By BERN MORLEY
The anticipation was KILLING me. I mean it wasn’t her first school Easter Hat parade but it was certainly the first one at this school. And it was an absolute disaster.
Earlier that morning, I’d dropped off a super excited 6 year old, clutching some pink cardboard, a bag of miniature chickens and a few other Easter inspired crafty type items. My instructions from the school had been pretty clear, provide the foundations, they’ll make it in class and then they will proudly model it for you in their end of Term Easter Hat parade. Sweet.
Making my way to a seat up the front of the assembly, I got ready to take in the spectacle. Maddie’s year level started to filter out and I’m pretty sure had you been sitting across the quadrangle from me, you would have seen my jaw actually drop. These kids weren’t wearing year 1 art on their heads, they were wearing freaking masterpieces! It was like they’d raided some Disney movie set. They had cute ribbons tying their perfectly cut bonnets under their perfect cut chins.
And that’s when I looked up and saw my daughter emerge. Emerge with a bright pink cylinder on her head. As in, literally, a piece of pink cardboard, fashioned into a cylinder shape, a good metre off her head, unceremoniously pushed down to fit the shape of her tiny little skull. There appeared to be what looked like a nylon chicken massacre on one side and some kind of bedazzler incident on the other.
I watched her as she kept her eyes firmly planted to the ground and shuffled in the circle, knowing full well she was gaining unwanted attention and momentum. I heard a woman next to me say “Jesus, check out cylinder head!” My first instinct was to tell mollface to shut the hell up, but I didn’t. I simply grabbed my handbag and searched for the teacher.
Clearly, I hadn’t gone ahead and “laid the foundations” in quite the same way that her classmates parents’ had.
No, see, all the other mums weren’t of the “whatever they make will look adorable” school of thought like I was. No, they were more “Let’s make the most kick arse Easter Hat and outdo every other mother and child in this gin joint”.
I pulled the teacher aside and she assured me that yes, it was meant to be a creative project, made by the children, but it had “taken on quite the life of its own over the last couple of years!”