A has got one of those plastic outfits made in China to dress up as a knight/Viking. Once in a while he shows up in the kitchen in shiny armor and points in my direction with his sword demanding some fluids or cookies. Also tons of his books cover the subject of knights, damsels in distress, horses, castles and tournaments. When we then told him that we would go to a castle and that there where going to be knights he was running completely wild..
Place of action, one of my most favorite historical buildings that we have in Belgium: Alden Biesen! Once we got there and had parked our car we encountered all those things that A knew from his books and television. Not that A his first reactions were very promising. When we asked him if he wanted to pose with a knight, climb on a horse, put on a real armory, use a catapult to hit on targets, decorate his own shield, do some shield-bearer training, pose with some very imposing falcons or owls, on field training with sword or crossbow or learn to dance to impress a lady, the only answer we got was: NO!!!!
There we were standing with a 5 year old who actually was wearing a viking outfit and so was a bit out of tune amongst all those knights who were engaged in the battle of Agincourt. Also when we tried to bribe him with some superconcentrate for super knights he would not give in.
The kid that was standing next to us, with this rather dark look in his eyes and his arms crossed over, seemed rather a stranger. Not the prettiest sight to admire amongst the medieval spectacle that was going on. A ignored the camel that walked by and didn't pay any attention to all the fierce looking knights (not to mention the beautiful princesses) that wanted to engage in battle with him.
We as parents were feeling rather defeated and that without having to cross our swords. So we walked back to the car and then knight A suddenly had a change of heart! He then digged into some food and drank eagerly his powerjuice and then he was ready to conquer the fields of Alden Biesen. It didn't take long to find some other courageous knights to join him in his battle. So there I was sitting on a small bench in the shadow (unaware of the fact that the sun already had won her battle) admiring Viking A who was trying to win over knights W and T. Before we knew we were engaged in a nice conversation with their parents.
'It is so funny to say that you first pay an entrance fee and then find out that this is the only thing that they really interested in doing!', the mother said. By now her youngest was attacking the Red Cross ambulance with his wooden sword! Knight A was trying to introduce some new amory in the form of a plastic screwdriver and a riddle screen he had brought along from his home castle. And knight T was pointing out that there was something funny about his name that was painted on his shield:'There is an h in my name but you don't hear it!' Guess he was the on with the brains on the battle field.
By the time we had to be heading back to our castle A had succesful used a catapult, a crossbow, cheered for some imposing knights on horses, sat on a horse (although it was a wooden one) and was able to take possession of a balloon to take home. That is now hanging on the seiling waiting till A will wake up and then might be destroyed by this fierce knight. And I? Well, I am for the moment a damsel in distress who has to find some comfort in after sun lotion! Hopefully I can find my knight in shiny armor P as helpful to apply this sticky goodie!