“Mum, can you make me Toothless?” was the latest cry from my 4 year old last month, swiftly followed by an equally enthusiastic enquiry from my 6 year old “Mum, can I be a Terrible Terror?”.
Oh my Lord! Is this the outcome of watching a film these days? Here was I, quietly enjoying the family movie night, this week featuring “The Gift of the Night Fury”, basking in the warmth of this perfect family picture when my reveries were brought crashing to a halt and replaced with visions of sewing, sticking and stuffing for evenings on end, trying to create fancy dress mater pieces. This was not the plan!
But the more I fretted over how on earth I could transform two children into Dragons, the more I looked positively on the situation. Shouldn’t I be encouraging their imaginative play? Shouldn’t I be thrilled they want to dress up and play being Dragons rather than just sit and watch the next DVD, or practice their Wii skills or immerse themselves in the solitary fun of the DS? Isn’t this what Mums are meant to do with their time (whilst balancing work, school homework, cooking, cleaning, taxi service, PTA responsibilities, husband support, general day-to-day family counselling, party planning, shopping, house maintenance….the list goes on)? So, I gave myself a little talking to, adopted a positive mental attitude and set about planning my designs.
Now, I’m the first to admit that my creative skills are severely lacking. Art was never my strength and whilst I own a sewing machine, it has gathered a layer of dust that would not look out of place in Mrs Haversham’s house. When it comes to fancy dress parties, my normal approach is to go straight to Ebay to source my costumes, thinking the cost outlay is far more palatable than the time requirement and creative strain of making something. However, I was determined to rise to the challenge on this occasion and really make my boys proud!
The next day, after school, we took a trip to one of the major craft stores and spent over an hour sourcing the appropriate materials required to make up two fancy dress dragon costumes. I have to say, we had a great time! It wasn’t cheap though, coming in at about £30 for the two costumes. I was going to have to do a good job to get my money’s worth!
The next couple of evenings found me cutting up old pairs of tights (kindly donated by my mum, who is one of life’s hoarders and found no strangeness or challenge at all in my request for approximately 20 pairs, required to stuff two dragons’ tails. In fact, I think I rose up a couple of notches in her estimation of me as a mum. Finally, I was actually MAKING something for my children. WI, watch out!). I created masks from printouts, sewed wings onto green and black tshirts, attached tails onto black and green trousers. Wow! This fancy dress costume making was really actually quite fun!
Finally, I completed both outfits and it was as if all the children’s birthdays had come at once. They were thrilled! Almost as delighted as I was, if truth be told. They have a daily routine of rushing in from school, tossing their uniforms into the corner of the room (naturally), quickly transforming themselves into their favourite Dragons, then rushing full-pelt around the house, breathing fire at each other and generally having a fabulous time. They have inadvertently created a craze too, having told their cousins of their Mum’s prowess in making costumes. The girls (who are the same age and are also avid fans of “How To Train Your Dragon” ) have now brow-beaten their mum into making them an Astrid and a Monstrous Nightmare costume and we are having a Dragon Day in a couple of weekends time. Better get planning for that, too.