Something strange has happened to me. One of those letters has just come home from school and I found myself thinking: “This could be fun.”
If you have school-aged kids you’ll be familiar with the type of letter I’m referring to. It’s the kind of letter that says: “We need you to send your kid to school dressed in a homemade costume.”
On this particular occasion, Helen has to go to school dressed like an ancient Greek citizen. It’s all to do with a school project she’s working on and the school is going to “journey” to ancient Greece for a day.
Considering modern day Greece is in the midst of a horrendously harsh winter and its economy is still recovering from the recent sovereign debt crisis, I’m relieved the school is journeying to the ancient Greek era. That said, I hope the kids don’t meet any bloodthirsty Spartans along the way.
I’ve started rambling haven’t I? Back to the costume.
In the past, such requests caused me pain. As a stay at home dad, it falls on me to arrange these things.
I’m simply not very good at them. Then again, I’m not sure I’ve ever fully recovered from two of my earliest attempts, which you can read about in these two blog posts (yes, I really did stew one of Helen’s tops in a pan full of shoe polish and coffee grounds to make it camel coloured).
I’ve cobbled together costumes for book days and similar, but other parents always do much better. This time, however, I feel things are a bit different.
I can’t quite explain why, but on reading the detailed letter I thought: “Yeah, I can do this and I can do a good job.” Whether I manage it or not remains to be seen, but I shall try.
At stupid o’clock yesterday morning I was scouring the internet to find a simple, white maxi-dress. I eventually found one, but, man, was it a struggle.
Along the way I had to tolerate online stores that advertised the ideal item, only for it to be out of stock or for it to be in the wrong size. Somehow the following also came up in the search results: FasiCat Lingerie Women Chemise Mini Fancy Dress Negligrees BabyDoll for New Fashion Design Sleepwear.
I’m still recovering from what appeared on my computer’s monitor at that moment. It is surely one of the most horrendous garments ever designed or worn by a human being.
I eventually found all the bits and pieces I needed and ordered them. Better still, I’ve only paid about £12.
Helen seems delighted with what I’ve bought. Of course the real work won’t begin until it all arrives.
At that point I’ll have to start measuring, cutting, sewing, ironing and so on. I just hope I do a good enough job. I can say with some confidence I’ve never gone to such effort so the early indications are good.
Of course there is an unforeseen consequence of all this. Helen’s school asked for volunteers to help on the day. I said I might be available.
Helen came out of school this afternoon and told me her teacher wanted me to help out. The punchline: the parents helping out are all expected to dress like ancient Greeks.
Have I given any thought as to what I might wear? Of course I haven’t.
I suspect Helen will turn up looking marvellous and I’ll look like Demis Roussos. Whatever happens, at least I’ll know I’ve enjoyed putting Helen’s costume together for her.
Oh, and yes, I’ll post a few pictures of our costumes after the event. I’m sure you’ll find it amusing.
Do you enjoy making costumes for your kids? Could you live without it or do you simply buy items off the shelf? Do let me know with a comment below, I’d love to know how you handle these situations.