Be Batman

Tuesday was registration day for seniors, so Younger and I spent a half an hour at his high school as he dragged himself from table to table.

At the first stop, the ladies gave Younger his schedule and said, “They have you in ceramics, Younger.”

“Uhhhnhhh,” Younger drawled, reluctantly accepting the paperwork. “No.”

So, we had to make a quick stop at the counselor’s table.

Eventually, we made it to the last stop — his picture for the yearbook. I tried to straighten his tie and comb his hair, while he ducked and grumbled, mortified. Then, with me laughing at him, he walked over to stand in front of the screen for his last school picture.

Afterward, we took a trip to the grocery store. And Younger, who had been slumped in his seat, suddenly straightened at the sight of a bicyclist riding against traffic, some length of material flapping behind him.

“Is that Batman?” he questioned, peering closer. “Is it? Oh.” He deflated. “It’s a vest. I thought it was a cape. I was excited for a moment.”

I’m not sure if he was excited at the prospect of seeing Batman or at the prospect of seeing some nut who thought he was Batman.

But a skinny guy in a flapping, yellow vest riding a wobbly bike the wrong direction is apparently a severe disappointment in Younger’s entertainment realm.

He’s a hard one to please.

 

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Cowboys and Other Superheroes

Today, I thought I would share another old story from when Younger was three years old…

In Elder’s elementary school, they have devised a program to encourage reading. In kindergarten, it starts with parents reading ten books to the child to reach the first level then reading twenty books to reach the second level. Starting with the third level, the child must read to the teacher. And all the levels are somehow related to the rodeo, such as Cowboy, Mutton Buster, and Bull Rider.

When Elder reached the last level, after reading five books to his teacher, he received a cowboy hat and a red bandana. For him, they have been relegated to a deep corner in his toy box. But not for Younger. He has repeatedly insisted that I tie the handkerchief around his neck.

The first time I was somewhat confused as to where he might have seen a cowboy with a bandana as we do not watch westerns and we do not engage in any obvious western behavior involving horses, cows, or chewing tobacco. But I folded the handkerchief into a triangle and knotted it around his neck anyway. Then I returned to my chores, ignoring him when he mumbled some sort of protest. And I refused to repeat the procedure when he jerked it from his neck in frustration.

A week or so passed and he again brought the bandana to me. So again I folded the handkerchief into a triangle and knotted it around his neck. Then I smiled at my little cowboy in his purple, footed pajamas and red bandana.

But he did not smile back. Instead, he glanced over his shoulder at the small, pointed cloth. “Well, I’m not gonna fly very high with this thing,” he muttered. But with his sword in hand, he hurried to attack the various shadows dirtying the kitchen floor.

Ahhhh. Not a cowboy then. A superhero. Which means his pajamas are actually the correct attire.