BY MIA FREEDMAN
My three year old son is currently obsessed with dressing up. As a superhero. The dress-up basket I’ve been filling since before my kids were born is now heaving with fireman’s hats, pirate costumes and superhero capes in amongst the sequins, tulle and princess paraphenalia.
His current favourite outfit is a superman costume with a full-face spiderman mask and a bike helmet over the top. Worn with red ugg boots. This look was inspired by a book I bought featuring the Marvel comic villains and the whole superhero fixation ties in neatly with his other current hobby – weapons.
Every item in our house is routinely converted into an elaborate weapon of some kind – or a landscaping tool. He’s also fond of those. I’ve watched this phase develop over the past few months with a bemused expression on my face. I’m not big on violence or weapons so how did this happen exactly? You’d think I’d know a bit about kids now I’m onto my third but the only thing I know with complete certainty is this: older kids are no help in predicting how younger ones will turn out.
It’s a lucky dip. A surprise package. Pass the parcel. A pinata.
My son wants to wear his Super-Spiderman costume all day, hot weather be damned. He’s fully prepared to sacrifice personal comfort in the pursuit of justice and freedom from evil villains.
I know you’ll sleep better tonight knowing that.
Some days however, not even a hybrid superhero can save your arse. As I battled to get all three kids out the door one morning this week, things came unstuck. Drink bottles were forgotten. Teeth went unbrushed. And I somehow ran out of time to change Super-Spiderman into his civilian clothing.
This was awkward because our preschool has a firm dress code: no costumes. I used to think that was a bit miserable but I now see how difficult it would be to run an organised program of activities with little people tripping over Snow White dresses and whining about their itchy fairy skirts. Not to mention the OH&S issues around a Bob The Builder Tool Belt and a lightsaber. For these reasons, all the kids must wear casual, comfortable clothes so they can play easily and safely.
Unfortunately on this occasion, I had no time to explain to my three year old what OH&S stood for or why ugg boots were a bad idea on a 26 degree day.
Instead I chose to shout a bit more, make a few threats, issue some bribes, bundle everyone into the car in whatever state they were in and hope for the best. I’ll be honest; that’s how I roll even on a good day.