Since I bought my electric sewing machine (one day, hopefully, I shall think of it as my "trusty" sewing machine but we need to get better acquainted first) I have hankered after making dressing up clothes for the Small
People in my life.
Now, according to all the scary displays in supermarkets and newsagents alike, we are approaching Hallowe'en, a time when everybody under the age of, say, ten dresses up plus a good few
others who might be considered old enough to know better. I am also aware that Young Faris is now a student at Pre-School Playgroup while The Duracell Bunny is in the Spring Peas class at his nursery. Surely both will need to dress up sometime soon?
In preparation, just in case my services are requested, I google "easy to make Hallowe'en costumes for kids." I am not aiming too high, you understand. Unfortunately the world wide web's idea of "easy" is at variance
with mine. I could make a pumpkin costume but I can't see either boy wearing one. The same goes for the rather enchanting butterfly wings which, in any case, don't seem to have much to do with Hallowe'en in my admittedly humble opinion.
In search of inspiration, I visit the Fabric Store in town (Mr B's least favourite shop, as regular readers will doubtless be aware.) There I find roll after roll of quite thrilling material on a Hallowe'en-Related theme. My favourite
is bright red, with large black spiders crawling all over it. It would make an Absolutely Splendid cloak, always providing it wasn't considered too scary to wear.
I still remember one village carnival fete,
many years ago, when the Youngest of the Darling Daughters, then aged about fIve, decided she wanted to dress up for the Children's Parade. As this was, in the way of most four year olds, a last minute decision, I had little time in which to weave some magic
- so I was quite unjustifiably proud of myself for coming up with what I believed to be a Great Idea. My daughter could wear her best long party dress (every little lass had a long party dress in the mid Seventies) and carry a bowl and spoon. I, for my part,
would fashion a large spider out of black wool with long, plaited spindly legs which I would stitch onto her dress. Voila! Little Miss Muffet! She who sat on a tuffet, eating curds and whey until frightened off by a big spider who "sat down beside her." I
understand that lots of children never hear nursery rhymes these days. What a lot of quite thrilling escapades they are missing!
Unfortunately, when it came to the actual dressing up, my small daughter refused
point-blank to wear the spider or to carry the bowl and spoon. She always was a Determined Child. She entered the Parade and all my friends said she looked enchanting: "but what exactly is she supposed to BE?"
recent times one of the small tasks I have taken over from Mr B - along with excitingly dangerous ones like changing light-bulbs and putting out the rubbish bins every Friday morning - is the Removal of Spiders from baths, showers, sinks or other watery places.
I am a Spider's Friend so if I see them weaving industriously away in a high corner of the hallway , or in that awkward space between the door of my car and the wing mirror, I usually allow them to carry on regardless. Not for nothing was E. B. White's "Charlottes
Web" my favourite childhood book.
I do, however, draw the line at sharing my shower with one of the Eight Legged Ones. Mr B's preferred method of disposal used to involve squashing in loo paper and flushing
away - but, though squeamish, I am too kind-hearted for this. I am therefore open to suggestions for an alternative method. Preferably one which does not involve actually handling the intruder.
So where do
we go from here? you ask. Well, we are still a couple of weeks away from the Main Event, time enough for the mothers concerned to check out (I) the requirement to dress up; (ii) the appeal of dressing up; and (iii) the general squeamishness or otherwise of
the potential cloak wearers. Meanwhile I will do my best to get in touch with my Inner Spider. Which must be the most shiver-inducing, spine-chilling thought I've had this side of Hallowe'en. Altogether now: