A caring dad from St Helens has melted hearts online by accompanying his young daughter to school ... dressed as Superman!
Danny Arnold leapt into action after his three-year-old daughter Phoebe said she didn’t want to walk to Allanson Primary’s school dress up day.
The school’s hero-themed day was being held ahead of the half-term holidays but Phoebe, who attends the school’s nursery, announced she felt “silly” walking to school in fancy dress.
In a desperate attempt to cheer her up, bodybuilder Danny asked his daughter how she would feel if Superman went with her.
Danny later posted a picture of the pair’s superhero stroll on Facebook before creating it into a ‘meme’ with the words: Walking to school ... like a boss’.
The 29-year-old, from Parr Stocks Avenue, Parr, said: “I told her Batman and Superman are both best friends, so they can go together.
“She was quite excited then; when I put on my costume she had a big grin on her face.
“Her mood changed to how I always know her; she wanted to hug me all the time whereas at first she was sat down in her room and miserable.”
Danny’s original plan was to dress Phoebe in a Batman outfit he had bought from Tesco, but she was worried about wearing “a boy’s costume”.
He said: “I was quite excited about it and she likes the villain because he goes pow-pow!
“But when I gave it to her she said it would look silly and it is a boy’s costume.”
Dad-of-two Danny jumped into action to transform his eldest daughter into Batgirl by dashing out to buy some pink spray paint to make a mask for the outfit, and finding a pretty tutu.
When he managed to convince his daughter to go to school last Friday, Danny shared a photo of himself and Phoebe in their superhero costumes on Facebook with the following message: “I gave Phoebe her superhero outfit this morn for her school ‘superhero day’ but she refused to put it on because she was afraid of being different.
“She said she felt silly so I put my kit on so she wouldn’t be alone.
“Your children should never feel silly! Or if they do – not care about doing so”
“Too many people these days concern themselves with how other people think about them – even complete strangers.
“Do whatever makes you smile and live a little.”
This first post attracted almost 1,000 likes, and a second by partner Claire on The Life of Dads Facebook group received over 300 shares and 4500 likes.
Superman Danny did everything in his power to cheer up his little girl because he did not want her concerns about other people’s thoughts to dictate her actions.
He said: “She was unhappy and I didn’t like the idea that Phoebe was going to be anxious.
“She was letting the thought of somebody else’s thoughts not let her be happy and I didn’t like the idea of that.
“I have always done that in my life and cared too much about what other people think.
“I was thinking that she had a chance to be happy here.”
The devoted dad has maintained this encouraging and optimistic attitude since he was bullied as a teenager at school.
He said: “It is something I have always had; I have been positive since being bullied as a teenager.
“That got me into body building – I thought if I went into body building I would be able to stick up for myself.
“Now I try to keep people motivated.”
Danny’s partner of six years, Claire, has regarded him as Superman since they first met, and continues to buy him hero-related items at every opportunity.
The personal trainer from Xercise 4 Less said: “I am quite muscular and Claire says I am Superman anyway.
“I always get something superman on all occasions, from clocks to pyjamas; it’s just something we’ve always done and joked about.”