The Super Hero Game

The four-year-old knows all the cool super hero names...sort of.

The four-year-old knows all the cool super hero names…sort of.

One of my four-year-old’s favorite things to play these days is super heroes, which is probably a direct result of his father letting him play a Marvel Heroes video game while his mom was at work (…and I somehow lived to tell the tale!).

The four-year-old knows all the cool super hero names…sort of. He knows The Hulk, and Iron Man, and of course Spider Man, and that guy who throws fire, and that…other guy mommy doesn’t know, but daddy knows and I think his name is “Door”…and the guy that goes like this *makes a wild clawing motion*.

When he plays super heroes, he first announces to the room that he is going to be The Hulk. Then he asks the two-year-old what super hero he wants to be. The toddler is almost always about Batman, despite the fact that he’s usually wearing a Superman cape, Ninja Turtle slippers and Spider Man underwear (sans pants).

Next, the four-year-old asks me what super hero I want to be. Understand that Dad only ever gets asked this question when he’s busy doing the dishes, on the phone, tending to his personal business, etc., which leads to the inevitable grumpy response.

“Just a minute, man!” I grumble.

Being that my high school years were set in the ‘90s, I often defer to the more familiar jargon of my youth, such as dude and man. My four-year-old doesn’t know this jargon, however, and so he looked at me with a furrowed brow of perplexity.

“Who’s Just-a-Minute Man?”

And this got me thinking…what a FANTASTIC super hero that would be!

Just-a-Minute Man, fighting crime in only ONE MINUTE! He would be the king of all infomercials with the ability to complete daunting tasks, such as making dinner for three little demon children, doing laundry, putting said demon children to bed, sweeping and vacuuming the house and doing the dishes…all in sixty seconds!

That’s when a friend of mine pointed out that the name, Just a Minute Man, sounded more like a really poorly thought up alias for a Male Gigolo.

“Spider Man,” I tell my boy. “I’ll be Spider Man.”

And so we proceed in playing super hero, where we battle bad guys who “are super smart, can read maps and are invisible” (so says my oldest). I’m not sure why the map-reading part is important, except that—perhaps—a villain without such a navigational prowess may not be as much of a threat because they would constantly get lost trying to find whatever they meant to terrorize.

It got me to think that, instead of maps, maybe he meant GPS systems,…or GPS robots (the screenplay for Terminator 11, perhaps?)…

Given how many super hero movie remakes they’ve been spewing out lately, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see The Hulk team up with Batman and Spider Man to fight invisible GPS robots gone bad, whose evil power consists of leading people to abandoned Dairy Queens in some forest that most resembles a scene from Deliverance, when all they really wanted to do was get to the airport—that and telling them to turn, when really all they needed to do was stay on the road and not take the exit.

Stupid, evil GPS robots.

My four-year-old’s plan to thwart the invisible evil  map-readers is always the same: send his two-year-old brother (Batman) head-on into the danger while he (The Hulk) and yours truly (Spider Man) go around the other way to defeat them and claim all the glory. The two-year-old, not understanding what a suicide decoy is, faces the challenges head on, with one first to the sky, waddling just as fast as his little legs can carry him, doing his very best not to trip over his Superman cape, while yelling, “Let’s DO this!” in his garbled, two-year-old speech.

I sure hope the boys don’t ever end up as business partners.


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