Tag Archives: Simon

Why playing Batman with Simon is the most frustrating thing in the world

Over the past few months, Simon has really grown up. I mean, he’s constantly growing but lately he’s just been spouting at full speed. Part of this has lead Simon to finally being interested in Batman on his own. For the past three years Simon has been way into different things like a stuffed lion that we named “Lion Friend” (don’t you judge me on my creativity), Thomas the Tank Engine, Pixar Cars, Dinosaurs, Sea Creatures (or Dangers of the Deep as Simon calls him) and now he’s finally into Batman.

I said "Smile" he thought, "growl"

I said “Smile” he thought, “growl”

At long last my prayers have been answered. So a couple months ago Simon and I set up the Batcave that I bought for him four years before he was born and we began to play and immediately I realized it. I was in Batfan hell. Why? Because playing Batman with Simon is the most frustrating thing in the world for fans of Batman. Let me explain.

1) He doesn’t respect character’s dynamics. 

Look, I am well aware that I am playing toys with a three year old but would it kill Simon to learn that the Joker is bad, Batman is good and Catwoman treads the line. Batman and Joker will be in the middle of an intense hostage situation and all of the sudden Joker starts asking Batman if they can be friends. No Simon, they can’t. Batman is a symbol of justice while Joker represents the chaos within all of us. Also he is holding Robin over a vat of lava (bowl of beans) and I think Batman would be a pretty bad superhero if he just ignored that. But that is playing with Simon. Characters constantly change sides and apparently everyone knows where the Batcave is because there is a constant parade of visitors to the cave (most convicted felons and murderers) and Batman just watches them come and go.

2) So much punching.

When Simon isn’t busy upsetting the entire Batman universe he is using his characters to punch other characters. The Riddler will have taken over Gotham Jail and right in the middle of broadcasting his riddle to the world he is punched in the face by Commissioner Gordon. Or Mr. Freeze. Or a cat (more on that later). The point being that anytime I try to give these characters any kind of story or character development they get punched in the face. Anytime Batman tries to explain to Robin the values of following the rules of the road, Batman gets punched in face. So much punching. Simon, Batman is more than just about using his fists. He’s about solving mysteries, being a detective.

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The play location.

3) Commissioner Gordon can’t get into his car

This is just me being a nitpicker but Simon really struggles getting Commissioner Gordon in and out of his car. I offer to help but he says he can do it. This really clogs the flow of the story. Let me paint you a picture. Bane and Two-Face are robbing the bank. They stand side-by-side threatening the city with their power. Batman arrives on the scene quickly followed by Commissioner Gordon in his patrol car. Tension runs high as everyone waits for Commissioner to get out and give directions. Commissioner is stuck in the car. He seems to have tipped over on his seat. Tensions slowly fall as the car magically floats to it’s side and tries to shake the commissioner out. Frustrated, the car drives off leaving Batman to handle the situation alone. Two-Face suddenly punches Bane. Batman rides a dinosaur.

Simon's world

Simon’s world

4) Universe crossovers galore

Speaking of Dinosaurs, apparently they are prevalent in the world of Gotham and no one cares. Also no one seems phased by the talking cars that are half the size of the citizens and the random sea creatures and cats (more on that in a second, I promise) that roam the streets. At first when Simon brought in multiple Batmen I handled it by suggesting that we were living in a multverse and each Batman was from a different universe and it worked. All the Batmen looked different so it fit that one was from the 60’s, one is the globetrotting 70’s Batman, etc. Then came the dinos. Now just about anyone can come into this universe with no consequences. I mean, I am all for crossovers but even I can’t justify what Lightening McQueen is doing in Gotham.

5) Every problem is solved by a cat 

The cat. I’ve alluded to him before and now you can finally learn all about, Mittens. Mittens (name given by Simon) was the spare cat that came with Catwoman. Yet Mittens as gone far beyond her owner in fame. Mittens the cat, for whatever reason, has become Simon’s go-to toy.

That's Mittens there in the front.

That’s Mittens there in the front… being a camera hog just like always. You don’t have a motorcycle Mittens! 

 

Mittens drives the Batmobile, she can defeat anyone, if kidnapped by Clayface (Dad) she will immediately escape any deathtrap. There is nothing Mittens can’t do and it drives me crazy. In Batman’s world Batman is the greatest there is but in this world he has been usurped by Mittens. In fact Batman was kicked out of the Batcave the other day after he refused to hug Mittens. Speaking of…

6) Batman doesn’t hug

After every play session Simon wants most characters to hug it out. I can understand that but I try to tell him that Batman doesn’t hug. He is vengeance. He is the night. His parents were brutally taken from him in a dark alley and he doesn’t have time to hug it out with Two-Face. Then Simon looks at me, with his big, sweet eyes and says, “But Dad, Batman loves his friends.” And maybe my heart melts. Maybe it’s okay if Batman (Dad) opens up, accepts these changes so that a little boy can have his own type of Batman. Maybe just the fact that a father and a son can play Batman together is enough. Maybe it’s all…

Catwoman just punched Batman in the face and threw Robin into the lava (beans). Oh it is on Simon, it is on. Let’s play again.

