into a fairy costume." The next remark was always something along the line of how supportive I was. "Next in line is a boy, if he wants to be a fairy next year, we'll see how supportive I am."

Mama Zen said...

Oh, I have done the toddler obsessions! This is a great post, really funny.

LikeAstaR said...

Those comic strip writers and cartoon imagineers sure know what the heck they are doing!

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Cowabunga Dude! I'm so old, I remember when they were popular the first time!