It is widely acknowledged (by me) that I am a fashionable baby, a trendsetter, a style guru. I can be dressed in any old Babygro (and indeed, I often am) and make it work. In fact, I recently wrote my own style guide for autumn..
It is also widely acknowledged (also by me) that Mother is a fashion-free zone. She has all the elegance of an excitable puppy who has been rolling in the fields in mud and fox poo. Her wardrobe is a treasure trove of style ‘don’ts’. Sometimes I wonder if she leaves her spectacles at home when she embarks upon a shopping excursion; that can be the only reason for the horrendous tassled monstrosity she dragged back from her last trip to the shops. I won’t lie, at first I thought it was some kind of wild animal and screamed in terror.
I often wish that I could make Mother understand the extent of her ‘fashion’ errors but she never seems to listen to me. Or at least, when she does, she completely misinterprets my remarks: ‘Milk, darling?’ she queried to my most recent piece of advice. If she did listen, I would tell her this….
Beware of dressing in haste
We were recently invited to a wedding which, although a happy occasion, caused Mother widespread panic on the day. ‘I can’t find my shoes! My shoes!’ she screamed. ‘And we’ve got to leave in five minutes!’ she yelled. I could have told her that her shoes were underneath the bed; I could espy them from my prime position in my crib. I say could have told her but I certainly wouldn’t as I wasn’t speaking to her. We had had a difficult day, peppered with tantrums and tears (hers) and nappy explosions and projectile vomiting incidents (me). ‘My SHOES,’ she screamed at Father who was rushing around trying to find a tie. I shook my head. All this frenzy would have been completely avoidable had they started getting ready more than fifteen minutes before departure; I don’t know what they had been doing all morning. Their organisational skills are appalling. With about a minute to go before the taxi arrived, Mother, in her confusion, ended up drawing her lipstick on her skirt whilst simultaneously trying to brush her teeth, pin her hair up, do her top up and spray herself in perfume. Well. The ensuing meltdown was far worse than anything I have ever – allegedly – produced. I dare say Father didn’t help matters by suggesting she ‘just pretend it’s part of the skirt.’ Mother’s face went a very peculiar red in response, curiously, almost the same shade of scarlet as the troublesome lipstick. Eventually, she calmed down enough to get changed and all was almost forgotten after a few glasses of fizzy drink a little while later. Well, almost. So my advice is always to allow yourself plenty of time to get ready (I don’t like to brag, but I was the first one attired that day in my pretty dress after only the briefest of tussles and the most minimal resistance).
Now that the weather has ‘turned’, Mother complains of cold feet when she wears her shoes. And so she has taken to wearing ‘pop socks’, some odd half tight-half sock items. That is all well and good when you cannot see them, hidden away under her jeans but there have been many occasions when Mother’s jeans have ridden up and the ‘sock’ is exposed in all its glory. And I’ll be honest, it isn’t pretty. The socks are so tight they appear to be cutting off her blood supply, and quite frankly, they are a disgusting light pink/orange/beige colour – even though, according to Mother, they are a ‘natural’ hue. They are vile. (Not pictured as too disgusting to show).
Clothes that fit
Mother is insistent that she is the same size she was when she was much younger and she adamantly refuses to entertain the thought that she may have oscillated upwards in her sizing. Even though she recently got stuck in a dress she was trying on and it took three shop assistants to help her out. (I only know this because Grandma told Father in strict confidence. ‘Don’t say a word,’ she warned. The door was barely shut behind Grandma when Father admitted what he knew, much to Mother’s chagrin. ‘There was something wrong with it,’ she complained fiercely.) Personally I think she should stop worrying about something so meaningless, buy clothes that actually fit her and be comfortable. I would never tell her this (because I can’t, at present) but it’s her squishy, squashy bits I love best as they are lovely to cuddle up to.
Mother is not the sort of person who learns from her mistakes (she previously had a faux pas when wearing white as I detailed here) and regardless, she continues to buy pale garments, even though sporting them will only ever end in tears. Like this white jumper she has bought for ‘winter’. Though I confidently predict that said garment won’t make it to the cooler months and will sprout some obvious and irremovable stain from some unidentified source. (In fact, I managed to somehow get jam, snot, milk and butter on this very sweater as I moved it around for the purposes of this photo shoot. I’m not worried though. Father will just get the blame, as per usual).
Shoes that won’t cause injury
Mother and Father are having a ‘proper night out’ soon. They are talking about this with such anticipation and excitement that I swear I saw tears in Father’s eyes the other day. ‘I wonder if it’s changed out there?’ he asked, eyes wide. ‘Maybe we’ll go for a bit of a dance too,’ Mother suggested. I hope not. She is a terrible dancer. She leaps around as if she’s been stung, her face a mirror of concentration, her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth. If she does go dancing, she’d better not tell anyone that we’re related. ‘Do you think these shoes will be all right?’ she asked Father, pulling out a pair of ludicrously high heels from the back of her wardrobe. Father’s eyes widened. ‘I don’t know love. You’re not very steady on your feet at the best of times.’ Mother shrugged. ‘See,’ she said, her legs bandy as she walked up and down the bedroom. ‘I’ve got it,’ she said smug – just before tripping over her own feet and landing on her face. Needless to say the shoes are now for sale on eBay and the night out is on hold until Mother’s ankle goes down.
Comfort isn’t always best
Most nights, Mother abandons style for comfort. In fact, she is usually in this item of ‘comfort wear’ by 6pm. ‘You look like a wizard,’ suggests Father as Mother pulls her hood up. Mother takes this as a compliment; I am unsure why. I have noticed that the outfit is so unattractive that Father can only squint at her when she’s wearing it, his eyes not quite able to take in the full ‘look.’
Hats don’t suit everyone
And finally…fortunately, Mother doesn’t wear a hat very often but she does when she’s at a wedding or on holiday. Sometimes she even wears it correctly but most of the time she tilts it completely wrongly. Including on our recent holiday when it was only on the last day that she realised that she’d been wearing it sideways for the whole week….