I remembered seeing a fairy outfit last time I was in Next (see The eyes). So off we went. NB – most of my potentially embarrassing episodes happen in Next. Either this is indicative of their clientele or I don’t get out much.
We found it, a beautiful lengthy pink sparkly dress with separate wand and wings, altogether costing ….. £28!!! Now I’m not being funny but I thought that was a bit excessive – especially seeing as our entire fancy dress repertoire at home cost a grand total of £8 (Baloo was a hand me down from the big cousins). Flabbergasted I decided to try another, cheaper store. The 4 year old was devastated and I understood her pain. She had already imagined herself in the elegant flowing gown tapping all the boys on the head with her silver wand, turning them into frogs, then fluttering away leaving a trail of fairy dust behind her.
I started to sell the alternative option to her. This is where the day took a spectacular turn. As I suggested “You could be a girl pirate” a woman wearing a black eye patch walked into the store. I looked from the woman back to my inquisitive, loud mouthed, not yet learned subtlety 4 year old. She was digesting my last comment and about to make her retort. I immediately entered stealth mode and scanned for an alternative exit. Realising there were no other exits I mentally traced another route which would take in the shoes and handbags and avoid the one eyed lady. She was a lady, a very respectable silver haired lady, all that was missing was a diamante skull and cross bones on the patch.
I altered our course, guiding the 4 year old to safety, or so I thought. Just as we were on the home run she was there, the lady pirate was closing in, less than a metre away heading straight for us. I shrouded my daughter with my cardigan (in a move I like to call Batmum) and thrusting my finger out, said in a loud and slightly panicky voice – “look at that sparkly handbag, see how it twinkles”. My voice was just loud and my finger thrusting alarming enough to stop the 4 year old mid sentence “But Muuuum, I want to be a fairy, not a girl P……….”
Slightly sweaty and my heart thumping we left. I did at this point think that I was on one of those shows where someone would leap out from behind the Next employee wearing a sash offering catalogues on the door (you know who I mean – and you also avoid them) shouting “Congratulations – we have just observed you on our hidden camera show and you have excellent pirate avoidance techniques – you’ve won a fairy outfit!”
Anyway, I visited an alternative store, a store that was not frequented by pirates. We got five outfits for £7.99. A bargain, or so I thought, until I we got home and discovered that they would only fit a child half her size. She looked like a belly dancing dwarf with wings.
It just goes to show … quality NOT quantity.