Well, I might as well let you know how Master Ben got on as a Viking. (Or not as the case may be.)
Okay, I've admitted it before - I'm no longer quite the diligent mum I used to be on the costume front. So, last night I put out an emergency SOS for a Viking helmet. Fortunately the good Mrs A turned up trumps on that score and Master Ben's head wear was sorted. Hurrah! One thing struck off the list with minimal effort!
But the bad news for mums like me is that plastic swords and daggers have been banned from dressing up days. Apparently, swords are very dangerous weapons and some children have actually broken fingernails. Even worse, some children have been known to acquire small bruises on their upper arms requiring the application of soothing creams.
Hmm. It's sure tough being a kid at times. In fact, I heard ice cream is going to be banned soon. Apparently it's too cold.
So anyway, about this plastic weaponry ban. In effect, the ban means all weapons now have to be made from cardboard or foam. Obviously, this is fantastic news if you have an interest in 11th century weapons like I do. In fact, I was so thrilled when I heard the news I dashed out and bought some more (non toxic) glue. However, much to my displeasure, in this particular instance, I really couldn't justify indulging myself with my sword fetish as young Master Ben was only going to be at school for 3 hours in the morning. (He comes out early for tennis lessons). So alas, the problem of weaponry was solved - ie - no weapons were required. Shame really.
Alright, I know, it's a pretty sad Viking who doesn't have at least a cudgel - so in the interests of diplomacy I decided it would be a good idea to get Master Ben to tell his teacher that his particular Viking was a pacifist.
Hey, don't be such skeptics! The pacifist movement definitely started in Norway. Or was it Sweden? Hmmm......could have been France though.
So anyway, all I needed in the end was Viking clothes. Excellent - although a bit of a problem at 8pm when you've got PMT and don't feel like cutting up a fur skin. However, (and fortunately for me) Master Ben is a practical child and after some discussion we decided that not only was his Viking a pacifist but he was also a "sporty" pacifist - thus requiring a specific need for black tracksuit bottoms. In addition, a "sporty" Viking would also require trainers - for hopping out of his longship with ease thus enabling him to bore the enemy to death with talk about how dangerous plastic swords are before the Health and Safety inspectors arrived.
Now Master Ben also decided ( with no overt persuasion from my good self of course) that as well as his black tracksuit bottoms and trainers, his Viking was going to wear a long sleeved white thermal sports top. This was because;
a) It is cold in Norway
b) They play lots of tennis in Norway. Apparently.
c) White goes very nicely with plastic hats from Gothenberg.
So the costume was almost complete! And for a finishing touch, we decided on a green fleece which the boys currently use as a battle cloth (ie - grass) for their soldiers - which the following morning I would fashion into a cape with the daring use of a safety pin.
This morning there was a slight problem when I discovered the green fleece was too bulky to use without Master Ben looking like The Incredible Hulk. I now had an emergency situation on my hands -I had a child who looked like he was going to a tennis lesson and not like he was going to rape and pillage in the school playground. Drastic action was required. So making due haste, I ransacked the linen cupboard and found an old green sheet, ripped it apart with my bare hands and fashioned a wondrous new Viking cloak ... all at precisely 8.25am.
But then disaster struck again - the new cloak would not stay on properly! So, with the clock against me, I rushed upstairs to find my dark green cardigan. Fortunately, it was close at hand and hastily I stuck it on Master Ben, rolled up the sleeves and pinned on the cloak with a brooch. To complete the overall Viking effect, I stuck the helmet on his head and within seconds we were off with Master Sam in the car to school. Time: 8.39am.
As I raced down the bypass (although obviously adhering to the speed limit) the following conversation broke out;
Master Ben: I look like a woman in this cardigan.
Mrs T: Rubbish! It'll keep you warm; it's cold in Norway.
Master Sam: I wouldn't be seen dead like that. I'd rather shoot myself; he looks like a cross dresser.
Master Ben: I smell of women's powder.
Mrs T: Never mind. Anyway, it's a very special cardigan because it also belonged to Nanny.
Master Sam: Oh great. It's bad enough he smells of you - now you're saying it's okay for him to look like his granny!
Mrs T: It's a special cardigan! And it's green. Perfect for a Viking!
Master Ben: I smell like a lady and I look like a granny.
Mrs T: Um.......um....I tell you what Ben... to make up for not having a really, really good costume, I'll buy you 2 packets of premier league football cards after school.
Master Ben: Four packets.
Mrs T: Four! I bought you two yesterday!
Master Ben: Four! And a lollipop.
Mrs T: Ohhhhhhhhh............................alright then.
8.50pm. Mrs T's deadly C max pulls up in layby near to school
Master Ben: I think I'll just wear the cloak.
Mrs T: Whatttttt? Oh alright. Quick take off the cardigan! (Master Ben undoes brooch and tries to fix cloak with the ( Italian mosaic brooch) to his tennis top.
Mrs T: Hurry up! Quick get your book bag! And your lunch box! And your coat or you'll be late! Quick!
Master Ben: I'm fixing the cloak!
Mrs T: Shove the cloak in your book bag and do it at school!
Master Ben shoves the cloak in his bag and legs it up the school path. It's 8.54am. 1 minute before the bell rings.
So there you have it - Master Ben went to school dressed as the first Viking tennis champion and got 4 packets of premier football cards ( and a special folder to put them in). Master Sam was late to school, blamed his mother and avoided detention. And Mrs T went home, put her torn sheet under the sink for use as various cleaning clothes and decided that come the next dressing up day she is just going to pretend Master Ben is sick and go and play tennis.
Ps - the pillowcase and belt didn't work out -far too adventurous:)