When Abby was little, we used to have wonderful birthday parties. There would be a theme, Abby would draw the invitations, we would work on party games, favours and decorations for weeks in advance, make elaborate costumes and themed food. The last two parties, we cut large themed shapes out of MDF with a jigsaw and the children painted and decorated them to take home – for the Spooky Mansion Party we had bristling cats, bats, and something else but I can’t remember what it was; and for the Under the Sea party, we had seahorses and tropical fish and star fish.
We spent weeks collecting little cardboard boxes from the giant hardware store’s recycle centre which we painted into treasure chests. We even turned our favourite story books into puppet shows and put on a little performance as the final activity of the party. Ahhh, those were the days. Abby and I would be busy and excited for weeks – it was such a lot of fun, so very creative and so rewarding. And I foresaw years of such parties – my imagination buzzed with possiblities.
Now – we cannot even persuade Abby to HAVE a party. Instead, we take small groups of friends to a film and dessert, or last year, we went to to a Japanese restaurant. Boy, the fanciful ways of childhood are gone before we realise. However, today granted me a wee opportunity to indulge a la the old days :-)
It was Book Week this week and the children of Abby’s class have been writing their own children’s picture books for the last six weeks. Today, the children were offered the chance to dress in the national dress of one of their characters (the picture book was based on the theme of a teddy bear adventuring around the world) – Abby’s countries were Morocco, Uruguay, New Zealand, UK and USA – she chose the USA for her national costume. And as the “muma” to Kaya (American Girl) she chose to dress as a Nez Perce girl – or at least, as close as we Brisbanites could get :-)
So with Kaya’s dresses laid out as inspiration, and a few wooden bead necklaces from Tree of Life cut up and ready for repurposing, I set to with a HUGE piece of cotton suede like fabric I bought for a song at a city fabric store. I did only need about 1.5 metres, but the deal with this fabric was 70% off if you bought 4 metres – at 150cm wide. That’s a lot of suede like fabric. Perhaps there are bag opportunities?
Hee! hee! hee! hee! What fun I had. We measured and snipped and fringed. Awesome fabric – absolutely no fraying. Then I substituted ecru crochet thread for porcupine quills, and added the beads – at which moment, I felt like Laura, collecting the pretty coloured beads from the Indian camp and stringing them into a necklace for Carrie. We plaited strips of fabric into her hair but I ran out of time for the shoes. They were, perhaps, a little ambitious.
Oh she looked gorgeous. It was one of those moments as a parent, when you are so thrilled and overflowing with excitement and love for your child, that you are practically jumping up and down and clapping hands and you don’t know whether to laugh out loud or cry those overwhelming, sentimental tears of emotion!
And, of course, she’s being way cool and asking you to please calm down, you’re being a bit embarrassing. But you know she’s just as excited as you because you stay a while and watch when she gets to school and you see her in action! :-)
Oh Abby sweetpie, when do we get to dress up again … soon? Maybe I could dress up, do you think any one would think me odd? I’ve always wanted one of those amazing tutus … you know, the kind that have the really “fluffy” bum … I think I should stop now, shouldn’t I.