I found myself at the Superstore last Sunday. Without two of my three hangers-on. I passed a ‘sale price’ sign in the health and beauty section placed over a large ‘dump area’ filled with battery-operated toothbrushes. Superhero battery-operated toothbrushes. On sale for $4 and a bit.
My oldest had been ‘hinting’ that he’d like a power toothbrush for several months. Apparently he’d observed that my mom has such a toothbrush. And he wanted one, too.
The available stock had dwindled considerably. There were lots of Spidermans and a few Pokeymons scattered in between. I didn’t think it was prudent on my part to bring home one superhero. And one whatever-Pokeymon-is. After digging through the pile, I found a Hulk. And a Wolverine. I had to think for a minute. Which was better in a boy’s eyes: the Hulk or Wolverine?
The Hen had mentioned the Hulk earlier in the day, and being of the suspicion that the Gort was going to claim Spiderman for his own, I went with the green monster. I’d never heard the Hen say ‘Wolverine’.
I got home and showed the boys the awesome superfunmom things I’d picked up at the grocery store. ‘Did you get one for me?’ the professor asked. In an ‘I’m not entirely kidding’ voice.
‘Um, no, I didn’t.’ I didn’t think the 35-and-over set were interested in superheroes. In fact, if anything, I’d briefly considered picking up a third toothbrush – for B3. But decided that was dumb, since I’d have to store it for another two years. And by then the blondies would no longer have their superhero toothbrushes.
‘Oh’ he replied. With just a hint of regret.
The boys loved their new toothbrushes. ‘Look how shiny my teeth are!’ the Gort exclaimed each time after he used it. The Hen practically wanted to sleep with his. He would get up in the morning and run to the bathroom to get his toothbrush. Not necessarily to brush his teeth. Just to press the Hulk button and activate the rotating head. ‘I need Huk’ he’d say periodically throughout the day. ‘You need a hug?’ I’d ask, trying to decipher his perplexing vocabulary. ‘No, Huk’ he argued. ‘You want the Hulk?’ I’d try again.
As I drove to the Superstore again, three days later, I recalled the professor’s sadness. I walked towards the health and beauty section, just to see if they had any superhero toothbrushes left. Still lots of Pokeymons.
And one lone Wolverine.
The Hen clutched it in his little hand while we navigated the rest of the store. ‘That’s Daddy’s,’ I explained-warned. Lest he thought he’d add another one to his collection. We got home and put the toothbrush on the top of the fridge, lest it get broken before the professor even got to see it.
That night Jason walked through the door and the boys ran to him as they do every day. They directed him to the kitchen so they could present him with his toothbrush.
He used it, excitedly, a couple of times, but returned to his un-super, un-heroic Oral B brush soon after.