Because it’s Children In Need day today we’ve had to send our two boys off into the world dressed for the stage.
The youngest, Tom, has had to go to nursery dressed as a pirate. This has meant attiring him in a stripy top, a sword belt, a little waistcoat and some trousers that have been theatrically shredded at the bottom to give him that “Mutiny On The Bounty” look.
He looks frighteningly like Mr Smee from Walt Disney’s Peter Pan.
The costume has been finished off with a little foam hook that he can wave around. It’s very blunt and soft and I suspect the only danger to life and limb will be a transference of snot from Tom’s extremely runny nose to the face of whoever gets too close to him.
I wish I was clever enough to make a joke about Mutiny On The Bogey but I’m not so I won’t.
Our eldest, Ben, has in his own opinion been rather short changed in the dressing up stakes. His school, for some possibly pacific reason, has demanded that the children attend today dressed as “dancers”.
Hmm. It’s not an idea to inspire a rough-and-tumble 7 year old.
Ben spent the entire journey to school this morning eyeing up Tom’s hook with unmasked envy and I must admit I feel a little sympathy towards him (although I expressed this by making sundry jokes about ballet tutus and suggesting that he tell his mates that he’s come to school today dressed as Wayne Sleep). While it’s laudable that the school are promoting the idea of non aggressive interaction and trans-gender activities I can’t help feeling that most of the kids – boy and girl – would have been far happier with a “Kings and Queens” theme, say, or a monsters theme or, yes, even pirates. And if some of the girls wanted to dress as a King rather than a Queen and some of the boys wanted to be a princess for the day I’m sure it would have been fine.
But at the end of the day you can’t stop boys being boys and girls being girls.
Ben owns a fine collection of toy swords but even if Karen and I hadn’t tooled him up with the best that Toys R Us had to offer I guarantee he would have gone out on a walk and found himself a stick or a branch and fashioned his own. My motto is: better a cheaply manufactured foam sword than a piece of lead pipe lifted off a building site. Especially when you’re on the receiving end.
But back to the “dancers” theme. I can only assume that someone at Ben’s school is a fan of Strictly Come Dancing and I now feel that we’ve regrettably missed a great trick:
With the addition of a grey wig, some wobbly jowls and a paunch made of several sofa cushions Ben could have gone dressed as John Sergeant.
I’m sure that would have made him feel a lot better.