It's the last day of term before the start of the holidays for Boy #1 tomorrow. Correction; it's the last day of term before the start of the EASTER holidays. Why would the festival be important, you ask? Well, leaving aside any religious connotations (though of all the holidays Easter is probably the one where you can least do that, now I come to think of it), the festival is important to Boy #1 because tomorrow is The Parade. The Big Parade.
The Easter Bonnet Parade, to be precise.
Cue 'The Archers' theme tune as you imagine 150 children parading round a school playground in decorated hats of various shapes and sizes. Or is it just me that happens to?
A couple of weeks back Boy #1 arrived home with written instructions - from the headmistress, no less - that the children were all to make their own bonnet so they could participate in this august event.
The letter took me back to when my primary school held a similar event, around 36 years ago; I recall my mother found an old hat of hers, stuck lots of crepe flowers on it, and sent me in to school in it. Job done. I didn't win, of course. (What, you didn't know this was a competitive event? Come on! Get with the program!) No, I lost out to Tina Smith who had some kind of Little Bo Peep creation sent over by family in America. The cheat.
In any case, I have to admit that when I read the letter my heart sank. I foresaw hours of trying to create the perfect bonnet (my boy is nothing if not competitive), only to be beaten hands-down by offerings from other 'more Chelsea' families who got their nanny, the cook, the bottle-washer and the driver to create something in their spare time. (See this post for how easy it is to be outclassed by those who simply throw money at a problem. Who would have thought a child of 4 could create their own Fortnum and Mason look-a-like hamper for the Harvest Festival and do such a convincing job of it that they won the prize for the best decorated offering? Bitter? Me?)
But then I reread the letter. 'The children are all to make their own bonnet' it read. Hurrah! The head of school is no slouch. She will recognise the handiwork of eager 5 year old hands, I thought. At last, the opportunity to rise above my baser instincts and let the best child win. In brief, I decided to 'step away from the bonnet' and let Boy #1 make of it what he would.
With just a little direction from me, of course.
We're - sorry, he's - going to win. I can just feel it...