For his birthday, Buster wanted a Batman-themed party. The great thing about three-year-olds’ parties is you don’t have to rent out a hall to satisfy them. As long as you have cupcakes, pizza, and few of his closest friends, you can spend two hours in your own living room, hosting the best party he’s ever had.
The great thing about three-year-olds is that their closest friends are whichever few kids they happen to be playing with. There’s no need to look up his old army buddies.
Batman cupcakes and a few Batman party favors meant this party was about 10% of the cost of the party he’ll require in three years. With some of the windfall savings, my wife picked up an adult Batman costume, because what little kid wouldn’t love a surprise visit from a masked man?
She wanted someone none of the children would recognize to wear the costume. It’s not as easy as you might think to get an affirmative reply to, “Hey, how would you like to show up to a children’s party in a Batman outfit this Saturday?”
As Saturday neared, she got more desperate. I think she was hoping the UPS guy would deliver something so she could sound him out about whether he liked playing make-believe. But since we didn’t have any mail order scotch in transit, the UPS guy didn’t show. I convinced her I should be Batman. Yes, I’d be recognized, but the boys would always remember the time Daddy played Batman for them.
I don’t know much about Batman, outside of the Adam West TV show. I can’t imagine how he changed into costume sliding down the pole to the Bat Cave because I had trouble getting into costume sitting on my bed. Batman’s outfit doubles as an evening gown, I discovered as I texted my wife to come zip me up.
The suit was designed for a pectorally endowed man. “You have concave nipples,” my wife informed me as I turned my rubber chest to her. A plump pillow fixed that.
I snuck out and rang the doorbell. My wife herded the children to the door and had Buster open it. I crossed the threshold; he hid behind his big brother. I knelt down to talk to him; he fled to the back room and closed the door.
And we were worried that I would just be Daddy in a cape.
I took some pictures with, and punches from, the other children, but Buster would not enter the same frame with me. I cut my losses and made my exit, reappearing as just Daddy.
They had cupcakes and Buster opened presents. That creepy Batman faded in memory.
After the party, I had some errands. “Okay, I’m leaving,” I announced, as a man does when he’s about to leave his wife alone with three sugar-laced children.
Buster looked up from his new toys. “Don’t go to Batman, Daddy,” he pleaded. “I don’t like it.”
Sometimes Daddy’s best as boring, safe, reliable Daddy.
I’m tiurning 49 in August, Scott. You’re welcome to show up as Batman.
I’m turning 48 in August, Ned. Maybe we can do a reciprocal thing.
Haha! Deal. I’ll work on my pecs…
I’ll find my pillow.
I’m not turning anything in August, Scott and Ned. …Er, forget I said anything.
It’s OK. Lots of guys like to pretend they’re Batman. We don’t think any less of you for secretly wanting to be a superhero.
Funny Scott. All kids are different, aren’t they. Josh likes you just the way you are.
Yes, all kids are different, but the lameness of my Batman is probably the one thing they all would have agreed on.
Maybe if Robin had accompanied you, he would have felt less threatened.
If we’d had a Robin, he could have dressed up as Batman and I could have avoided all costume changes.
I’m not sure why it’s the dads who always end up in costume. I’m pretty sure if I told my wife she was going to dress up it wouldn’t happen. Way to take one for the team.
I can’t afford to have him scared of Mommy. Who would I direct him to when he wants something?
You’re much better as The Joker, Scott, no uni needed.
Look at the Batman fail this way. No need to ask the wife for that cape you’ve been admiring for a Christmas gift.
Indeed. I should play to my strengths. Lesson learned.
What. A. Dad. I see no failure here, just the usual humbling of parenthood. You are giving your family a story that will live forever. And every time I read your wife’s comments, I think, I’d love to have coffee with her 😀
Anytime your kids want you to just be yourself, it can’t be that bad, right? And my wife should be the one writing a blog, only she’s too busy providing me with material.
Too funny! Right now I’m feeling grateful that my husband doesn’t have a blog because I provide him with way too much material 😀
You should have tried the other dude…The one with the red cape and blue tights. He only removes his glasses and has this weird black curl on his forehead to go from Clark to Superman. No masks required.
Yeah, but I’m Superman every day, so that wouldn’t have been a special treat for the kids.
hahaha…Dad of Steel.