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.