My nephew turned a “whole hand,” as he put it, last week. Five years old. His sister is seven. They are my parents’ youngest grandchildren. My, how has time has flown. My nephew is a dirt road sport. Everything is an imperative command with him, and he is active. I got tickled listening to him when I was home at Christmas. In his excitement over his new toys, he ordered one of us adults to do something with it. My sister-in-law reminded him to say please, which reminded me of an incident with my crew when they were tots.
When the triplets were 3 ½, they became enthralled with the Super Friends DVDs—the cartoons with Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin, Superman, Aquaman, the Wonder Twins, etc. My mother even taught them the little Batman ditty that accompanies Batman and the Boy Wonder when Batman arrives to save the day. One day, I called for Eva, only to have Nate inform me, “No, she Wonder Woman, Keaty’s Superman, and I Batman.” It seemed I had missed the memo assigning them their new Super Names, but duly noted!
They evidently were also referring to themselves by those names in the first person because that evening, Keaton imperiously demanded that his father get his milk for dinner. Cliff and I responded, “What do you say?” He frowned and said, ever so seriously, “’Piderman don’t say pease!” It was all we could do to keep a straight face while reinforcing that, despite what he thought, Spiderman did indeed say please to his parents. Meanwhile, Nate sat in his chair happily singing, “na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN,” thanks to his Mimi! Meals were always a zoo at our house.
So, whenever I see a little one getting scolded by a parent for not using proper manners or being too bossy, I always hear that voice in my ear, “‘Piderman don’t say pease!”