The Impster is employed in the task of colouring in her Christmas cards (better early than never), while I am simultaneously cooking the tea and taking a work call.
‘Mummy,’ she hisses in her loudest whisper, ‘I’m making the angels all wicked and evil.’
I enlarge my eyes in the attempt to communicate that perhaps this output will not be suitable for sending to Great Auntie Jean or her friends from Sunday School:
Over tea we discuss the semiotics of colour, and the tradition of angels taking a godlier complexion. ‘But I just love everything that’s scary,’ she says.
I know. I’m still getting over the horror of the ‘scary Disney princess’ birthday invites, with the appearance of each card more terrifying than the last. ‘Are you quite sure that Sleeping Beauty wouldn’t look prettier in pink?’ I asked. ‘No, she looks really wicked in black and green,’ came the reply. And indeed she did.
Nor has her poor friend Georgina recovered yet from the shock of the face painting episode at a fairy party event they attended. There were butterflies and flowers and pussy cats and all manner of delights on display, but as you see, the Impster’s brief to her make-up artist was quite clear: ‘I want to be a scary fairy please.’
So when Halloween arrived this year, the Impster was in her element. She had been counting down the days since April, and no child’s face could have been more enraptured by the appearance of the Halloween aisle at Sainsbury’s in early September. But to her eternal envy, I was the one who had been invited to a Halloween party that weekend, which required full fancy dress. Wicked outfits are something of an Impster speciality, and no personal shopper could have bettered her efforts that afternoon in the search for my costume.
Now, it is a truth universally acknowledged that Halloween has become sexy these days (though even I could not have anticipated the quantity of latex on display that night, thanks to the wide-ranging stock of a designer of bondage gear who happened to be one of our party.)
So I explained to the Impster what we were after – red fishnet tights, red hotpants, devil horns etc – and she leapt upon the task with alacrity, cross-questioning each and every shopkeeper in Winchester about whether they stocked said items. ‘My mummy’s going to a party tonight and she’s going as a really scary Devil,’ she told them, dramatising just enough to make them take a step back.
Her attention to detail was quite astounding: she thought a big scary ring would look good (it did), and what about scary purple glowing eyeshadow (good call), and had I thought about my nail varnish (no I hadn’t, but again...). This was the final result:
(The red hotpants had to be exchanged for the leather skirt, mainly because I felt the need to curtail the Impster’s retail enquiries, but also because K remembered just in time that the Devil wears Prada.)
But why am I telling you all this so long after the event? Well today I attended a ‘stay and play’ session at the Impster’s school - a very ardent Church school as it happens. The idea being for parents to get an insight into the school, though I strongly suspect the reverse is true.
Apparently the children had been asked after half term to draw a picture of what they had done over the holiday. Apparently the Impster drew a picture of our house, with me at the door in full Devil regalia, looking ‘very wicked indeed’.
I did not see that picture. Apparently it has been taken into the care of the Headmaster. I await a call from the child psychologist. Or a summons to the Headmaster’s office...