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‘Batdad’ fights to put humor into parenting with a mask and a smartphone

BY Ariel Min  May 9, 2014 at 1:36 PM EDT

parenting now logoHe’s just an ordinary dad with a smartphone … and a cape. And he’s using them for good. Meet Blake Wilson, the real guy behind the Batman mask and the husky voice for which his character “Batdad” is famous.

With more than 2.2 million followers on a social video-sharing app called Vine, “BatDad” has become a social media celeb as the father of four who wears a Batman mask and makes six-second videos chronicling his adventures in parenting.

The videos don’t contain much that any parent would find unusual, but they have Wilson’s signature Batman impersonation. Most are shot in the family minivan as they ride to school, or at home while Batdad and his trusty wife Jen get the children to eat their vegetables, go to bed on time, brush their teeth and leave the house without making a giant mess. The videos are goofy and hilarious, and they’re relatable to every parent who has had to juggle children, work and home life.

“We’re no different than any family out there with young children,” said Wilson, who is 30. “That’s why these little jokes on Vine resonate with people, because I poke fun at the tough stuff.”

Still, Wilson had no idea that what started as a family joke during a trip to Target would end up attracting millions of fans and viewers. When he first started making the Vine videos, it was an outlet for him to unleash his creative side while poking fun at some of the mundane parenting struggles every mom and dad has to go through.

“The whole thing’s supposed to be for fun — we’re really grateful for people who enjoy the videos, but it does get a little overwhelming,” Wilson said.

Despite the fame and huge fanbase, Wilson stressed that he’s an ordinary dad first, Batdad second. While making the videos with his kids and involving them in social media is a great way to engage them and spend time with them, it’s not exactly a parenting technique, Wilson said.

Wilson said his real “superpowers” are scheduling and organization. And of course all superheros have a “sidekick,” or a reliable partner to lean on. And for Wilson, his wife Jen is just as heroic when it comes to parenting their four children.

“You know, to be honest, I can’t really say I have a great superpower — it really takes two,” Wilson said. “I think the superpower, if there is one, is being able to read your partner. Reading what they’re feeling. Being able to recognize the signals and knowing when your partner needs a little more help than normal. That’s huge when you’re raising a family.”

When asked for some helpful tips for other parents, he emphasized the importance of humor, along with positive attitude.

“Bottom line is, you gotta be able to laugh at the tough stuff. Yes, you’re gonna get stressed out, yes you’re gonna get upset, but sometimes you’ve got to have a humor. You’ve got to be able to laugh at some of the most ridiculous moments your kids put you through.”

For more, visit BatDad‘s Vine account or watch the YouTube compilation: