The Tovsky Tribe

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Super Heroes!

A few months ago Chase and Ryder had a thing for tying their blankets around their necks and throwing their arms straight out in front of them pretending to fly. They even went so far as to have alter egos.
I found this interesting because at that point they had had no exposure to superheroes of any kind, evidence that some things are just innate. Girls want to meet Prince Charming long before they get to know Cinderella and boys want to don capes and shoot webs from their wrists even before they learn who Peter Parker is.
This phase, as most things with toddlers, lasted a bit and eventually faded into the next obsession.

Until now.

Last week the boys decided that they wanted to see the movie Spiderman. I am not sure where this idea came from.
As a party favor from a boy in their class they received a light-up Spidey. When you squeezed the trigger the light tubes that came out of his arms spun around. This toy captivated them so much so that the batteries ran out almost instantly. Maybe the spinning light toy sparked their Spidey interest, maybe it was a camp friend, maybe it was turning superhero age appropriate. Either way, suddenly they were begging for Spiderman instead of High School Musical.

Spiderman 2.1, whatever that means, was on TV the other night. I caught it about 20 minutes in and recorded it. This, an incomplete version of Spiderman 2 loaded with commercials, was how Chase and Ryder came to know of the friendly neighborhood Spiderman!
Spoiled children of the electronic age that they are however, they took no issue with missing the first half-hour of the movie, nor with missing the original, but the fact that there were commercials sent them into instant whine mode the minute the Geico Caveman showed his face. Despite the fact that the caveman is so annoying it makes me want to throw a toddler tantrum, their disapproval was with the break in their viewing pleasure, something On Demand viewing has deprived them of.

Anyway, I went to Target to get a birthday present. While there I noticed the Spiderman 1 and 2 DVD's were on sale. So, I bought them both. As a gift for me kids. My three year olds. These PG-13 movies. Parent of the year, clearly.

And now we have seen both movies about a hundred times. Chase, who does have a tendency to get scared of things: loud noises, life-sized Sesame Street Characters, fireworks (at least the first time around), or our first hibachi experience, somehow watched all of the semi-violent Spiderman 2 without being scared only to jump in my arms whimpering when, in Spiderman 1, Peter Parker gets the fate-changing spider bite. So far, the hero vs nemisis battles have spawned lots of questions like "is spiderman nice?" And "is Doc Ock a little bit nice?
And,though these movies have taught the boys words like punch and fight and nemesis and evil, I am grateful that they see Spiderman as a hero and walk around pretending to shoot silk from their wrists and attempting to scale walls rather than emulating Doc Ock or the Green Goblin. And, they are learning a little something about good vs.evil, in that good wins, always. Every time. At least that is what I am teaching them.

I constantly remind them that the movie is make-believe, that in real life there are no human spiders and that people can't fly even with a cape. I tell them that fighting is bad, and ask them why they think Spiderman is a hero which gets them pondering how saving lives and fighting crimes is noble.

Everybody wants to be believe in Super Heroes! Hell, most of wish we could even be one. Three year olds are no different!!

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