Little boys (and some girls) and superheroes. I've heard it can be quite a thing.
Noah never got "into" superheroes — we've burned through Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter and Ninjago pretty bright and hard, but the traditional comic book heroes have never interested him all that much. He liked The Avengers. He liked it pretty okay.
(Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, on the other hand... Which: OMG. I already had to live through years of every boy in my elementary school talking non-stop about those stupid turtles, and now you're telling me I have to relive it all over again with my own child? Haaaa, yeah, Michaelangelo sure does love pizza. It's crazy! Great to see so much character development has occurred over the past two decades.)
Ezra has never seen The Avengers. Or any movie or TV show involving Superman, Batman, Spiderman or any of the other major or minor mans. And yet an full-blown superhero obsession has emerged, either through peer pressure or osmosis or electromagnetic waves in the atmosphere.
It started with a Superman shirt, hastily plucked from a clearance pile at Old Navy because it was blue and Ezra was going through a fairly stubborn "I ONLY WEAR BLUE SHIRTS" phase at the time. Little did I know that I was simply ushering in the "I ONLY WEAR SUPERMAN SHIRTS" phase, which is a extra-difficult, migraine-inducing phase when THERE IS ONLY ONE SUPERMAN SHIRT.
(The best is when he insists on wearing it under his karate jacket so he can pull it open to reveal the logo, like Superman does in the movies. Though I still don't understand how he knows to do that in the first place.)
Because I know absolutely nothing about children (but like to think that I do), I recently purchased a couple packages of superhero underpants for him, in hopes that he'd let me wash the stupid shirt more often if he could wear something else superhero-related. Because, you know, that won't backfire at all. Because the child who only owns one acceptable shirt is never going to suddenly be the child who only owns one acceptable pair of underpants.
Except: Duh. Of course he will.
I won't go into specifics as to how many days in a row Ezra may or may not have worn the same pair of Superman underwear before I noticed. Suffice to say: Too many.
Luckily the underwear assortment came with other options. Eventually, Batman became acceptable. I showed him some pictures online of the Green Lantern and the Flash and got those pairs into the rotation as well. But then there was another pair, covered in yellow V's, that had me kind of stumped. And thus, were going completely unworn by Ezra because I could not supply the associated character name. Superheroes aren't really my forte to begin with, but I figured a quick Google search on the Justice League would reveal this other, less-well-known member.
Instead, I stumbled upon a honest-to-God UNDERPANTS-RELATED MYSTERY.
The most obvious choice (SHE SAYS LIKE SHE KNOWS THIS SHIT OR SOMETHING) for a fifth Justice League logo would be Aquaman. But I was clearly not looking at underwear covered in A's, which is what Google told me his logo looked like. These are clearly V's! And clearly bothering me more than they should!
(Tangentially speaking, don't you think it's kind of a bummer that you can't buy V for Vendetta underpants in size 3T? With wee Guy Fawkes masks across the butt? Awww.)
So I kept searching, finally looking around for the exact pack of underwear I'd purchased (and foolishly threw the packaging out before realizing that I might need to CONSULT IT FOR CLUES). The characters on the package were, alas, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the Flash, as if even the manufacturer was like...uhhhh, no idea. Hank designed these over lunch while blitzed out of his gourd, and he doesn't have phone privileges in rehab yet.
Amazon reviews mentioned the Mystery V pair as well, joining in my parental bafflement. A+ underwear experience. Five stars. My kid loves them; doesn't poop in them; can anyone tell me who the heck the yellow Vs are for?
GODDAMN IT NOW I'M MAD. UNDERWEAR SHOULD NOT MAKE ME THINK THIS HARD.
Finally I somehow ended up on a random comic books forum, where a member had uploaded a photo of the underwear in question and asked the group for help identifying the logo. A minor war had ensued, with most members seeming to think that it was simply a poorly-rendered, half-assed Aquaman logo, while others said no, there was once a member of the Justice League named Volt, so this could be his logo, and then everything devolved from there into ZOMG DO YOU THINK THEY'RE BRINGING VOLT BACK IN THE NEW JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE? NO YOU IDIOT, THAT MOVIE ISN'T HAPPENING, IT GOT SHELVED, NO IT DIDN'T, YES IT DID, RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE.
And, you know, etc.
(I am not even kidding about any of that.)
And yes, at some point it did occur to me that I was sitting there, on the Internet, reading a strange message board conversation devoted to little boys' underwear styles. Ahhrrmm.
I thought maybe I could just tell Ezra that the "V" underwear stood for "Victoryman," because seriously. He's four. It's not like he can Wikipedia this shit yet. But that would have required me to let the issue go and move on with my life and stop caring so goddamn much about this.
And we all know that wasn't going to happen. So back to Google it was. Maybe focus on image searches this time, while leaving the word "underwear" out of it. Maybe let's not get put on an FBI watch list over this. Maybe search for some of the other Justice League lineups? The old Super Friends cartoon, perhaps, that my next-door neighbor made me sit through on Saturday mornings because boy cartoons are stupid and you know we're watching My Little Pony after this, OH YES WE ARE?
*puts on sunglasses*
I feel better now, yes. Thanks for asking. And no, I have zero intention of EVER checking the Google search terms that lead people to this entry, oh my God.
PS. BECAUSE RELEVANT: