Batman v Superman: Why I’m bringing my 4-year-old

Batman won’t take his youngest son to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

“Four years old is a little young to see this whole movie,” Ben Affleck told the Associated Press. “I don’t want him to have nightmares.”

My 4-year-old son already has a ticket to the movie. With the opening-night crowd. On the biggest movie screen in the state. In brain-exploding IMAX 3D. Go big or go back to the Batcave, I always say.

You might be thinking I’m a terrible parent and an even worse moviegoer. Maybe you think I’m the kind of narcissistic father who presumes his own little Batman fan to be cooler than Samuel Garner Affleck. I don’t think I’m any of those things. Here’s why the Champ has earned his ticket. Continue reading Batman v Superman: Why I’m bringing my 4-year-old

Breaking up with McDonald’s breakfast

We had a nice little McDonald’s breakfast routine going. Every week, on the way to the kids’ swim lessons, we would drive thru a neighborhood Micky D’s and eat in the car.

I would get a McGriddles sandwich combo and give the drink, always a chocolate milk, to one of the kids. Then I’d order a second chocolate milk and four orders of McGriddles cakes (“just the bread”). Big kid gets his milk in the jug while I expertly pour the little one’s into a Tupperware sippy cup. I bring my own water and a Monster to drink. I had it down to a science.

The good folks at my neighborhood McDonald’ses, not so much. I think maybe they’re not equipped to handle off-menu ordering. Probably my fault for violating the traditional combo structure.

Whatever the case, they never seem to get that I’m ordering four two-packs of McGriddle cakes (the kids just call them “pancakes”). It happens again and again that I leave the drive-thru light on McGriddles. Continue reading Breaking up with McDonald’s breakfast

This Little Mermaid meme will ruin your daughter’s Ariel clothes

Please do not read to the end of this post. If you have a young daughter and she likes wearing Ariel clothes, believe me — you’re better than this.

We live in a golden age of ideas and information, but it all comes at a terrible cost. Right now, you’re looking at a magical window that can bring you all the best ideas anytime you want. The trade-off is that anyone can share any idea, no matter how dumb and bad, and sometimes we mix up the worst ideas with the best.

I’m not making a cheeky comment on American politics here, I’m disclaiming and apologizing for the dumb and awful thing I’m about to show you. I’m not doing this because it’s important. I don’t even have a strong feeling about this, other than *GROAN*, if that counts as a feeling. If you really want more *GROAN* in your life, well, I guess this is the post for you.

I’m only sharing this dumb idea because it won’t quit kicking around my head. Once I let it out, I should be able to move on to more important parenting blog posts. Also, I made a graphic depicting myself as an 8-bit King Triton. And that brings us to The Little Mermaid. Continue reading This Little Mermaid meme will ruin your daughter’s Ariel clothes

Super Bowl 50 and the death of Dadvertising

WANTED: The arms, torso and tail of a spider monkey. I have access to working baby legs, and I know a guy who has a pug. Attack of the Dad is making Puppy Monkey Baby happen IRL.

Why, you ask? I’m hot on social media thanks to brands (Taco Bell quote-tweeted my Instagram). I want to keep this rolling, and being a regular dad just isn’t cutting it.

A year ago, the ads in Super Bowl XLIX were all about dads. Always had an empowering message about how to raise our girls. Dove told us that a well-moisturized man is better at kissing his kids. Nissan had an inscrutable short film about a race-car driver, but Toyota really tugged at our dadstrings.

That day, all the moms and their Chunky Soups fell silent as “Dadvertising” reigned supreme. Continue reading Super Bowl 50 and the death of Dadvertising

Imaginext Robo Batcave gets YouTube treatment

The Imaginext Robo Batcave is a 2016 Fisher-Price Super Friends playset. The $40 Toys R Us exclusive is nearly identical to the old Imaginext Robot Police headquarters, but the repaint adds a bunch of cool new details to celebrate Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

But you’re probably wondering, when did Attack of the Dad turn into a series of toy videos on YouTube? Continue reading Imaginext Robo Batcave gets YouTube treatment

SuperHero Girls? Mattel already makes badass girl toys

Alongside New York Comic Con, Mattel just unveiled DC SuperHero Girls. The 12-inch dolls and 6-inch action figures are designed by women, based on real-world female athletes instead of male-fantasy comic drawings.

With Wonder Woman front and center, Mattel hopes the new toy line can make up for declining Barbie sales and their soon-to-expire Disney licenses. I’m excited. I have a 2-year-old daughter whose main motivator in life is to equal her brother, a Batman-obsessed 4-year-old.

Mattel
(From left) Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Bumblebee.

Mattel has a spotty record on dolls AND superheroes. Barbie has struggled to find progressive footing as long as I’ve been alive, and the new Batman Unlimited toys have the Caped Crusader fighting crime with an uninspired arsenal of robot animals. I don’t care what anyone says — the real Batman would never attack Solomon Grundy with an axe he just pulled from the back end of a tiny rhinoceros.

Still, I’m confident Mattel will knock DC Superhero Girls out of the park. It’s not just that they brought a bunch of real girls into the design process or even that they have incredibly deep well of female characters to draw from (their online cartoons already feature Katana, Catwoman, Star Sapphire and Jinx among others).

You see, Mattel has been making badass girl toys for years. You just didn’t notice because they were hidden in the preschool boys’ stuff. Continue reading SuperHero Girls? Mattel already makes badass girl toys

The stay-at-home question

Nobody asked me if I was going back to work. I wasn’t. Not for long, anyway.

Right before I became a dad, I sat down with my boss and a bigger boss for an annual performance review. It had been a bad year. I took an unwelcome job change in place of a promotion I wanted. The company’s latest round of layoffs had booted several of my friends, and the bigger boss used it to justify me not getting a raise. The company’s vision for my future: more copy-paste busywork.

Meanwhile, my wife was approaching triple my salary at her law firm, and she actually enjoyed a lot of the work. Her benefits included 12 weeks paid maternity leave, while I exhausted my vacation and sick time to spend nine days with a newborn Champ.

My choice to stay home seemed so obvious that I thought everybody at work saw it coming. Yet nobody grilled me about child-care plans while my wife had to reassure a lot of nervous partners that, yes, she was coming back to work.

As a Cosmopolitan editor points out, women get this a lot, and they’re sick of it. Continue reading The stay-at-home question