Robin Returns

It was one of my first Halloween stories posted here. It is still one of my favorite memories of my daughter—and my wife and son. This is the beginning…

When you’re young, newly married, and you have tiny youngsters, life can present some entertaining opportunities. This year—many, many years ago—was no exception. This was during the time when Batman was a more regular part of my life—when getting dressed up in cape and cowl was more common than it is now. Honestly, I cannot recall the last time I stepped into the shadows of my alter ego and escorted my children about the streets in search of free treats from our neighbors in the dark and cold nights of Halloweens long ago.

One year, to complete the whole Dark Knight theme (and because Batman & Robin, 1997, was still popular) I was Batman (of course), my wife dressed up as Poison Ivy (green body suit, eyemask, boots, hair done up fancy, with a green leafy cloak for warmth), our oldest daughter was a ballerina princess (pink tutu, fairy wings, wand, the whole shebang), and our youngest child was Robin. He was all snuggled up in some winter clothes, which were wrapped up in a set of children’s pajamas—too big for him at the time—that had a costume print on them so he would appear as his father’s sidekick. This little bundle of joy was then set into our umbrella stroller for transport. I held Sarah’s hand, and Cindy pushed the stroller about as the four of us walked from house to house.

Author’s note: You may be asking what a ballerina princess has to do with Batman. Well, let me tell you. She’s my daughter. And, since I’m Batman, there you have it. Now, that should stop you from asking another stupid question like that again. Moving on…

It didn’t take long before Zander began to fuss and become uncomfortable. It’s funny how no matter how much you want a thing to be, the uncontrollable will change it all in the blink of an eye.

I was looking forward to this night for a long time. Months. I love Halloween. It is one of my favorite holidays. My two children and wife were all dressed up with me. We were out and about collecting candy and greeting friends from all about our neighborhood. Things were going great. Then: Poop happened. Literally. Poop. Zander pooped. And, well, you can’t let your child sit in poop. That is not good for so many reasons. So, what to do? Only one choice: Head home.

Now, if some of you are suggesting that we could have just changed him on the spot and moved on you’d be wrong. Anyone who has changed a poop-filled diaper knows that the whole thing can go sideways in the blink of an eye. To do it in the dark, in the cold, on a sidewalk or lawn… No. No way. We were going home. Also, we were not that far from our house. It was all going to be just fine.

Sarah couldn’t fully understand why we all had to go back. She was fine. I was fine. Cindy was fine. It was just her brother. Still, she came along without a fuss—which I was glad for. Cindy had explained to our daughter all the ‘whys’ and that we would quickly get to go back out after we rotated the baby’s tire. Everything was good.

We were in our driveway, we had just changed the youngest member of our crime-fighting team. He was complacent but not necessarily happy. He was clean and freshly diapered. Coat with the hood on. Little cute mittens. Snuggly boots fastened about his feet. Securely buckled in the stroller. He should be ready to relax and enjoy the ride. We quickly discovered why that would not be the case.

Every parent knows that sound. That special sound. That particular sound that informs the parent that their child has just released all of their stomach’s contents at a reasonable to high velocity (‘reasonable’ referring to speeds other than the reasonable speeds of dribbling off the lower lip).

The goop splurted forth, splattered all over my son’s lap, dribbled down his chest, plopped onto the sidewalk, and ricocheted about and onto my wife’s legs and cloak. Okay, my son was officially and unmistakably unhappy. Also, he may have been, maybe, just maybe, a bit nauseous.

After the projectile puking—and subsequent crying—it was decided that the wife and infant would stay home to hand out candy while I and our oldest continued going about the night in search of chocolaty treats and more excitement—right after I helped get the little guy cleaned up.

Honestly, I was super disappointed. However, that’s life. Regardless of the expectations we have or desire, sometimes we have changes that may seem disappointing. Sometimes we are handed a situation that is less than ideal. So what? What do we do about it? Do we complain? Do we get angry? Do we accept and move forward? Is there any one catch-all solution?

I don’t know. For me, I usually end up going through all of those stages to greater or lesser degrees. I might complain for a bit (or a while), get agitated (or angry), then move on (or bulldoze forward). It is always situational for me. Like, who’s involved, or how important is the whole thing anyway…? Stuff like that.

Looking back on that Halloween, I’m pretty sure all the up and down the sidewalks, the turning around to head back and forth along the walkways, and possibly some of that cold helped agitate my son who may not have been feeling topnotch before we entered into the evening’s events. But, who knows for certain? All I know for certain is that it was a very memorable night.

When I title my stories sometimes I struggle with which one to go with. Which one will create enough attention and/or not give away too much of the tale. This week I really like too many, so I decided to share my top favorite alternates (in no particular order): Robin’s Ralph, The Halloween Hurl, Nighttime Nausea, Baby’s Barf, and Pastime Puke. Thanks for reading.

Batman, Robin, and all related characters, symbols, and other related stuffs are trademarks of Warner Bros and its subsidiaries and so forth blah, blah, blah…

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