Queen Bee Mummy caught me at the school gates this morning, dressed to kill in a Juicy Couture tracksuit, blinging shades (even though it looked like rain), her bouncing brunette mane tamed by a huge silver clip and smelling of the best that Giorgio Armani has to offer. I, on the other hand, was dressed to maim in tatty old jeans, threadbare (under the arms only) fleece and hair that I’d only just managed to threaten with a brush before I shot out of the door and reeking of Weetabix. However, thanks to my recent addiction to Philosophy, my complexion was clear and clean. It was little compensation though.
“I understand that Mackenzie hasn’t got a costume yet” she said in clipped tones. Clearly someone had been telling tales in school. “I’m making it next week. With Mac. During half term. Sooooo important to get the little ones involved in creative play” I said, tongue firmly in cheek and fingers crossed behind my back. “Excellent” Queen Bee Mummy said, swishing her mane from one shoulder to the other. “Erm, when you say homemade, you actually do mean……?” I said in strangled tones. My brilliant idea was to buy a supermarket costume and customise it. “Homemade” Queen Bee Mummy said, shooting Dawn and a clutch of other cringing mummies a stern look. “One little poppet was boasting about how his mummy had bought him the best costume in the shop, and that simply won’t do will it? How on earth will prizes be won with mass produced rubbish?” Queen Bee Mummy pirouetted on a high heeled boot and bounced off to her Qashqai, calling “I’m reinstating my coffee mornings ladies, invitations to follow!” over her shoulder. A gaggle of mummies hovering on the sidelines all but curtsied as she passed.
Single Mummy loped up, tugging ineffectually on the lead of the dalmation attached to it. Snoopy was insistent that he visit that yonder lamppost immediately. “Prizes for the best costume include one of those kids digital cameras, 50 quids worth of Toys R Us vouchers and more books that you can shake a bookmark at” she said gloomily. I suspect she was the mummy who had shop bought.
“Buy a sheet, cut some eye holes out and there you go, one ghost” Lydia said unhelpfully as she waddled into the house an hour later. I’d already rung Charlie in a fit of panic and she promised to get on the case immediately, emailing me ten minutes later with a suggestion that she borrow some theatre greens, a stethoscope and buy some fake blood so Mac could go as a Killer Surgeon. I promised to think about it – while it would appeal to Mac I’m not entirely sure that Queen Bee Mummy would appreciate it – her husband is general surgeon. Heaven forbid she thinks we’re taking the piss.
“Just buy an outfit from Asda and like, jazz it up a bit.” Jane Opposite advised when she dropped off her Littlewoods catalogue – I love a good catalogue. “You can get some really good stuff these days” she went on, checking her lipstick in the hall mirror. David was even less help. As he’s witnessing businesses go under daily thanks to the credit crunch he suggested that Mac wear the suit he wore to Janey’s wedding with a ripped shirt and tatty old shoes and go as a failed business man. Pointing out that a group of children would fail to understand it I suggested that he put his thinking cap back on.
Still, I’ve got a fortnight. If I think really hard this week and leave all of next week to actually make/create/buy the costume it’ll all work out fine. Mac wants to go as something "really really really scary mummy" which isn't a great help.
All and any suggestions welcomed!