July 4, 2012 at 6:00 AM ET
The movies give us Spider-Man and Batman fighting crime and upholding justice. They keep our streets safe, but what kind of dads would these superheroes be?
Considering the odd hours and questionable whereabouts, I suspect both Batman and Spider-Man might have trouble negotiating fair division of parental duties with their wives or partners. Assuming they could overcome certain work/life balance obstacles, both the Caped Crusader and the Web Spinner would probably play the role of father with super-heroic prowess.
But in true superhero style, let’s pit Spider-Man versus Batman: dad-to-dad, which hero is truly super at playdates, Little League, and geometry homework?
• Wrangling unruly toddlers can take superhuman strength and agility, and ropes. Spider-Man’s ability to sling a web could come in handy at the playground.
• Batman, while possessing no actual superpowers, uses his intellect to solve mysteries, such as: What is that smell coming from the third row seat in the minivan (er, Batminivan)?
• Spidey sense could alert dad when a child is in danger of accidentally emptying a box of orzo on kitchen floor.
• I’d argue that Batman invented the man cave, and getting away to recharge one’s man batteries certainly improves one’s ability to face the challenges of parenting. Especially if it is soundproof.
• Spider-Man’s ability to cling to any surface (presumably while sporting a rag and all-purpose cleaner) will be helpful any time there are projectile body fluids in play.
• Both Batman and Spider-Man have the perfect wardrobe for fatherhood. I’m guessing those suits are both waterproof and stain repellent, which is better than kryptonite at the diaper changing table.
• Also: Perfect matching Halloween costumes! (Of course, if your dad is a superhero, you probably want to dress up as an accountant.)
• While both men’s suits have slimming powers, only Batman has a cape to hide those extra daddy pounds. Because let’s be honest, once you have kids it’s harder to get to the gym down at the Hall of Justice.
In this battle of good vs. good, we have a toss-up. Fortunately, in matters of men, I’ve got a foolproof tie-breaker. The truly worthy men are not the best dressed, the strongest, or even the most heroic or intelligent. All things being equal, I always choose the man who kills the spiders.
Lela Davidson is the author of Blacklisted from the PTA. Her writing is featured regularly in family and parenting magazines throughout the United States and Canada. She blogs about marriage, motherhood, and life-after-40 at After the Bubbly.
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