Schools. They're a helpful bunch, right?
They'd never give you just 4 nights to run up not one, but two costumes for the Jubilee.
Now, I knew the school's Jubilee Picnic was approaching on Friday. It has caused much bemusement amongst the Mum's I speak with. First off, all the school, bar the Littlest's Nursery year, were off to another local school for a picnic lunch, and were required to wear red, white and blue.
Then, about two weeks ago, the school changed tack and decreed that Mini's year is also too small to walk to the next school (about a 5 minute walk away), so they would just wear their uniform and have a picnic in the school field. Which isn't actually a field at all, its Astroturf. Modern or what?!
Fine and dandy, I thought (as did a few others of us).
Then it was changed again to add the simple to achieve clauses of bring a teddy (what relation that has to the Jubilee I have no idea), and that parents were welcome to come along and join the mayhem with a picnic of their own. For "welcome" read "you must come or else we will all talk about how you have no concept of school spirit". I even persuaded Elder to come along.
Today, I picked up Littlest, to have a note shoved in my face along with the days paintings and other kid related tat. "All FS1 children must have a King or Queen costume for the Jubilee on Friday Morning".
Now you tell me.
I wasn't too phased, and, on deciding that his knights top with a pair of shorts will suffice, I set off to town to look for a Crown and a possible King costume suitable cape.
The cape was easy enough, and I settled on a Union Jack window flag, thinking I can alter it and use the already present round holes (for a flag pole usually) to place a piece of ribbon so he can wear it just long enough to get to school.
Maidenhead High Street is pretty crap for most things these days, there are no really good retail outlets or haberdashers to be had. I popped into 3 separate shops to look for a boys crown- could I find one? Despite the Jubilee, not a chance.
Its going to be make your own time.
Then, I picked Mini up, to be met with the same again. They must have a costume, again by Friday. And the Mum's are, shall we say, fond of doing things better than the next Mum.
I have the plan that I will use Mini's existing Snow White princess outfit, which has a hoop skirt. However it has a yellow skirt which I need to cover up for the red, white and blue Queen theme.
Taking another flag, I plan to sew this Union Jack to the skirt.
One problem. I can't sew for toffee. I wish I could, but as my Textiles teacher once told me "Thank heavens we live in times of cheap ready to wear, else wise you'd be buggered for clothes for life". Bless her.
I did think I had a cunning plan, and asked Elder to phone his sister, my middle sister in law, to see if she had a sewing machine. I hoped that she would take pity on poor, pathetic at any form of house and kid related stuff, and offer to sew the skirt for me.
Damn it. She wasn't in, and now I have a new issue.
Her lovely husband was in, he's great (and makes the best stuffed mushrooms I have ever had). He said they do indeed have a sewing machine, and he'll grab it for me. And leave me to do the rest.
Except I haven't set up a sewing machine since 1996. And even then I wasn't very good at it- I nearly electrocuted myself once. Christ knows how.
Why? Why can they not tell you weeks in advance so I can cheat and buy a serviceable outfit from Ebay? Why are the Mum's so competitive at my kid's school, and why have I joined their ranks? Oh man, I am going to stuff this up, I know it.
Bloody schools. If it's not cash, its costumes.
Have a great jubilee guys!