These past 2 weeks have been filled with one dress-up day after another for our household. Of course, it all started with the Cluedo party we held to celebrate G and M’s birthdays, where we invited guests to come in optional fancy-dress to match their character if they wanted. The key word was “optional” as I was well aware that not all of M’s friends are as big a fan of fancy-dress as M is, but we were impressed with the range of costumes that arrived on that Sunday afternoon. We had “Reverend Green” sporting a dog collar and a striking pair of bottle-green jeans; “Earl Grey” in pinstriped waistcoat, bowler hat and monocle and “Admiral Azure” had a home-made pair of epaulettes that would cause envy in the heart of any member of the armed forces. Not to be outdone by the costumes of the boys, many of G’s friends joined in, wearing dresses to reflect the glamour of “Mrs Peacock”, “Mrs White” and “Lady Lilac”. Dress-up challenge #1 – done.
Just a few days later came the first of our dress-up days at school, World Book Day. Refusing to give in to M’s demands for a custom-made costume this year, I instead insisted he wore the army captain’s costume that we had bought for his representation as “Captain Emerald” at their birthday party and suggested he went as “Captain Nicholls” from Warhorse by Michael Morpugo. We have recently enjoyed the stage production of Warhorse whilst it was on tour around the UK and M had bought himself the book for his admission to GOSH before Christmas, so he leapt at this chance, though in typical M style, he chose to be the lesser-known “Major Stewart” because he “got to ride Topthorn and not Joey, Mummy.” G also wore a costume she had in her wardrobe and despite dicing with the idea of being “Dorothy” (Wizard of Oz) for the 3rd year in a row, ended up going as the “Princess” from Aladdin, wearing the Disney outfit from our Florida holiday last year. Dress-up challenge #2 – tick.
The day after World Book Day, M had his Roman “Wow” day at school, requiring, naturally, a Roman costume. He had originally toyed with the idea of going as a Celtic slave, but when the morning dawned, he had a change of heart and out came my trusty needle and thread, one of Mike’s white t-shirts, G’s plaited belt, M’s old white karate trousers and one of my red pashminas. Less than 30 minutes later, our very own Roman-esque citizen made his way up to school – not bad for a quick Google search and 15 minutes of hurried sewing! Dress-up challenge #3 – survived by the skin of our teeth!
I had a quick breather over the weekend, which was time enough to celebrate M’s 9th birthday itself and to gather the necessary base materials and trimmings for the next fancy dress requirement – a Greek toga each for the end-of-term Stagecoach performance. Fortunately we were provided with a set of instructions on how to make a simple toga and G had acted as a model during Stagecoach a couple of weeks ago, so I had already had a sneak preview of how to put the costume together. The togas themselves were simple enough to make, but then came the lengthy task of adding trim to suit the needs of my demanding duo and the trickier job of making the togas fit. It might have taken a (very) late night, but the end result was fantastic and I can’t wait to see them perform on stage at the end of March wearing these masterpieces. Dress-up challenge #4 – future success.
And so it’s on to just one more dress-up challenge as tomorrow is Comic Relief and the challenge to “Make your face funny for money”. The costume is the easiest part of the day as they just need to wear their own clothes to school, but the challenge will come early tomorrow morning, when we need to be up at the crack of dawn to give me time to face paint them both. G wants a tiger and lion on her cheeks, so we’re going to cheat slightly by using M’s tiger feeding friend stickers on one cheek. I’ve promised her a lion’s face on the other side as long as she’s happy with a cartoon style decoration. If we have time, I’ll also do her hair in a funky style and, fingers crossed, both will last her throughout the school day and tomorrow evening’s Stagecoach session.
M’s face will take a little more work, but I wanted to do something a little different to his tube for the day. The plan is to cover his tube with both the tegaderm dressing and then a layer of safe micropore before I get to work with the face-paints. We’ve agreed on a snake design, which will hopefully see me camouflaging his tube as the snake’s tail as it winds around the back of his head, with the snake’s head, complete with sticking-out tongue, appears on the opposite side. Whether it will work or not, we will just have to wait and see, but I promise a photo if all goes well! Dress-up challenge #5 – still to be decided.