Our master bathroom shares a wall with my daughter’s bedroom closet. When she leaves her closet doors open, she can hear the shower running or even listen to whatever music or podcast The Hubs has piped in during his morning ablutions. Bodacious does not care to be waked by political commentators or heavy metal, and she has been known to stumble into my bedroom at 6:30 a.m. demanding that Ben Shapiro or the guys from Iron Maiden be quieeeetttt!
Apparently, we can hear into her room as well when those doors are open. Last week, The Hubs came into our room fresh from the shower and asked me who she was talking to so early in the morning. It better not be our son, I thought to myself. He should be getting ready for school, not chatting away like a magpie. It couldn’t be the dogs, they were splayed across the bedroom floor in their typical road block formation.
I tried to listen to what she was saying, but frankly, it was just too early for me. If you need me to be coherent in the morning, you need to come at me with a coffee, first thing. I could hear the intonation of her voice as if she were indeed involved in a discussion, but I couldn’t make out the words.
Please don’t let her be having some sort of weird Sixth Sense encounter in there, I muttered as I pulled the blankets back up over my head. I knew The Hubs would suss out the situation. He returned a few minutes later, laughing.
“She’s having a conversation with Batman,” he explained. “Also, she is Batman.”
Well that explains it.
I called her to breakfast about 15 minutes later, and she stormed the kitchen wearing her brother’s hand-me-down Lego Batman mask and a black t-shirt.
She clapped her hands at me and addressed me as Alfred.
As in, “Alfred, what did you prepare for my breakfast?” As in, “Alfred, I expect my meals to be served on a silver platter.” As in, “My name is not Bodacious. Please address me as Batman, Alfred.”
She has taken to wearing the mask at all times, including on the car rides to school. I can see why she likes it. Lego Batman has a permanent smirk, lip curled in Rebel Yell fashion. Just her style. The mask is a little big for her though, making it hard to see out. When she has to walk somewhere, say, down the hall, and she doesn’t think anyone is watching, she turns it around so the mask is on the back of her head. She may or may not turn her shirt around too, so it looks like Batman is always backing out of the room.
Her obsession with the Dark Knight started when she was little. In fact, she was Batman for her second Halloween. I glittered her mask and added a black tutu to her gray 1960’s-era Batman costume, and it was so cute!
Missing those sweet tutu-laden days, I asked her if she wanted to be Bat Woman or Bat Girl instead.
Negatory, Alfred. Batman is the hero, Batman is the cool one. Batman is the one with the sweet ride, the manservant and all the weapons.
She’s got a point there.
“And he gets to stay up as late as he wants because he doesn’t have any parents!” Well, ouch, Batman.
She’s obviously put some thought into this.
As her mother though, I think she is drawn to Batman for reasons she can’t quite articulate. But I can. There just aren’t as many cool female superheroes to choose from. Sure, we have Wonder Woman, but male superheroes are marketed so much more heavily. They have cool origin stories, multiple movies, riveting storylines and merchandise. Male superheroes have all the resources and all the power. Aquaman is the king of the seas, Tony Stark is a billionaire playboy inventor, Thor and Loki are gods. Bruce Wayne/Batman is good-looking, mysterious and super rich -- and has the most compelling and complicated villains, too. So, yeah, kiddo, I get it.
I also wonder if she doesn’t see a teensy little bit of herself in Batman as well, but on a much younger scale. The character is plagued by duality, as we all are. He is inherently good, but sometimes it takes a lot of effort to make himself do the right thing.
Yesterday I found Batman rummaging through the pantry, eyeballing her dad’s Oreo cookies. She knows she should choose a healthy snack but that delicious cream filling is calling for her like a sugary, irresistible Poison Ivy-laced pheromone. Tempting, tempting.
Then, with supreme -- some might say -- heroic effort, Batman grabs an unsweetened applesauce and slams the door shut.
Take that villainous siren!
I started to congratulate her on making good choices but she cut me off and tossed the applesauce onto the counter and hopped onto a bar stool.
“Alfred, I would like that served on a silver platter, please.”
Well, at least Batman has nice manners.
“Very good, Master Bruce. Very good.”