In my male-dominated household (MDH), someone has been a superhero at least one time or another throughout the day every day since birth. Granted, when they were babies this came in the form of my husband flying them through the air with their arms stretched out and their heads bobbling while drool dripped onto the floor below.
Pretending to be superheroes just seems to be a very natural pastime for boys. They get to dress up without playing “dress up.” They get to pretend they have powers. They get to use weapons. They get to try to fly. They get to try to pick up stuff that is way too heavy (i.e., the couch or their brother). They get to beat the snot out of each other under the guise of saving the world. But someone usually has to be the enemy to make it seem more real. Guess who? Yep, you guessed it. Mommy is the enemy and must be destroyed, although sometimes they do let me on their team and we destroy daddy. I think I make an easier target.
My boys seem to get along pretty well when they are playing superheroes. It’s as if they are united in a common goal to protect the world from domination. The problems begin when they are choosing their superpowers. It goes something like this:
Jack: My powers are strength and speed.
Luke: Mine too.
Jack: Luuuukkkkeee. You can’t have the same powers as me!
Luke: Mommy, what’s a good superpower?
Me: How about flying, turning invisible and shooting lasers with your eyes?
Luke: Yes, those are my powers.
Jack: Mine too.
Luke: Jaaaccckkk. You said we couldn’t have the same powers.
Jack: I changed my mind.
This progresses into a wrestling match until someone gets hurt. Too bad their superpowers don’t include invincibility.
With all of the costumes and accessories out around this time of year, my boys cannot only play the part, they can look the part. Usually we just have to make do with what we have lying around the house. Towels can be capes, paper towel tubes can be swords, balls can be bombs, and so on. It’s amazing how creative boys can be when they are interested and excited about something. Jack made a costume with my mom’s help out of her old black sweat suit and one of those red leather tie belts from the ‘80s. He thought it was the best costume he had ever seen in his life. Forget that fact that it was ten sizes too big.
Luke on the other hand needs nothing to be a superhero. I overheard the boys playing in Jack’s room one day. They were having too much fun, so I immediately became suspicious. When I went to check them out, what I saw was Jack sufficiently accessorized to be a fairly respectable superhero, and Luke was naked. “We’re playing superheroes,” Jack informed me. “I’m Superman,” followed by Luke who told me, “And I’m Nakedboy!” Of course you are, sweetie.