Little Man is completely into superheroes (super eeros as he pronounces them) these days. Not just the Original Three (Superman, Spiderman, Batman) but the whole lot. Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man, Flash. Even the rather obnoxious Deadpool!!! Plus all the sub-superheroes (as I call them), part of the popular Avengers series: Wasp, Hawkeye, Vision etc. etc. (I'm still learning, from Little Man nonetheless!). Then there are the three superheroes (whose existence I didn't even know of until the start of this year, when Little Man chanced upon them on YouTube) who go by the name of PJ Masks. What's with the strange name you ask? Well, they are three friends who transform into superheroes at night when they put on their PJs!!! Beat that!!! As Little Man told me: "The red guy is Owlette, the blue guy is Catboy, and the green guy is Gekko."
So as Little Man goes around imitating his new 'heroes', fighting the "bad guys" and saving the world, a brilliant (or so I think) idea dawned upon me. What if I told him he too could become a superhero like his idols if he did good things, like eat his vegetables and went to bed on time? Or make him believe that Iron Man and gang do the same things, and thus achieve superhero status? So I devised my own 5 Superhero Rules for Toddlers (*flashes evil-smug-happy smile*). Feel free to borrow…
1. Eating vegetables and other healthy foods will make you strong like Hulk
Veggies, fruits, milk, lentils, chicken, fish, eggs – whatever it is that I want Little Man to eat, is what superheroes eat to become strong and get muscles. Didn't you know Hulk is green because he eats spinach?
(*Laughs picturing Hulk eating lentil-spinach soup*).
2. Superheroes go to bed early to refuel their special powers
I have to admit, my new PJ Mask friends make this a tad easier for me. I tell Little Man that once he wears his PJs and crawls into bed, he is building up his supply of superhero powers. This doesn't always work since bedtime is terror at our house, but it does provide some food for thought. Maybe someday…
3. School helps you develop special superhero traits like X-Ray vision
On days (especially after a fun weekend or a trip away) when Little Man doesn't want to go to school, I ask him with my most serious face how then will he learn all the superhero tricks of the trade such as getting X-Ray vision (Exer Vision, as Little Man calls it) like Superman? Helps. (*I then chuckle at the thought of his pre-school teachers having X-Ray vision*).
4. Cardinal rule of all superheroes: Brushing Teeth
Brushing teeth is another epic thing in our house. It involves protests, pleading, shouting, threatening, mouth-not-opening, mouth-being-forcefully-opened… you get the picture. So I now tell him that ALL superheroes brush their teeth EVERY MORNING AND NIGHT; else they will get big black holes called cavities in their teeth, which will lead to the pulling out of their teeth, taking away their super powers. Gets the job done (with a little less resistance).
5. Biscuits and cakes are treats, even for superheroes
It must be his developing palette coupled with his strong(er) developing willpower and of course, the tantruming characteristic of being a threenager, but Little Man now demands biscuits and cakes on a regular basis. "I want a snack", he states. "An apple or some cheese?", I offer. "How about an Oreo?", he tries his luck. "I don't have Oreos", I state. "Do you have cake?" he asks with all seriousness. I then go on a big spiel about how superheroes don't eat biscuits, chocolates and cake often because it robs them off their superpowers.
Little Man's most-apt tee at the moment!
So, whilst Little Man believes in the power of his superheroes, I am milking all that I can from this new-found love. After all, I do survive the constant viewing of these strange men on my telly, day in and day out, and even battle the 'bad guys' together with Little Man during our pretend-games. So something's gotta give!
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