Janet Christie: Our hound dog costume doubles as a lion

Following a chat with Elvis at a fancy dress party, I was sold on the idea of having several ready-to-go outfits. After buying his white jumpsuit on eBay he’d never looked back.

So I’ve built up the stash of tiaras and capes in a drawer in Youngest Child’s dressing table over the years, which – added to the boys’ superhero costumes – covers most bases for surprise-themed situations.

So when Youngest announces she needs to go to school THAT DAY dressed along a safari theme, I’m prepared. A hound dog costume doubles as a lion and a strop is averted.

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And this week high-visibility day arrived; something to do with bicycles. She HAD to wear DayGlo. Pink neon legwarmers check, Middle Child persuaded to loan his orange laces (after a tortuous hour of negotiations), check, my orange scarf purloined, check. Good to go.

I feel in control. I can do this parent thing after all. Fancy dress outfits whisked out at the drop of a Stetson and she arrives at school looking the part. I’m not so useless after all. I allow myself a little bask in the glow.

Big Mistake.

“Morning!” She bellows, next day. “Today is the bake sale, yay! Where’s the Victoria sponge and cupcakes I asked you to bake?”

She’s the devil in disguise.