SO MY six-year-old daughter Amelia has discovered superheroes. It was bound to happen. She fancies herself a bit of a muscle-bound crime fighter, so I understand the attraction.
I certainly wouldn’t mess with her. I mean, I don’t.
Amelia’s first superhero love is Spider-Man. He of the red and blue suit, the incredible climbing powers, web-shooting wrists, and sixth ‘Spidey’ sense.
She runs around the house pretending to be him, flicking her wrist with sound effects and attempting her own death-defying leaps from couch to couch (or from couch to unsuspecting parent).
Daredevil girls have all the fun.
It’s always exciting when your child finds passion in something new, whatever it is. So, the other day I bought Amelia a Spider-Man figurine and left it for her to find when she arrived home from school.
Rushing in from the bus, she went straight into her room and saw him. Her very own Spider-Man, replete with an arachnid-embossed button on his chest that when pressed would emit a range of on-brand exclamations and quips.
Amelia pressed the button over and over.
“Like the suit? It comes with the job.”
She held the figure up close to her ear. I realised that despite her hearing aids, she might find it hard to make out what Spider-Man was saying.
Amelia looked at me quizzically for a second then walked over to a set of stray headphones lying on our hall table. She held one headphone to her hearing aid on the left and pressed the other into her new friend’s chest and pressed the button again.
I was fascinated. She was trying to work out how to direct or amplify the sound being received by her aids via the headphones. They weren’t connected to anything, but it was worth a try.
She turned to me with a cheeky little spark in her eyes and said:
“Mum, Spider-Man talks to me through my hearing aid.”
“You’re not deaf, so you can’t.” That last word was the verbal equivalent of a dismissive hair toss over her shoulder.
No I have no such superpower, but I didn’t care. I loved watching her ingenuity at work and the connections she was making with her deafness and what her hearing aids can do.
Spider-Man was for her and her alone. He has a Spidey sense, and she does too. There are no limits here, only possibilities.
And me? I was the boring ol’ third wheel, ordered into the kitchen for some snacks while they got on with the serious business of being superheroes.