My Little Girl is Obsessed with Batman — and Everything is Awesome
March 26, 2015|Posted in: Parenting
“How many sleeps until Batman comes on?”
This is the question our daughter asks no fewer than 148 times a week.
You see, over the past several months, my 5-year-old little girl has fallen head-over-heels cray-cray for Batman. And not the Cartoon Network Batman or the Lego (“I’m Batman”) Batman.
Nope, I’m talking about the 1960s television series. You know, the one featuring the magnetic-jawed Adam West as our Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as his acrobatic sidekick Robin, both wearing those granny-panties-over-tights costumes that leave little to the imagination. This is the na-na-NA-na-na-NA-na-na-BATMAN! show that featured Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and Cesar Romero as the infamous joker.
This is the Batman that is short on complex plot structure and heavy on the onomatopoeia (holy triple word score!): Every fight scene is amplified with such action-driving words as “Bam!” “Pow!” and “Whoosh!”. You get the idea.
So how did this unnatural obsession come about? Well, if you follow along with my blog, you know that we dumped our satellite TV package last year (best decision ev-ah!). With fewer channels to choose from, my husband one night became ridiculously excited that the ME Tv Network, which bills itself as “Memorable Entertainment Television” in between ads for stair lifts and Suzanne Somers’ menopause supplements, was featuring “Sci Fi Saturday night.” This stellar lineup features two half-hour episodes of Batman at 7 and 7:30, Wonder Woman (yep, THAT Wonder Woman) at 8 p.m. and Star Trek at 9.
At first, my daughter seemed only mildly intrigued by the show. She would watch it in passing as we played on the floor in front of the TV. Soon, however, she was on the couch, sitting next to Daddy, absorbed by Batman and Robin’s shenanigans. Within a short time period, she was in full freak-out mode if we were even 5 minutes late getting to the television.
Exhibit A: One Saturday night during Christmas time, we were out with a friend, driving around our neighborhood, looking at Christmas lights. Lovely, no? Well, from the backseat, we heard: “Mom, we’re going to miss Batman! Mom! How many minutes until Batman comes on? Mom! We need to get home! Mom! Mom! Mom!”
Holy hole in a donut.
What is both at once hilarious and somewhat scary is that this obsession with Bruce Wayne’s alter ego has bled into nearly every other aspect of her imaginary play. If we’re playing with mermaids, we have to figure out a way to rescue Batman and Robin from the evil mermaid king, who has trapped them in an underwater cage (I’m not sure how Batman and Robin manage to breathe underwater, but that’s neither here nor there). In these instances, Batman and Robin are invisible – she refuses to let us purchase her a Batman doll of ANY kind, stating that she only likes the TV show.
She has taken her Barbie wedding veils and tied them around the necks of her Barbies, turning them into superheroes who must rescue her fellow Barbies and Disney princesses from the perils of impending danger. (Side note: There is now a Barbie superhero doll available for purchase. Mattel, I’ll send you my address for the royalty checks.) My husband, totally digging the fact that she shares his passion for this comic book character, recently bought her a 147,000-piece Batman Lego set that includes the Bat plane and some type of crazy purply Joker mobile. Batman and Robin now frequently invade the Lego castles of Rapunzel and Elsa to, of course, save innocent villagers from harm.
Aside from the fact that I roll my eyes each time the show comes on — and that I’m pretty sure I lose a few IQ points with each episode — I kinda think the whole thing is pretty cool. I appreciate the “aw shucks” mentality of the show – a vibe that is completely missing from much of today’s family entertainment.
More importantly, I despise labels and stereotypes and grow weary of the way so many children’s toys are labeled as “girl” or “boy” toys. If my five-year-old daughter wants to wear her Cinderella dress while rescuing Gotham City from a nefarious villain, then she shouldn’t ever feel embarrassed or “weird” about it. I grew up in the with an older brother and loved playing with Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and his Big Trak as much as he did. No one ever questioned this or told me that it was weird to play with “boy” toys so I’m not sure why modern toy manufacturers think that all toys for girls must come in a varying shade of pink. With glitter. Always the glitter.
And, as far as childhood obsessions go, it could be weirder. She could be fascinated by those annoying stripper-channeling Bratz dolls or want to never miss an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants, whose annoying voice and violent humor is, in my humble opinion, much more damaging than seeing a grown man perform feats of heroism — while wearing tights, of course.
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