“Amma, I want to be Tommy the turtle” yelled my son last week, fetching us many a curious stare from fellow pedestrians. Turned out that there was a fancy dress competition happening at his school with the theme “aqua world”. Just in time to coincide with his birthday party preparations and guests staying over for the weekend. The next day morning saw me in “Ram’s costume” (the only costume rental store in our area). The place was already bustling with what seemed to be half the population of parents of kindergarten block!!! After much pushing and jostling I managed to come face to face with my “messiah of the day’- the owner.
Me: Do you have a turtle costume?
Owner: Blank stare
Me: Repeat the above question
Owner: What that is
Me: Show turtle like waddling action with hands
Me: At wits end
Fortunately, a kannada speaking parent kindly translated and the owner with a relieved look dashed in and came out with what looked like a teddy bear body suit with a cap with a turtle head sticking out. The next 10 minutes was spent in assuring me that it’s the best costume I can get. In light of my current “packed schedule”, I quickly paid the advance and booked it. Feeling very happy with myself I sauntered to the school to pick up my son when I got a rude shock. There was a circular with the details of the fancy dress with the menacing words printed in bold’ HIRED COSTUMES WILL NOT BE ENTERTAINED’.
Seething with anger I half dragged my bewildered son back home. Later that afternoon, something in me snapped when I heard my son describing in detail his fancy dress ambitions to his grand mother over the phone. I did some serious soul searching – “Can’t you spend a little time to see a smile on your child’s face?” bellowed the mommy in me…”yes, oh yes” I sobbed. With my new found enthusiasm I scoured the net for ideas. I must say I found some really good ones. One trip to the market and a 15 minute lecture session on ‘good parenting’ to my husband later, I was armed with the raw materials and an assistant. Sunday morning was spent in unleashing the creative demons in me with 2 assistants (my son and husband) at my beck and call. Finally it was over. The fruit of my sweat and blood, lots of the former and a drop of the latter when I pricked my hand on a needle. But the look on my son’s face when he wore the costume -that’s something that I’ll cherish for a long time. Do check him out.