Yesterday morning I sent my beloved Devilboy to childcare dressed as a Buddhist Monk.
To some this may not appear to be completely normal behaviour for the agnostic mother of a blonde blue-eyed urban Aussie toddler. And they would be right – it is a trifle on the wrong side of bizarre, but there was a valid rationale behind his flowing orange robes.
No, we aren’t preparing him for a monastic life and we aren’t under any delusions that he is the reincarnation of some shining deva destined for a life of hanging with the Dalai Lama, Richard Gere or his gerbils. Nor are we trying to raise him to become the charismatic leader of some obscure cult, (though allegedly there is good money to made from that, so we certainly won’t discount that as a potential future career for our little weirdo.)
It is Children’s Book Week and we were requested to dress our little lovelies as their favourite character from a book. This week, in the house of Devilboy, that character just happened to be the very wise Guru Walter Wombat, an orange robed marsupial from the Zen Tales series of books. If Book Week had occurred a mere two weeks earlier, Devilboy would have gone dressed as a talking racing car. Thank gods for small mercies I say, as a crappy piece of orange fabric safety pinned to a t-shirt is a much less traumatic challenge for a maternal costumier than somehow turning a small boy into a racing car.
You see Devilboy, last time I checked, is not a transformer.
It is, however, becoming increasingly apparent that he is a lunatic.
Yesterday afternoon, Devilboy came home dressed as a Buddhist Monk wearing a lime green bicycle helmet… an unexpected and somewhat random addition to his costume. Stopping to pick up milk in our snotty suburb with a squealing small boy draped in a bright orange dress and an oversized fluorescent green bike helmet raised similar levels of interest as stopping to pick up milk accompanied by a naked Angelina Jolie.
Discretion was not an option as he was a little hard to miss in all his noisy neon glory… strangers stopped to point at the pint sized freakshow and local shopkeepers were pulling out their mobile phone cameras to snap photos of my eccentric little madman… but only once they’d contained their mirth. I lowered my gaze and tried to scurry along as fast as possible lest they thought I too was unbalanced for allowing him out on the street dressed like a psychiatric patient.
The drama didn’t cease once we arrived home and he still refused to remove the helmet. His howling objections to anyone even approaching the helmet made bed time a particular challenge. How does one put a 17 month old to bed for a quality night of sleep whilst said 17 month old is still adorned with a giant bicycle helmet?
Not being the kind of parents to back down from a challenge, the helmet was forcibly removed and Devilboy slept reasonably well, obviously still dreaming of his beloved helmet as his protests continued throughout the night. “Noooo… noooo” he whimpered as he patted his helmetless head in his sleep.
Devilboy’s unhealthy obsession with this helmet is, we think, related to his even more unhealthy obsession with motorcycles. The devilish once can repeat his favourite word ,“bike,” a thousand times before realising it isn’t getting him anywhere, pausing and then repeating it louder another several thousand times before giving up and moving on to “vroom vroom” and screwing up his little fists in an attempt to imitate revving a bike.
If he simply sees a picture of a motorbike, he is delighted. If he sees an actual motorbike parked on the street he is thrilled. If sees his daddy on a motorbike he is euphoric. If he actually gets to sit with daddy on a motorbike, he has conniptions. His mummy is not a great fan of motorcycles and wishes M didn’t ride one. In fact, they scare the crap of me… making it a sad irony that my eccentric spawn appears to be the reincarnation of Evil Friggin’ Kneivel.
When the devilicious one awoke this morning his first word was “bike” and it was a matter of seconds before he was clawing for his helmet to be returned to where it apparently belongs – his crazy head. We drove to school with the helmet firmly in place but somehow, someone one will have to forcibly remove it by the end of the day. I waved him goodbye and skipped back to my car buoyed by the knowledge that it wouldn’t be me… as it is now his teachers’ problem and not mine.