Thursday, 13 May 2010


It's charity week at T's nursery. Each year they pick a theme and ask you to sponsor your child to wear items that fit that theme. Last year it was spots and stripes, this year the theme was pirates.

So that's T, ready for nursery this morning: denim cutoffs, striped tee, kitchen roll 'telescope' and a pirate hat made from an old pizza box, some tinfoil and the last of the ribbon I used to make one of my best friend's wedding invitations. I also painted on an eye patch using toddler friendly face paint, knowing he wouldn't keep any other type on. He was overjoyed with his reflection in the mirror. What's not to love about an outfit that gives a toddler boy the excuse to shout 'arghhhhhhh!' at the top of his lungs.

Walking into Toddlers this morning though I was gutted. T was the only child with a home-made costume! There were children with plastic cutlasses, felt tri-cornered hats, skull print bandanas and waving blow up hooks. We had the only tinfoil and cardboard in the room.

The ladies were polite of course, the telescope was 'very, erm, creative' and he's too young to tell the difference between his and his peers' outfits, so why did I feel like the poor relation? I could have bought him something to wear, although the time it would have taken to get to the shops with both children would probably have been longer than it took to stick on the black sugar paper and cut out the foil 'skull'.

I know people have busy lives, or don't have the idea, skills or kit you'd need to make a costume. I'm sure some parents just don't want to, but I do, and I hate the feeling that that somehow makes him stand out for all the wrong reasons.


Hearth-mother said...

Oh this is terrible! I am completely with you on the handmade thing. The others are all just cheating by buying the stuff. It takes all the fun out. And he looks terrific!

1 husband, 2 kids (and lots of books) said...

I think he looks fab, and you shouldn't feel guilty. All the other mum's will be looking at him feeling guilty they didn't have the time / inclination, whatever, to make their own. I get what you say about making him stand out but I bet he was really proud his mum could make something like that. I still remember a red cardboard robot outfit my dad made me for a school play when I was 5 or 6... although, to be fair, that was back in the 'good old days'!

Francesca said...

He looks fabulous, so much better than all the other girls and boys I bet. I love looking back at photos of our dressing up things, my favourite is Paul in a leotard being a cat, I'll have to find it and scan!

Someone called me an earth mother today because I bake occasionally. She then gave me a childrens cupcake maker that you have to buy mixture for from argos and then microwave. Surely a 4,4,4,2 mixture, all in one bowl is easier than that??

Muddling Along Mummy said...

Oh no that's wrong - I much prefer hand made (reminds me must think about Toddlergirl's fancy dress outfit for the end of term party)

I've felt incredible sadness that she went to the Christmas fancy dress party in a bought bee outfit - she loves it but everyone else was in hand made ones...

Muddling Along Mummy said...

by the way, where do you find toddler friendly face paints? MUST get some of those!

Polly said...

Oh that would upset me too. I think homemade is always best.

Sleepless Mum said...

Thanks for all your lovely comments. I'm glad other people thought he looked good!

Hearth-mother, thank you!

1 husband, your cardboard box robot sounds amazing! I had all manner of pillowcase angel costumes for Christmas plays. I fear T's pirate outfit is just the start of a childhood of mother-made outfits!

Fran, I'd pay good money to see that picture of Paul!! I have seen that cupcake machine on Amazon. It's such an over engineered piece of equipment. Totally with you on taking the easy route which is definitely home-made!

Muddling, the facepaints are by Snazaroo. They're fab! Water-based so I use a wet cotton bud. You get lovely strong colours without having to put layers and layers on and it just wipes off afterwards (no scrubbing) so perfect for littlies.

Thanks for your comment Polly x