Mario time

It was just me and Mario for 24 hours straight on Saturday and Sunday morning. He played his football game Saturday morning with his dad on the sidelines (Jon is the videographer lately) and me shivering over on the fan side with some other parents. He got one unassisted tackle and I missed it – ugh!
We got home around noon and he dove straight to his iPad. He wanted me to watch him build a place in Roboblox. Now, I remember as a little girl begging my folks to watch Family Feud with me – a plea to which they routinely declined. I don’t particularly remember being heart-broken – I got my Doritos and planted myself in my bean bag but I am sure a part of me processed their denial as not wanting to be with me or not being interested in me. I see today that it was far from that reasoning – it was that they had two seconds to do something they had an interest in like reading a book or writing a story. Or maybe not even so idyllic – they had time to do laundry or wash dishes.
So when Mario asked me to watch him play, I agreed. But damn if I didn’t channel my parents as I watched him for five minutes and was ready to move on to a book or some chores. I hung in for a bit longer with him and then told him how impressed I was with his building. “What a cool spaceship you built in the middle of the field!” (I am quite sure that sitting with him for five minutes and acknowledging his work will do the trick – when he’s an adult, he will undoubtedly remember how much his mom was there for him…!).
After mowing, I got a text from the mom of one of his friends telling me that they were at a Taste of Grandview. Mario agreed to bike down to the event with me, which made my day. I love that time together. We talked the entire way down. Two of his buddies were down there when we arrived and were playing in a little patch of grass behind the food stands. They played football and played in the trees (throwing pine cones at one another – what fun!) for five hours straight. I could not believe it. We got down there at 3 pm and did not leave until close to 8. Another mom and I kept praying that maybe they’d go to bed as soon as we got home from exhaustion.


Not so much – Mario is a night owl. We biked up to Stauf’s and ate a bagel. I told him how he used to love to go to Stauf’s with me and eat blueberry muffins and bagels. I’d break off the smallest pieces and dip them in cream cheese worried that he’d choke with any bigger pieces. Mario rolled his eyes at me and asked me to watch him play Wipeout on my phone. He thinks it’s hilarious to watch the person ram her head against the foam rollers or fall into the water. Boys. Then we biked home and talked about poop the entire way – easy to do with a boy. He was fascinated that certain foods weren’t digested and came out in your poop. The little things in life….
I promised him that I’d watch a movie with him – no computer or iPad on my lap as we watched (I’m really bad about that). We snuggled on the couch with popcorn and Milk Duds and watched Spiderman 2. I thought he’d surely doze off but that boy stayed up for the entire movie. It was 11 pm and he was still wide-eyed. I made him go to bed knowing that he’d be up at 6:30 am no matter what. He begged me to do “spider up his back” which entails me gently tickling the length of his back up through his hair and whispering “spiders crawling up your back….” He loves it and becomes completely relaxed by it. He was out in five minutes.
I carried him upstairs and tucked him in bed next to me. Little munchball boy. To my elation, he did not wake me up until 7:05 am. What a gift he gave me. And even then, he let me lay in bed as long as we could talk. Gladly. Poop came up as a subject again but so did other more appropriate topics. We laid and talked until 8 am. Heaven. Then we got up and started our day with waffles and chocolate chips and a trip to the grocery store. He helped me pick out food for the farm and found out that Kroger’s donuts are even better than Giant Eagle’s donuts! I know where we are heading every Sunday morning.
We got home and he helped me round up Rocco and his food. He even gathered up his books and markers for the back seat. Yea, he is definitely a keeper.


22 minutes

Mario and I showing our dukes before heading out for a muffin

Mario and I enjoyed a mother/son night tonight while Jon and Maria went hunting (Jon had resolved that he was 99% sure he would not shoot a turkey if he saw one with Maria – luckily, he did not see one).  

Before I picked Mario up from daycare, I grabbed two Spiderman movies at the library.  Mario eats, sleeps, and dreams Spiderman.  If he see anything Spiderman anywhere – store, magazine, newspaper, tv, he goes hyper.  If Spiderman walked into our house tomorrow, I think he would faint at the sight of him.  he worships him.  He also is in love with MJ, Spiderman’s girlfriend.  Last night, he acted like we was on the phone with MJ, calling her up by dialing “1,2,3,4,5” and coyly introducing himself.

“Hi, MJ, this is Spiderman.”

“Yes.  Uh-huh.  Ok.  Sure.”

“Ok, bye.”

And he hung up.  He looked over at Jon and I and smiled.  

While we were watching Spiderman tonight, MJ came on the screen.  Mario jumped up off the couch and yelled “MaryJane!”  Then he looked me in the eyes and said matter of fact “I want to go into the tv to see her.”  That is one romantic fella.  

