Wonder Woman: A Review and a Typical Mom-Blog Post

Last Wednesday, I finally took the boys to see Wonder Woman.

We had the usual misadventures. Kids not wanting to go. Kids not able to find their shoes. Red lights and crappy drivers. And oh-my-god, who decides what they want to watch at the register?!?! Are you kidding me?!

And we get there, and I sit the boys before I get the all important popcorn. Yes, I did spring for the souvenir cup because it’s WONDER WOMAN.

I was a little excited.

More so since I had just finished reading the graphic novel DC Universe Rebirth Wonder Woman Volume 2: Year One. I wasn’t a big fan of Wonder Woman growing up. I felt she was forced on me because I was a girl. My heroes were She-Ra, Red Sonja, Princess Leia, and later on, Jean Grey. But after reading vol 2 (before vol 1 because I love origin stories), I really enjoyed Wonder Woman. She was the best part of Batman v Superman. I got the animation movie a couple of weeks ago and watched it with the boys to prepare them for Wonder Woman.

Just as the DC intro started, I whispered a prayer. “Please don’t suck.”

And it was amazing! The fight scenes were amazing. Wonder Woman was amazing. She was innocent and tough, hopeful and passionate, warrior and princess. And the boys loved it.

Tornado E kept talking to Tornado S, discussing scenes and plot points. And what the hell, boys? Tornado S is my movie talker. That’s why I buy popcorn. Have some popcorn. Stop talking!

I think Tornado A, at 7 years old, was a little too young to see the movie, but I’m glad he went. This movie is so important for little girls. Representation matters. But my boys deserve female superheroes to look up to. Hell, they deserve female heroes to look up to.

Growing up with boys, loving superheros and Star Wars, growing up in the 80s, I was keenly aware of how little female representation there was. I loved Indiana Jones. I wanted to be him. I loved Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. I wanted to be like them. I watched the boys have all the fun, adventuring, fighting, saving the day. I wanted it too. While Red Sonja loomed in my childhood, seeing Tank Girl was amazing. A girl, who was weird and different and drove a tank. Wow. And the little girl of me would have loved the Wonder Woman. A princess with a sword and shield. Wow.

So my review, amazing. But I love comic book movies. I adore them. But this was a well-made movie, go see it.

As for the boys. They really enjoyed it. It was a tad too long for them, but they were interested. Tornado E prefers the comic book introduction. Tornado S and Tornado A prefer the animated movie. They have the same reason. It’s about Steve Trevor, the character they really identified with. Also I think Tornado E really wanted to see more of the Amazons learning about Steve and his world before sending Diana out.

So everyone loved it. I will totally see the movie again in theaters. Now the anticipation for the next Star Wars movie begins….

Grocery Shopping

I picked up the boys early from their father’s because Tornado S had a doctor’s appointment. I brought worksheets, books, and tablets. But worksheets first. And they groaned.

Then they started acting like brothers, getting on each other’s nerves with sounds, touches, and whatever. In a tiny examination room.

The doctor and I had a long conversation about Tornado S. He just has all these weird little problems that feel like they should add up to something. He hates making eye-contact, but he loves giving hugs. He gets frustrated easily. He can’t tell that his shoes are on the wrong feet; he hates wearing shoes; he’ll kick off his shoes and walk on the back of them. He loses focus easily, but then he’ll really concentrate on math. He chews on his shirt when he’s stress. He’s behind in his fine motor skills. He has brilliant insights. His output is delayed. And a bunch more.

She said as long as he was being helped and making progress, then a diagnosis wasn’t needed, but she did put in a referral for a neuro-psych eval.

After the appointment, we headed to the grocery store to get a few things. The boys messed with each other in the car and in the parking lot and in the store. As I waited at the meat counter, I started looking for things to occupy them.

Tornado S: Why are we here, Mama?

Me: We need to get a pound of salmon.

Tornado S: Oh.

And back he went to antagonizing his brothers, who gave as good as they got.

Me: Tornado E, find me the deli turkey on sale please and bring me some. Tornado S, could you please find out how much blueberries are? Tornado A, hold my hand.

Tornado E and Tornado S ran off to do their errands and ran back.

