They say that, often, children demonstrate a trait which becomes their career very early on in life. It seems that I have some kind of Gok-Wan-Cristian-Dior-Trinny-or-Susannah on my hands.
Last week, I decided to gut my wardrobe and adopt a sort-of “capsule” collection. This involved selecting and hanging my favourite pieces, ruthlessly dumping the rest, and then making a quick dash to the local shopping centre to restock the essentials that I lacked. Pod’s Nana intimated in the car that he was allowed some new things for the times he spent at their house, and so began one of the most bizarre shopping experiences of my life.
Primark with Pod
The buggy was abandoned almost as soon as we arrived in the bargain haven that is Primark. “Nana said I can have t-shirts, Mummy. I just be over here with Nana. You comin’?” I duly followed, laughing at his recently discovered confidence.
On arrival in the kids department, he spotted a t-shirt with Minions all over it, and the frenzy began. It was a fabric print covered in thousands of the little crazy creatures, but the smallest size they had was age 4-5, which is clearly miles too big for him. “Hmmm, but I do like this one mummy, because I like Minions,” he advised. I glanced around to see if any other Minion clothes existed, hoping to avoid a strop.
Success! There was another t-shirt, with a slightly different Minion print. This time, two large creatures peered out from a Polaroid frame, taking a “Selfie”. I found it in age 2-3 size, and brought it over. “Look, Pod! It’s another Minion t-shirt in your size! What do you think?” I held up the hanger hopefully, expecting him to agree with me unconditionally, because mum knows best and he’s never picked his own clothes before.
“Eh, no, I don’t think so mummy.”
Wait, what? My two year old is now not only forming excellent sentences, but also demonstrating a pretty bloody good mastery of being condescending? I realised that my mouth was open, while my dad chortled away behind the two of us.
“I like lots of little Minions, but I no like the big Minions, thank you.”
I put it back and smiled weakly at the woman beside us who was smirking with one eyebrow raised. I told dad that he could arrange the next item if it was so bloody amusing.
Picture the scene: ten minutes or so later, my mum, dad and I were standing in a row holding a hooded top each, in front of his eager face. He rubbed his mouth and considered each in turn, muttering the occasional, “Hmmmm.”
“Pod, will you please just pick one? Which is best?” The frustration in my dad’s voice was clear.
“I like…ummm…dis one please. Thank you, Papa.”
Practicality trumps all
Thankfully, as well as being very careful about how his clothes look, Pod has developed a very practical sense of fashion. He always advises people to remove their coats when arriving home, or to put their slippers on if they are barefoot. He likes to put on his dressing gown when he is having a jammies day, and has never been one of these kids who will take off his own shoes/socks/hats/gloves and throw them away.
I will admit I’ve always been very grateful about this – I’ve never lost an accessory while on a bus or at a park. He enjoys being warm, and understands that these things help him to stay warm.
I didn’t realise, though, that he had now become the leading authority on this matter.
My mum and I were away for a couple of days this week. As Pod left with his dad, and I ran around packing last-minute bits, he could be heard shouting, “Put on you coat mummy!”
“I will, Pod, but I’m not quite leaving just yet!”
“You not leavin’? Ok. When you are leavin’ you put on you coat!”
“I will! Goodbye!”
“Bye mummy! Put on you coat!”
“Coat mummy. You coat,”
“And scaff. You need you scaff too, it’s cold!”
“Yes, okay, but I…”
“Just put on you coat and scaff, okay? Bye mummy!”
That’s me told.
A good haircut can be transformational
Pod detests getting his haircut. He screams from start to finish, and ducks and dives away from the barber’s hands and scissors. This is potentially pretty deadly, but fair play – the guys we have visited have ducked and dived around with him and managed to chop his gingery-golden locks successfully.
His most recent visit to the barber was with his dad. He performed the usual routine that he does when I take him. He screamed. He wriggled. He shouted, “Tell him to get OFFA ME!” at one point, which caused much amusement to the barber, his colleagues and the entire queue.
On leaving, though, he looked sweetly at the barber, and demonstrated that he understands the power of a good haircut.
“Fanks for cuttin’ ma hair and for making me so handsome.”
Thank God daily for the ability to accessorise
As part of my new “capsule” wardrobe, I’m relying heavily on layering, accessorising and using statement pieces in a variety of outfits. I treated myself to a grey woolen hat, with a wide floppy brim. It’s pretty trendy looking, and I’ve never worn such a statement item, but I decided to bite the bullet.
“I hate how good you look in hats. Even bloody ridiculous ones like that,” my mother said in the shop.
“Well, I like it. I might buy it for our trip.”
“Are you serious? Are you going to wear that next to me? You’ll show me up.” My mum is skilled in the art of sensitivity and subtlety. I am even more skilled in the art of doing things just to annoy her – I’ve been honing that one since I was Pod’s age, if I’m honest.
“I said, I like it. I’m going to buy it and I’m going to wear it the full time we are away,”
“But you look like you’re in disguise!”
I bought the hat.
Pod decided that he, too, likes an accessory. “I want to try your hat on, mummy,” he chimed. “Look at me! I’m so pretty.” I chased him with my phone and took a series of snaps, then posted to my Facebook that he was my fashion idol. The first comment was from my mother.
“Takes after his mum. Can’t believe he looks good in that hat too.”
That’s my boy.