scary-pants-banned-from-daycare

(Fred & Noah)

A U.K. toddler clearly has a career as a fashion iconoclast in front of him, because he’s already breaking all the rules and causing trouble with his slick style and “scary” pants.

A mother going by GracyEvans on Mumsnet was asking for advice about what to do because her toddler’s pants had been banned from daycare for being “too scary” because they were covered in cartoon monsters, and a little girl was afraid of them. One feels for the little girl, but the whole thing is pretty silly, because the pants in question are the “monster baby leggings” from UK brand Fred & Noah, and they’re pictured above.

According to The Daily Mail, the little boy was wearing the above leggings in yellow. They’re really cute and not something most people would call “scary,” but toddlers are odd in the things they are afraid of. Some kids just have a zero-tolerance policy on monsters.

The mother whose toddler’s scary pants were banned from daycare said that the preschool doesn’t have a dress code, but that another mother had complained to the school because the monster leggings had scared her daughter, and the school asked her not to send her son in the leggings again.

That sounds like a pretty weird overreach on the part of the girl’s mother. Kids are scared of the oddest things, but surely a more appropriate response would have been to talk to the girl about how the happy cartoon monsters on her classmate’s pants couldn’t hurt her, rather than to go to the school and ask for them to do something about the pants.

Other parents on Mumsnet were reportedly urging the boy’s mother to keep sending her kid in his monster leggings anyway, because eff the school for thinking they could ask her not to send them. But that also seems like an overreaction to what is admittedly an extremely silly bit of trouser drama.

The pants are cute and it is odd to be afraid of them, and the little girl who was afraid of them will probably get over it soon and her mother and the school teachers should work with her about not being afraid of cartoons on leggings. But on the other hand, is this really a thing to escalate the situation over? The cute monster pants aren’t the only pants the kid owns. They aren’t his favorite leggings or particularly special leggings. They’re just one pair of leggings, and he has other ones he and his mom like just as well. Intentionally wearing the pants just to show the school that they can’t tell you what to do seems childish.

The boy’s mother is absolutely right to make fun of this request and to post the “scary” pants on Mumsnet and Facebook for all her friends to laugh about. But after that, this seems like the type of thing a person should be prepared to just let go. It’s not exactly worth escalating, and the poor school employees don’t deserve to deal with, “One crazy mother asked us to ban some ‘scary’ pants, which was weird, but now the other mother is sending the scary pants all the time on purpose! Now we’re stuck in the middle of a stupid mom war about leggings, and they are not paying us enough to deal with this drama.”

There are situations and injustices worth standing up to, and then there are weird requests like “please don’t wear those leggings because another kid is afraid of them.” It’s an odd request, but not an onerous one. In the end, it sounds like GracyEvans took the high road and gave the situation an arched eyebrow, snarked about it with her friends, then decided to just send her son to school in other leggings and save the monsters for when he wasn’t there.

In the end, the real winner was Fred & Noah and their Etsy shop, who have gotten a bunch of free advertising for their cute monster leggings. They even popped up in the Mumsnet thread to offer everyone a discount code if they wanted to buy the leggings, but Mumsnet deleted it. I’m probably going to buy some anyway, because I’ve been looking at those pants since I started writing this story, and now those grinning little faces call to me. If my kid’s preschool asked her not to wear them, I’d comply. But I’m willing to take a risk that sort of thing is not a common occurrence.