Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My Child Knows Her Mother

In YG's class they are doing "living biographies"--each kid has to make a report about their subject in the first person, dressed as said subject. YG originally thought of studying Babe Ruth, but the idea of dressing up like him dampened that ardor. So, casting about for another subject, she found a writer she knows I like. "And I've seen three of her movies!"

Thus, I have three days to make her a Jane Austen costume. With bonnet.

The trouble, of course, is that I can do it. And she knows it. (Four years in the theatre department, including several shows I saw only from the belly of the costume shop...I can handle a single muslin round gown). So I went out and got a light figured calico, and cut the fabric tonight. I'm not making her a bonnet, but I will make her a cap, which is a simpler thing. And of course, she knew I'd be tickled that she'd chosen Austen.

And it could be worse. One of her friends, a tiny, delicate girl whose family is from India, is reporting on Martin Luther King!


Blogger Jonquil said...

I feel your pain. My children know that I can sew, and sew without a pattern, and they therefore design their Halloween costumes from scratch.

On the other hand, it's the one area in which I can be a conspicuously Good Mother of Students; my son had the first chiton in Mythology class and won his class extra points for so being.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

My children's creativity, come Halloween, is a fearful thing, and rooted, as you say, in the knowledge that Mama can sew--and in their own weird senses of humor. Thus, over the years I have costumed The Young variously as:

* a mad dog (dog suit, and Reddi-Whip sprayed on the mouth at judicious intervals)
* Emma Peel (that one was easy--and no one SG's age knew who she was playing)
* Death (from The Sandman
*a dead fairy (sort of a Brian Froud punk fairy, with tire tracks across the tummy, broken wings, and a sign round the neck that said "Too Late to Clap!")
* Demeter
* a dead cheerleader.

I have to admit I was glad when both of the girls outgrew their early Disney stages--one full-blown Cinderella dress each was quite enough.

8:43 AM  
Blogger C. F. Blog said...

That is so cool, I loved the 'dead fairy’…”too late to clap” love it.

I want to use that one! I dress up every weekend because I am a character for children’s Birthday Parties. I won't be able to use the dead fairy for that (Cinderella and Snow White are still most popular) but maybe for Halloween!

Last Halloween my next door neighbor’s nine year old boy came over for treats and behind his ‘Scream’ mask I heard this loud disappointed voice "Of all days you dress up like a character you don’t dress up for Halloween!" Needless to say I was a disappointment. Playing the part of girl in sweatpants passing out smarties was not a show stopper. Next year "dead fairy".

9:29 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

One of the things I loved in the Buffy mythology was the idea that vampires, monsters, demons and other such critters stay home on Halloween, probably wearing sweats, and didn't mix with the revellers. Made perfect sense to me.

CF, if you do go as a dead fairy, post a photo somewhere, will you?

9:40 AM  
Blogger C. F. Blog said...

Yeah, I neighbor’s boy definitely put me in my place.

Will do on the photo, hey maybe I’ll have my mom help me! :)

10:21 AM  
Blogger C. F. Blog said...

I am kind of new on this Blog thing
But if you go to my blog I posted my character as the friendly witch.

Now don't give me a hard time because it's not scary. I work with 4 years olds and a pretty witch is better than a scary one.

But my dream would be to play Snow White's "The Queen". I always thought she was prettier than Snow White.

Enjoy :)

11:03 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Snow White's voice would have driving me to infanticide. Or at least step-infanticide. The queen might have a slight Joan Crawford touch around the eyebrows, but she had a great voice.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Jonquil said...

*a dead fairy (sort of a Brian Froud punk fairy, with tire tracks across the tummy, broken wings, and a sign round the neck that said "Too Late to Clap!")

Your kids are cooler than my kids. You have NO IDEA how much it pains me to say so.

Lost Coast Patterns has truly excellent straw bonnets, by the way.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Sarcasm Girl says she loves you, Jonquil. And she bows gracefully. I think she's trying to extend bedtime another 20 minutes...

Cool is as Cool does. Sometimes my kids are very cool. Sometimes they make my head hurt, and I would hand them off to the next passing Abominable Snowman.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Jonquil said...

My standing threat is to wrap 'em in duct tape and leave 'em by the curb for the gypsies. My son sneers and says "Empty threats".

11:13 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

"If you don't get in the car right now, I'm going to trade you for a dog and shoot the dog."

I had a guy in the supermarket parking lot choke on his cup of coffee when he heard that. You can tell a lot about a stranger by how he reacts to casual threats like that--the sound ones laugh, the dopey ones get all syrupy and maternal: "Oh, you don't mean that!"

Well, yes, at this moment I do. But, as we told the kids all the time when they were small: it's okay to feel any way you need to feel, but you are not allowed to act on those feelings...

8:39 AM  

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