Holy Mystery Machine, Batman!


Rhee Rhaggy!

Scooby Doo is a fantastic show that has stood the test of time.  My sons are big fans of the show.  They were lured in by their love of Batman, when we bought the DVD Scooby Doo Meets Batman and Robin.  Although it doesn’t seem like AJ knows a lot about the evolution of Batman, he has a real love for this character for some reason. He was Batman for Halloween which meant only one thing:  Andy had to be Superman.  Andy would have been Robin, but I seem to have noticed a commercial or television show which made fun of the Robin costume and how no one wants to be a sidekick. I think my little blonde Andy makes a great Superman.

"Maybe we can convince him to be Robin."










Tonight after dinner, AJ was running around the house saying we had to find the bats and ghosts.  This is an imperative task for any 4 year old and his family.  He renamed me several times, but finally decided that I was destined to be Aquaman.  Our dog became Wonderwoman.  The baby doll that we gave Andy to prepare him for the real baby Jamie was named Jamie.  While that last one lacked vision, the rest of his imagination ran wild.  So, I was pleased that AJ liked to enact Scooby Doo mysteries at home with his family, no matter which character my wife and I were assigned (except Daphney….come on!).  While Batman changes year by year, Scooby and his gang remain beloved without the metamorphosis that Batman deals with almost annually. 

"Scooby Doo is the coolest new show ever, Dad!"

The last Scooby Doo episode they watched originally aired in 1969.  This dog has been going strong for over 40 years, through new cartoon mysteries and the live action movies. I will never see Matthew Lillard as any character but Shaggy since seeing those movies. but real people definitely don’t keep the attention of my kids as cartoons do, so I’m happy to hear reruns of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem who voiced the original Shaggy (impeccably, I may add). 

Both Batman and Scooby Doo were created in the sixties and I remember watching both during grade school years. Can you do me a favor and think about your childhood, particularly your grade school years? Can you recall something you really had fun doing or playing? Or something you had fun with passing time? If you are from my generation or older, you probably will remember playing in your neighborhood, riding a bike, playing basketball, or some kind of activity outside.  If you are a teenager right now or younger, I wonder if your memory is about playing a video game or computer or something indoors?  Pastimes have really changed from one generation to the next, particularly due to technology. When I was growing up, I remembered playing outdoors a lot and TV was fairly minimal for me.  That of course changed during my teen years but I was still fairly active playing outdoors with friends.  There’s a Blog that I subscribe to called Free Range Kids.  The first thread that I found and commented on was about the author’s son in his teen years who was stopped and interrogated by a cop for walking down the street in his neighborhood with no shoes on.  That experience motivated the author to develop a movement to better support kids’  freedom and adults preoccupation with supervising their kids to the point of insanity.             


I think this is probably true for most kids, but my kids get in a lot of trouble when they don’t get to go outside and play.  It’s how they learn, how they become socialized and explore outside of their home.  They beg for this daily.  My boys don’t care if it’s raining, snowing, hailing, sleeting.  They’re basically mailmen only they don’t deliver anything except for joy and pain to their lovingly exhausted parents. 

I'm bored

The idea behind the freerangekids blog is that kids are too spoiled with videogames, internet, cell phones, etc.   While this is true, that’s only our fault as parents.  We buy these things for our kids and no doubt we don’t want to have our kids be the only ones without the toys that the other kids have, without the latest ridiculous fad that their friends are into.  Yes, we cannot all afford all of these things, especially for me right now with 3 kids under 4 years old. Actually, my kids could care less about what they wear, they just want to have fun.  It’s their job to have fun. That’s how they learn, coordinate, socialize and live life well. When I first read this blog, I was skeptical. However, the blog provides a nice how-to guide with a wealth of great information about giving your kids freedom, encouraging them to play and explore outside and keep them interested in things other than electronic stimulation that contributes to lack of stimulation.  I’m a nervous parent, especially with the baby in the house after what our poor little dude went through in the NICU.  But, we do want them to learn independence, open-mindedness and common sense, not to mention street-cred

Secret Identity Crisis

I often  read things from our generation or our parents’ that mention something like, “back in my day…” Well, as times have changed, so has the knowledgebase on best practices for raising children. For example, when we were growing up, we did not have to wear bicycle helmets. There was not much research on preventing head trauma or studies on brain injury.  I hear about this bicycle helmet rant on Facebook posts or emails There are many variations on this story and it all related to how we were reckless jaywalkers with fat untied shoelaces and wanted a red jacket with umpteen zippers for Christmas since Robbie the Robot was unattainable and we were too cool for Teddy Ruxpin.  Now, I’m not just trying to throw words at you to spark random pop culture memories.  I’ll leave that to Seth Macfarlane.  I’m attempting to paint a picture of what in my world the Free Range Kids philosophy means to me. 

Sky's the limit

What is going to happen is that there will be a power struggle in every aspect of our lives, especially parenting. Do we let the kids loose, run wild and explore, or do we hold the reigns tight to protect them from harm’s way? We all want better for our kids than what we had.  My kids crave to go outside on a daily basis.  Today, February 18th 2012, my 4-year old son said at bed time, “maybe we can find a water slide tomorrow morning.”  When I told him it’s too cold to do that, he responded with, “We can wear coats.” It’s that forward thinking that will allow our kids to do better than we did.

The moral of the story (stories) is that everything comes full circle; history repeats itself and we hope to learn from our mistakes and know that more are to come.  However, unmistakably, they really got it right when they made Scooby Doo.  Scrappy Doo however, is kind of a dick.  The mistakes that they make with all the tries on Batman, there are still some awesome versions, including the 60’s BLAM! POW! KABLOOIE!! stuff. 

What goes around comes around and I love that my kids love Scooby, Batman and Superman.  These are things I can really relate to from when I was their age.  When they start to find whatever the replacement for Pokemon or Spongebob, I fear becoming my father.  On that note, there is also a great blog I have found as I write and read more from WordPress (blogging software):


Thank you to all of my readers, hopefully more than one by this point.  Actually, today marks one year since my first post and this makes my 72ndpost, over 50,000 words and 4,454 unique views of my site.  

So much to read, so little time

It feels rewarding to have family and friends’ support of my blog. I love that people are interested in my words and pictures.  My wife and kids are all I need in this world, to share them with those I don’t know gets me motivated to write more.Take more pictures of life. Read more about my fellow bloggers as there are perspectives I have found that make me more open-minded to a world that I’ve only known a year…. but plan to be a part of for years to come. 

My AJ tells me in excitement that there’s a new Scooby Doo on, not knowing it’s 40+ years old.  So, my gift to you is something that my kids have found through Scooby.  Played daily on the Boomerang Network, I don’t know what it’s advertising, but it’s great and I love it more because my kids find it hilarious, dance and sing along.  I give you…..The Banana Dance.


Another gift to myself and to you if you accept is all of these recent pictures of my 2 Super toddlers and my 24 day old Baby Jamie which gives me yet even more inspiration to write and hopefully entertain and inform.  Thank you again!

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2 Responses to Holy Mystery Machine, Batman!

  1. Jennifer Vidal says:

    Aww, you have newborn, congratulations! 🙂

    I agree with you when you say that it is our fault about how much kids are into all these electronics. I think little kids are totally under our control; we are the ones that get to decide how much television they watch, how long they play video games for, etc. Great post!

    • ncdads says:

      Thank you so much for your congrats and comment. Right now as our world is upside down the TV is our best friend. The trick is to not let it stay that way as we try to figure out schedules and our newly chaotic lives!

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