Best friends

Just a couple of dudes playing superheroes before bed. 

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The most intense 4 seconds you’ll read all day

For as long as I can remember, my showers have been a musical numbers. Not just singing but listening to the music as well. There’s just something about cleaning off the dirt and grime while jamming to some sweet tunes. In recent years, as sleeping babies and napping toddlers have taken over my life, my nude-music time has become fewer and farther between.

But that’s okay because it makes the times I can listen to music all the sweeter and I rock even harder. This is what brings us to our four seconds. I was jamming really loud while Tia and Simon made breakfast with Parker watching them. I had left the laptop sitting outside the bathroom door on a tiny chair. I was in our room preparing to get dressed. I was about as far from the laptop as you could be. I was still in my towel when I heard it.

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150 thank you’s to Ty and Jeanie

So I haven’t written much for a week and that’s really more a result of laziness than lack of time. It’s true that we added an additional member to this family with Parker but we also had Tia’s parents in town to help us balance out the chaos and what help they were.

In fact, I would be lying if I didn’t say that Tia’s mom and dad basically ran this place for the last week. They did shopping, cleaning, helping with Simon, Parker, etc. I am not very good with “Thank you’s” in person but I am okay writing them and then sharing them with the world. So that’s what I am going to do. 150 Thank you’s to Ty and Jeanie.
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The story of Parker’s birth

Well let’s talk about how Parker was born and how it was one of the craziest things of my life. But to fully understand the insanity of it, you have to realize that when we had Simon it was one of the easiest, longest and most laid back events of my life. Simon took a whopping 22 hours to be born and during the waiting time for that, Tia got all dooped up before the pain came and I read an entire book. Simon was so set on never coming out that they almost had to do a c-section to get him out. So when we began planning for Parker we had that entire event in mind.

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Three things you can find in Simon’s bed that will remind you of me

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It’s 5:30 in the morning. We’re on week three of Simon waking up at this ungodly hour. Tia and I have been taking turns staying up but frankly neither of us is in the best position to deal with it. Tia is literally about to explode with a child and I’m… well I’m tired. It sounds terrible to say but at least Tia can get a nap during the day. Once I wake up at 5:30 there is no going back. I should delete this paragraph because I sound like a tool. Eh, it’s too early to delete.

Usually, Simon has no good reason for getting up this early. Usually, it’s just him laying in bed shouting “Mom” or “Dad” or sometimes even “Thomas”. He’s referring to Thomas the Tank Engine and not Tomas our manservant. We don’t let Tomas deal with Simon, we’ve got our Nanny Marylyn for that. I think her name is Marylyn. So hard to keep track of all the help. But I digress.

So typically he has no good reason for being awake but this morning his reason was justified. All over his pants. You see Simon had the largest diaper I have ever seen. It looked like he didn’t spend anytime sleeping, just a whole night of pooping. It required both Tia and I to get in on clean up duty. I held Simon’s legs to clean him and he was continually apologizing which you know what that leads to. I even told him it’s not his fault to which he began repeating, “my fault”. Yes once again we appeared as abusive parents as Simon whimpered, “I am sorry. My fault.”

So now Simon is all cleaned up and sitting in the living room watching Finding Nemo and Tia and I just got done changing his sheets. I wasn’t joking when I said this was like Poopmagedon. If we had let this sit longer, this poop might have become self aware. But I just did a poop post so this isn’t about poop. I don’t want this to look like a nine year old kid’s blog.

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My gift to Simon

So around the time that Simon was born, I really wanted to get him a “birthday” present. Something nice. Well, I stumbled across this fantastic artist who was selling this amazing Batman print.

It was a limited run of 250 and was never going to be printed again. So I snatched one up.

The print tells the story of a villain invasion at Wayne Manor and a little Batman works his way through the mansion fighting evil doers left and right. The print is full of tributes to just about every Batman show/movie/comic you can imagine. It is really something to behold.

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The artist is Les McClaine and you can find the print in full computer size here.

Well, I just got it back from the framer and it looks fantastic. It is perfect for a little boys/mans room. So it will be going up in Simons room soon.

Below are more pictures of the lovely print and frame work.

So happy Birth Day Simon! Dad loves you!

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