Redemption in the form of a little Knight

Today is World Book Day, which means (if you are a parent) that you have likely spent last night the past few days scrambling around trying to find some sort of costume to reflect a character from your child’s chosen book.

While I am a book lover, I suck at creating costumes. The mention of Halloween strikes fear in my heart, and not for the typical reasons.  I resorted to my close friend, eBay and sorted out the situation early, only to discover that this year, the children needed to pick a character from a “traditional” or “classic” story. Would Cressida Cowell’sHow To Train Your Dragon” fall into this category? If not, my son’s plans to be Hiccup Horrendous Horrible the Third just flew out the window, leaving me with a viking costume unworn and a last minute scramble….

I shouldn’t have wasted my time worrying: at the last minute, Boo panicked and decided he absolutely, definitely did NOT want to go as Hiccup.

All the kids would laugh at him and the furry viking vest. Or something like that.  I have no idea, he was sobbing too hard to understand him.

At 7:05 am. This morning. Before he needed to go to school.

I tried to sort out who else he might want to be, admittedly irked because his costume had been planned for weeks AND because he had been very excited about it not 12 hours before. I was also irked because, despite the fact that I was TRYING to help him, he just cried harder (as if he thought I would MAKE him wear the costume.) Seriously, I’m a mean mom, but not THAT mean.

Needless to say, the morning went from bad to worse as the sobbing and yelling escalated. Two more changes of costume, a desperate search for a book, and  he left for school, now kitted out as a knight, apparently apologizing to his dad in the car all the way. I sat on the bottom step, dejected, confused as to why there was such…drama. The entire episode was traumatic – I went all crazy bat-shit mom on him at one point, and I don’t like to see bat-shit crazy.

I was wearing the Bad Mommy badge of shame pinned to my coat, for sure.

Fast forward to 9am, dropping Pea off (late, because SHE couldn’t find her book – bad mommy, remember?); her class was already gathered in the Hall with the rest of the school for morning assembly. One of her classmates remained in the room, putting on a costume the teachers found for him. He clearly was unhappy with the situation; HE had wanted to be a knight. His costume was clearly not a knight.

Later, walking the puppy, that sad little boy hung around my thoughts. Boo seemed relaxed when I saw him in the hall, so I think my last costume suggestion WAS indeed acceptable, but I was torn up about how upset he had been earlier that morning, and how poorly I handled the situation yet again.  I knew how devastating it was to have a crap costume when you are oversensitive.

One year, my mom dressed me as a clown for Halloween. Seriously, I’m still traumatized. (I really, really don’t like clowns.)

But I did know one thing: Boo had an older, smaller knight’s tunic in the dressing up box.

While I couldn’t take back how I handled the situation that morning, maybe I could sort out another unhappy little boy in a quieter fashion.

I dug out the shiny silver tunic with a red Norman cross pinned to the front, grabbed the head cover and the helmet, and set off to school.

The teacher asked him if he still wanted to be a knight. He looked at her hopefully, and she led him to me, at which point she told him that I had brought him a knight’s costume to wear. She showed it to him – and the smile that spread across his face could have lit all of London.

Redemption. Even if just a teensy bit.

Mama’s Losin’ It

This self-serving post is in response to prompt #5 in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop: “Perform a random act of service. And then tell us about it.” Hop on over to Mama Kat’s to find more posts linked up today!


  1. Great save Jenn. Proud of you. And for your info, think I still have the clown costume in the attic AND the curly wig. Want me to send it to you.

    • *horrors* That curly wig gives me nightmares, and when I found my old “Look, look, A Clown Book” storybook at your house, well, it still gives me the heebee-bejeebies.

      But thanks, Mom.

  2. I am scramblimg for a Dr. Suess favorite character outfit.

  3. Awww! That is a memory that little boy will hold onto forever. Way to go! Sweet story, and I think this just shows that little boys always want to be a knight in shining armor, but usually its the lady that makes it 😉

    Stopping by from Mama Kats

  4. If I can make a difference in the life of a child…

    And you did. He’ll probably never forget that day.

  5. HOld on. So your guy did go dressed as a knight… but you ended up going back with the costume for the OTHER boy?? Cuz.. THAT really does rock.


  6. That is awesome. Small kindnesses like this can have a huge impact. Thank you for sharing, it brought a tear to my eye.

  7. You are a good mom–way to go!

    Stopping by from writer’s workshop. Here’s a link to mine if you get a chance to visit:

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