Explaining the Dark Knight to a 5 year old

Hubby made it home just in time to say goodnight to the children, tuck them in and give them a sweet dreams kiss.

It has to be one of the very best ‘jobs’ of being a parent.
After their stories, they both hunker down under the duvet and in the dull glow of the nightlight we get to chat about their day, who they’ve played with, who Mia bullied at nursery today (kidding), what bits of his lunchbox Dan pretended to eat but instead gave/threw away. (Today he told me “don’t give me those sorts of carrot sticks again, mummy. They weren’t the slightest bit juicy. I only want juicy carrots from now on.“)

And as Mia settles herself, every now and again she will turn to check you’re still there, opening her big brown eyes and saying: “I love you mummy” then turns over again and closes her eyes.
It’s the greatest mood lifter after a shitty day at work.

I love these moments because they are all calm and sleepy and look so adorable with their favourite cuddly toy tucked protectively under their arm and their hair all tousled and the smell of soap on their skin.
These peaceful times with my children are priceless and I feel really sad for hubby when he misses out because he’s stuck at work.
Really, it’s unmissable stuff.

So last night, hubby made it home in time and I overheard him talking to Daniel about the new Batman film, which hubby had seen the night before.
Dan is really disappointed he can’t see it (it is WAY too violent) so was quizzing hubby and wants to know exactly what happens.
They are cuddled up side by side on Dan’s bed and daddy is trying his best to paint a picture with words.
But how do you explain concepts like revenge and angst and love triangles and inner demons to a five-year-old?

“The Joker is just a really bad man” (yeah, like Genghis Khan was a really bad man) “he just wants to hurt people and destroy things because he can.”
“Does nobody love him then?”
“I wouldn’t think so buddy.”
“It’s no wonder he’s so mean then.”

As hubby’s wrapping up – he is clearly exhausted from all the questions and the mental gymnastics he’s been performing trying to find alternative words for “psychopath” – Dan says “it doesn’t sound that scary to me daddy.”
And daddy’s all “I’ll be your Batman son. I’ll protect you from everything with my wings of steel” (mate, that’s Batfink)
You’ve nothing to fear when I’m around.”

And Dan, his duvet pulled up under his nose, just watches him go, and then from the edges of the dim light a little voice says: “Daddy, leave the door open.”

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