This term has seen a real transformation in Monkey. They’ve been learning about Cressida Cowell and dragons, and Monkey has become obsessed with the How to Train Your Dragon books. It’s been wonderful, really wonderful. You might have caught my post recently about how the books have inspired him to write his own book. Well things have escalated further. My son has left me rather gobsmacked. Today, is Dragonese Day at school for Years 2 and 3, the children can dress up as dragons or characters from the How to Train Your Dragon books. We had a reminder about the event on Friday as parents are also invited in for a Dragonese quiz in the afternoon. Imagine my surprise when Monkey tells me he’s going to be dressing up as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III.
This is the child who never dresses up away from home. The child who could not be persuaded to even take a golden ticket to school last year for World Book Day, so he could be Charlie Bucket. The child who this year, went as Peter from Peter’s Railway, so he could just go in his own clothes. The boy who hates dressing up for the Nativity Play no matter what he has to wear. Mummy, I want to dress up, I’m dressing up as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III.
Now in all honestly, I’d totally expected him to not want to get dressed up at all so hadn’t mentioned the event since the first newsletter mentioning it at the start of term. So I really wasn’t prepared, for this dramatic turn of events. But I’ve longed for so long for Monkey to want to join in, feel happy and dress up for events, that I had to make this work for him.
So I started off by going through his dressing up box with him. What could we adapt? He did suggest making his T-Rex outfit into a dragon, but I could see it being an issue sitting down for lessons and for toilet stops. We found some ragged trousers and a waistcoat. Add in one of his normal tops and his boots and I could see a Viking costume coming together. We popped into town on Saturday and picked up some binding which we could use on his trousers and as a belt.
Of course, dressing up as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III would also need a helmet with horns on it. Not something that we have, and I’m really not one of those parents who will spend hours on Pinterest working out how to make one from scratch. Hands up, I want a stress free life. But I really want to encourage, this new-found enthusiasm for dressing up and joining in. So we had a quick look on Amazon. You can buy Viking outfits, but Monkey was happy with what we’d created at home. We picked out a Helmet, and found a supplier who could actually supply in time, phew. I thought Monkey would want a sword to complete his look, but no, he wanted an axe, and as soon as he saw the Small Viking Axe that was him sold. Purchases made (I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate links below for your info), we awaited their delivery the next day.
The delivery arrived just in time to encourage Monkey to crack on with his homework. As soon as that was completed, he ripped open the boxes and was beside himself. The helmet horns need to be pushed into place, and then it was straight on his head. It was a bit big, so I padded it out inside with some tissue paper and then he was away. Time for some Mummy slaying.
Now could we keep the enthusiasm going until today? Would he actual go to school, dressing up as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III?
I have to be honest, I expected him to wake up this morning, and either not want to dress up at all, or have a massive wobble before leaving home and getting changed into his uniform. That would have been fine, that would have been our norm, there were no expectations.
But times appear to be changing, and as soon as Monkey woke up he was asking about dressing up as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. So even before breakfast, my little Viking hero was ready to go into battle and protect the tribe from invaders.
It’s amazing what a bit of remnant fabric, a scarf and binding can do to transform a 7-year-old Monkey into a Viking. Sometimes I honestly believe in fate, things that are just meant to be. A few years ago we reviewed a dragon from Ikea, who’s been called Dave (no idea why) ever since he arrived here. He’s been a much loved toy and lives on Monkey’s bed. When we started to read How to Train Your Dragon, we suddenly realised that Dave was a long-lost relation of Toothless, who is, in fact, green, in the books. So there was no doubt that Dave would be going with Monkey on his adventures today.
So he was dressed, in character, dragon and axe in hand. But would he actually go to school like it? I was fully prepared for a re-dressing moment before we left, but no, Mummy, I need my coat, can you carry my bags please. Off we went. What would happen when we actually got to school? Nothing. I was beside myself with pride. He started chatting away to his friends, some had dressed up, others hadn’t. He proudly showed off his helmet, his axe and Dave Toothless the Dragon and the class door opened. There was a fierce red dragon AKA his teacher, Miss P. The excitement levels mounted and off he went, striding into class. My own little Viking hero.
We get to go into school this afternoon. I’ve heard that they are making dragon food, and searching for dragon eggs on the Isle of Berk and will have had an amazing day. His teacher really is the best kind of wonderful.
I’m emotional, dressing up comes so easy to most children. It’s kind of an expected thing that children just do willingly, isn’t it. Today is huge for us. For Monkey to go to school, dressed up and been so actively involved in what to wear, it’s never happened before. He’s never felt confident enough, never felt engaged with the theme, never wanted to join in. It’s days like today that don’t get picked up in SATS tests. Those papers won’t show how his teacher has enabled him to come out of his shell, has helped with his confidence. A teacher who has inspired him to let go and be confident. Today is a good day, a day to be so very proud of how far this little 7-year-old, shy, introverted little boy has come in Year Two at school. Today is simply the best. Dressing up as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III totally rocks. I also thought as I was walking home just now, well, that’s every World Book Day sorted now until he goes to Secondary School!