Tornado S: (beaming) Two for four dollars!

Ok. Then the butcher was ready to help.

Butcher: Where are the boys? Oh, there you are. Little man, what can I get you?

Tornado S: Salmon!

Butcher: All right! I love that. How much?

Tornado S: One pound!

Butcher: Perfect! I’ll get that. Are you learning how to cook? Everyone needs to know how to cook. Good! I knew I would like you guys because you’re Star Wars fans.

Tornado S and Tornado A: ME TOO!

Butcher: I could tell! I saw your shirts! Is that good, ma’am? It’s a little over.

Me: That’s fine. Thank you.

Butcher: Now you boys are going to cook this, right? My son is a little older than you, and he makes the best salsa. You have to start early to cook well. Here, you go, ma’am. Anything else I can get you?

Me: Thank you. No, thank you. Just the salmon. Have a good day.

Butcher: You too, ma’am.

And for ten minutes, the boys were helpful, carrying my groceries to the register, waiting in line, going to the car. And then they started up again. Parenting.

 

The Argument

Wonder Woman is out this weekend. I wasn’t a big Wonder Woman fan as a kid; I felt her forced onto girls. I found other superhero girls to love. Red Sonja, She-Ra, Jean Grey. But in recent years, I’ve come to appreciate her much more, especially since I’ve been getting gifts with Wonder Woman on them.

And then I saw Batman v Superman, and I was like I want to see more Wonder Woman. I’ve been waiting months for this movie.

And so have the boys.

Since the first trailer, they’ve been begging to go see it. My MO has always been to watch the movie first and then let them see it. But opening weekend is on my weekend with the boys.

Please, Mama, we love superhero movies!

Please, Mama, it looks really good!

Please, Mama, we want to go with you!

Please, Mama, it looks really fun!

Please, Mama, we’ve seen all the Iron Man movies and Thor movies and Avengers movies.

Please, Mama, Daddy let us see The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings movies.

Please, Mama, it has a woman superhero, and don’t you want us to see movies with strong women in the lead and support gender equality. (Tornado E, everybody; that kid is too damn smart.)

And it didn’t help that my dad turned on Batman v Superman in the middle of the movie to get my goat because I hate starting movies in the middle, and I really hate when we start movies in the middle for the boys. But my dad started it right before Wonder Woman jumped on the screen to kick butt in the final battle scene. I called for the boys, and we watched it together.

Then the boys got me a Wonder Woman picture for Mother’s Day.

Please, Mama!

Fine! Fine! We’ll go. I’ll take you. I won’t sneak off without you to see it.

Rituals

Rituals are important. They say that rituals hold societies together. From Thanksgiving dinner to watching the Superbowl to church on Sundays to fireworks on the 4th of July. Ask any Catholic in the English-speaking world, and he or she will tell you we all say the same prayer before dinner. The same damn prayer.

Like all families, we have our own rituals. Like that same damn Catholic prayer. Or like kisses before I leave for work, kisses before bedtime, notes in lunch boxes. That sort of thing. Only the boys are making them complicated.

Tornado S has to be the first to great me with a hug and kiss or all is lost for the known world. All. Is. Lost.

Tornado S and Tornado A have to wave me goodbye in the morning. They get their kisses and then follow me outside, where I remind them to stay in the front yard, not the driveway. Then I pull out, with windows down, saying “Goodbye. I love you; do your best; I’ll see you later.” Then I make my left turn, and because we live in a corner house, the boys stand in the front yard until I make my next turn. They wave until they can’t see me any more. I wave until I can’t see them any more. Like the end credits to “The Beverly Hill-Billies.” It’s only annoying in the winter.

Bedtime has also become overly complicated. At least, the bedtime kiss has become overly complicated. I kiss each boy goodnight and tuck them into bed. Then we say our goodnight prayer about guardian angels because I hate that creepy Protestant bedtime prayer. Then I turn out the lights before turning on the nightlight. Then Tornado A has to kiss me goodnight.