My Superhero

After watching two Spiderman episodes, Mario was up for some action.  He asked me to be the “bad guy” and he would be Spiderman.  He made me sit on the floor.  He grabbed a couch pillow and swung it my way grunting the entire way.  I picked it up and swung it lightly back at him and he flew to the floor faking his demise.  When I rejoiced in beating Spiderman, he leapt up from the floor and threw that pillow back at me.  I threw it back at him and he karate chopped it in mid-air.  He climbed all over the couch and chair evading my reach.  After about 7 minutes of engaging in these antics, I started to tire.  I was ready to hit Stauf’s for a midnight muffin.  However, I kept reminding myself that this was our time together, and although I wanted to be at Stauf’s or drawing a picture or playing Memory – anything different than play-fighting – that was what my superhero son wanted to play.  I kept an eye on the clock, nonetheless, to see how long it would be before he started to tire.  Throwing the pillow and running across the couch had to tire him out eventually. 

22 minutes later, it hit him.  “Mom, let’s go to Stauf’s.  I want a muffin and cream cheese.”  Ahh, my gift for hanging in there with him.  And for him, 22 minutes is pretty good!  I thought I may be going at it for at least an hour.  It must be the three-year-old attention span.  Whatever it is, I will take it.  We headed to Stauf’s in his Spiderman nightie, his red socks, his red hat and his Spiderman gloves and got our muffin and cream cheese packet. Yum!

My Spiderman

Supergirl and Spiderman in the house!

I loved Wonder Woman when I was a little girl.  I don’t remember why I loved her so much – whether it was her power to do good, her awesome attire, her good looks….  I just remember emulating her with my gold bracelets and my headband and my belt and lasso.  

Mario loves Spiderman.  He adores him.  He wants to do everything he does.  He tries to climb the walls.  He jumps from the bed.  He flexes his wrist down to shoot a web.  He turns his head back and forth to determine where evil is lurking.  It is a pretty recent phenomena. 

We went to the costume store to pick out Halloween outfits a few weeks ago and nothing was particularly on the minds of Maria or Mario when we walked into the store.  Maria picked out five different outfits all fairly slutty and horrific (for pre-teens even!) but we finally compromised on Super Girl (which I am sure Maria agreed to because of her red shiny thigh high boots – oh, my!). 

Mario, on the other hand, could not decide on anything.  He liked Batman and Scooby and Frankenstein.  The Spiderman costume hit me as cool because it had one of those inflated chest and arms to it that I thought would be hilarious on Mario since he is so tiny.  It also had a mask that did not go all the way over his face like the others (and I knew he would hate one like that – what kid wouldn’t – why do they do that?).  I mentioned Spiderman as a costume and he agreed to it and that was that.  We tried it on in the bathroom and I held him up in the mirror.  He smiled.  He wiggled out of my arms and chirped “Let’s get it mom!” 

Shooting us with his web

We bought it.  He never mentioned it again except on the occasions when a neighbor or relative would ask him what he was going to be for Halloween.  He dutifully responded “Spiderman!”  A week or so ago, he found some Spiderman books and movies at the library and he wanted to read and watch them.  Then, two nights ago, out of the blue, he begged to put on his Spiderman costume.  I agreed not knowing that he would never want to take it off until he was 20.  He became Peter Parker/Spiderman.  Coincidentally, Spiderman (with Tobey Maguire) was on HBO that same night and Mario and Jon watched it.  I believe that is when the deal was sealed.  He watched the entire movie with Jon asking questions, biting his nails, getting excited. 

When I came home from dropping Maria off at a friend’s house, the movie had just ended.  Mario asked me to act like I was drowning in wet sand.  I threw on my acting hat and started crying “I am in wet sand – I wish someone could help me!”  “Spiderman” jumps off the couch and runs to me, pulls off his mask, and stares as me.  I learn that this means I should say “Oh, are you Peter Parker, Spiderman?”  To which he responds “Yes, I am.”  Then he grabs my arm and pulls me out of the wet sand.  He slips on his mask and runs off to which I learned I am supposed to say “I won’t tell anyone your identity, Spiderman.” 

He even wore it to the zoo to pose with the goats!

He played the “wet sand’ game with me at least 30 times over the last two days.  He wrestled with Jon during the times he was not playing the game with me.  Jon played the bad guy and Mario took him on as Spiderman.  He could have played all night long.  He loved checking himself out in the mirror while he was slipping on his mask.  He stood on our bed, staring at himself in his costume and mask, for minutes.  He even posed a few times without noticing that we were watching him.  When we went outside in it, and he had to put on shoes and socks, he made sure he chose his red socks to match the costume and his red and black gym shoes.  Thank god we had those around because he freaked at first at the thought of having to wear shoes that did not match his outfit. 

When I put him to bed (for the fourth time – he got out three different times providing a new excuse every time) he stopped me before I left.  “Come here mom.”  I walked over to him and he pulled my hand to him so that my face was close to his face.  “Mom, Spiderman helps people.  He is a good hero.  He kills bad guys because they are mean.  Spiderman will protect you.” 

Those words cradled me all night.  What a lover-boy.  It is hard to believe that the kid can make me want to drive off a cliff many a days after he says something like that to me.  When I went to bed later that night, I went to check on him in Maria’s bed.  There he was with his mask by his side (the neurotic mother told him he could not wear it to bed because he may suffocate) and his spider on his chest, ready to take on the bad guys to protect his mama.