Who the Hell is Plastic Man?

Which book do you want me to read you tonight?  I ask without even having to guess.  Batman and Friends!  Woo-hoo.  I am so sick of reading this book.  Every night.  Every night we read Batman and Friends.  Every. Damn. Night.  Do your kids pick the same books to read over?  It can be physically painful to read a book over and over every night.  My anxiety is already through the roof because I want to walk out and shut that light off- of sweet Jesus how I want to shut that light off!- but no.  And then to read the same book?  Again?  Does Guantanamo have Batman and Friends?  Maybe they should look into that.  In my opinion it could be more effective than water-boarding.

So tonight following the showers-teeth-brushing-jammie-pick-books-fuck-show we are laying in bed reading… Batman and Friends!  It’s tonight, on my forty-eighth reading of the damn book that it occurs to me: Who the hell is Plastic Man?!  Is this guy for real?  He’s wearing plastic pimp sunglasses and has a stripper costume on.  Seriously?

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Initially, I was required to gain vast knowledge about tractors and construction equipment.  By the time my Cub was 18 months old, I could tell you the difference between a backhoe, front loader, skid steer, straddle-carrier, forklift, knuckle-boom loader, skidder, grapple truck, log-feller, and so on.  Next it was tractors and farm equipment.  I knew my Kaboda from my Massey Ferguson; my Husqvarna from a Cub Cadet.  I could name implements (yes, that’s what they are really, called) like combine harvesters, plows, round hay balers, hay rakes, row-crop planters, harrows and disks.  And then came the John Deere.  The 8020s, Model C, Johnny Poppers, Waterloo Boy, Spoker D and the Lindeman 420 Crawler.  I knew articulated and styled versus unstyled.  And now we have moved on from tractors and discovered superheroes.

So back to Plastic Man.  Now I am not here to break down (or build up) any gender stereo-types here but as a female product of the ’80’s, She-ra was my superhero.  I did on occasion watch He-man but didn’t really get into Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman or Green Lantern.  I knew who they were, I guess but my knowledge was peripheral at best.  It wasn’t until I was gifted three boys that my understanding of superheroes has be broadened.  Significantly.

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Who the hell is Plastic Man, you ask?  Well according to Wikipedia, Plastic Man started out an abandoned 10 year old criminal, cracking safes.  It wasn’t until he was shot and fell into some kind of chemical bath and nursed back to health in a monastery that he found his new Plastic Powers and began fighting crime.  Wow.  Who makes this shit up?!  He also has a sidekick, Woozy Winks.  (Seriously folks.  No joke.)

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So now I am an expert on tractors, construction and logging equipment and Plastic Man.  Now who’s the Princess of Power?

Peace, Mamas.

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Mama Forgets. Twice.

Cub began third grade this year and one of the special ways his teacher celebrates each student is to send home Corduroy, the Adventure Bear for a weekend.  Each student takes a turn to welcome Corduroy into their home, to take him on an adventure.  This weekend, it was Cub’s turn.  And we forgot him.  I know what you’re thinking: Winning.

When Cub ran off the bus on Friday afternoon, he was wearing a Christmas-morning-grin.  Lunging to the porch with a large bear.  This is Corduroy!  I got him for the weekend and he’s going to do everything with us!  Joy.  Dear God, just don’t let us lose him- better yet, please don’t let Zook rip his leg off…  We take out the bear.  There is an instruction page and journal for Cub to record his adventures with us.  Most importantly, Cub needs to read aloud to Corduroy.  Okay, here we go.

Saturday, Cub had a soccer tournament.  Four hours of watching, waiting and playing.  Husband lucked out had to work and was only able to make to the last game of the day.  Getting out the door was quite a cluster…  Packing lunches, finding shin guards- why the hell are they not together?!  Then the socks have to go on.  But what?  You can’t do it alone?  As I am packing Cub’s leg into his sock, my spine is beaten by Zook’s boot.  It’s unseasonably warm this weekend- 75 today- and no, child, you can’t wear your boots.  Finally out the door.  I have sandwiches for everyone, snacks and a couple hidden treats to serve as Tangible Rewards– certainly NOT bribes, what kind of Mama bribes her children?  I do however, recommend the Tangible Reward system.  You won’t be disappointed.  Promise.  It was a little ride to get to the tournament and we picked up a couple friends on the way (one for me and one for Cub) but by the time we got to the game, Cub realized we had forgotten someone.  Corduroy.  Shit.

I’m so sorry buddy.  We completely forgot him.  I bet you’re bummed.  We will bring him tomorrow when we go apple picking.  Okay…?  Fine.  Whew.  Dodged that melt-down bullet.  One down, forty-three to go.  The day was hot, long and by the last game, I was ready to be the one to have the melt-down but we survived with only twenty-two minutes of crying and one horrible port-o-potty visit.  Which I won’t elaborate on but I will say this: They are not suitable for young children.  And two people cannot fit.  Well.  Two people cannot fit well.  And then there’s the smell.  And the— Okay, I’ll just stop there for tonight.  But there could be an entire future post focused on visiting a port-o-potty with a two year old.  Just an FYI.

Sunday.  Gor-ge-ous day.  Amazing- even for Autumn in Vermont Standards.  Beautiful drive to the orchard with zero complaining- pretty impressive because it’s about a twenty minute drive from home.  As we walk through the first row of apple trees… Mom!  We did it again!  We forgot Corduroy!  Crap, that fucking bear is ruining everything.  We sit down for a minute- because now, I am pretty sure we are all trying not to hyperventilate.  We have to get him!  Husband tries first: The day’s not over.  We could play chase in the yard when we get home…  Cub doesn’t even humor him with a response.  We have to get him.  Mama looks at Daddy.  Go.  Please.  I say this with my eyes.  But he gets it.  Husband stands up.  Cub smiles.  He’ll be back (in approximately fifty minutes) with the damn bear.  With Corduroy.

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While I can say that dragging (or forgetting) the bear around this weekend was a pain in the ass, it was also a wonderful opportunity for me to listen to Cub read aloud.  He’s a wonderful reader- better than I know I was at his age- but he often reads to himself before bed, outgrown the evening ritual of being read to.  We still read plenty to him but it wasn’t until this weekend that I heard him read aloud.  It was amazing- like tears to your eyes amazing.  Thanks to Corduroy, I was able to witness my child read, hear him form the words, hear his inflection of tone, hear him enjoy a journey.  I asked Cub if he would read to me sometimes before bed after Corduroy was gone.  He obliged with much more optimism than I had anticipated.  I am beyond proud to report that this is a pastime that will not end when the bear is returned to school tomorrow.  Thanks Corduroy.

Peace, Mamas.