He kisses me on the lips. Then the forehead. Then each cheek. Then my chin. (?) Then my nose. (I hate that; I wipe it off, but I’ve been doing that since I was little.) Then he has to rub noses. Then he has to give me butterfly kisses on each cheek. He does this, holding my head firmly so I can’t get away. I’m caught between thinking it’s cute and creepy. Halfway through the ritual, I get annoyed because it takes so long. I mean, dude, can’t you procrastinate by asking for water like a normal kid.

I worry about the next ritual.

My Son, The Vampire

Sean has learned to bite.  Which I can’t blame him, really.  Evan’s favorite game is “How can I annoy my baby brother the greatest.”  So in a lot of ways, Evan had it coming.

But rather than let Sean get carried away in a Chicago musical number, I some how have to discipline this grievous assault.  The kid leaves bite marks.  It’s only a matter of time before he breaks the skin.

The first time Sean did it, my dad was babysitting, and he was at his wit’s end on what to do.  If it had been his kid, it would have been a couple of spankings or a bite back, which worked so well on my middle brother when he went through this phase on me.  (Unlike Evan, I was a perfect child.)  But my dad knew how I feel about physical punishment, so he placed Sean into time out and cuddled Evan.

It happened on my watch last night.  Even though I threw Sean into time out for three and a half minutes, I don’t think it really had an effect, since Sean started laughing and talking to himself during the middle of it.  Nothing like a punishment that works.

And I wasn’t stupid enough to think this just happened out of the blue because Sean was so hungry from missing dinner, he mistook his brother for a hamburger.  As I comforted Evan, I interrogated him on what happened right before the teething incident.  Evan was using Sean as a punching bag.  Nice.  Now I have to be in the same room with them at all times like a warden.  Where’s my shot gun?

So what’s a poor, enlightened mother suppose to do?

I’ve seen the whole biting the kid thing work, but I feel it’s a bit barbaric and contradictory.  Nothing like hitting to let some one know hitting is wrong.  I’m not sure that the time out thing is working, since it seems the place for Sean to work on his inner comedic monologue. 

So any advice out there?

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The Renaming

Evan: I think I want to name Sean.

Me: What?

Evan: I want to name Sean.

Me: He already has a name.  It’s Sean.

Evan: He needs a new name.  I’m going to call him Falleif.

Me: What?  No.

Evan: Falleif!  Let’s play cars.

Me: We’re not naming your brother Falleif.

Evan: Falleif, do you want juice?

Me: Sean, do you want juice.

Sean: Please juice!

Me: See.  He’s name is Sean.

Evan: I’m still going to call him Falleif.

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Little Brotherly Love

Yesterday Sean and I dropped Evan off at school.  Evan’s school is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons.  We wanted to ease Evan into school, rather than drop him into the deep end as some of the schools we looked at would do.

I packed the boys into the car after lunch.  Each had his backpack strapped on to his back.  I reminded Evan to raise his hand during the class and to listen as I know these are his biggest weakness.  I had observed this last summer during his swim classes and then again at the open house where the teacher went through circle time with the kids.  Really, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

We arrived in good time.  The boys and I braved the sweltering heat as we marched to the classroom.  A few other moms stood around with their kids, talking.  I herded mine to keep them from running around in the landscaping.  No one else’s kid was doing that, so I figured I shouldn’t allow mine either.  Of course, it is desert-scaping; nothing can hurt it.

The teacher opened the door, and the children marched one by one.  Sean followed his brother.

I grabbed Sean.

Me: No, Sean.  That’s your brother’s class.  That’s Evan’s class.  Not for Sean.

Sean: Brothr!

He tried to wiggle out of my grasp.  He started to cry, wail, scream.

Me: Sean, it’s ok.  You’re going home with Mommy, and we’re going to have fun.  Do you want to have fun with Mommy?

Sean: BROTHR!!!

I picked him up, looking straight into his big brown eyes.

Me: I know.  You want to play with Evan and his friends.  But you’re not old enough yet.  We can go home and play.  We’ll have some special time.

Sean: With Dadda?

Me: Yes, Daddy is home.  We can play with him, too.  Do you think that is a good plan?

Sean nodded.  We walked away.

Me: How about a binky?

Sean: BINK!

Of course, Sean slept through the whole afternoon, missing any Mommy and just Me time.  Poor kid.

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