Today is World Book Day. This being the case, all the children around here were invited to go to school in fancy dress. No superheroes mind, dress as a character from your favourite book.
Tempted as I was to send Mog in as herself (now how many children have that opportunity?), she had her own ideas for a costume. Running through her favourite stories we narrowed it down to a princess. This was a relief - Mog has many princessly dresses; finding a "quack, quack, cold little duck" outfit might have needed a little more work. OK, so she wants to be a princess. But that in itself isn't enough. Which princess is it? Cinderella? scowl. Sleeping Beauty? scowl. Snow White? scowl and eye roll. Princess and the Pea? scowl. Shame; the way she's been sleeping lately I'd have thought that one was quite appropriate. Rumplestiltskin's princess? Scowl. Racking my brains I do what I should have done beforehand, and actually open her book of fairy tales. There's just one princess we haven't tried yet - Princess and the Frog (otherwise known as the Frog Prince)? Great big body stretching, face splitting YES!
The Frog Prince. Marvellous, now just pass me that tame frog in the corner there. And then I remember, Little Fish has a stuffed frog sitting in her window (stuffed toy frog, not an amphibious example of the art of taxidermy). So now all we need is a golden ball. Judicious application of Pritt Stick and embroidery thread, and one of the balls from our ball pool is transformed. Mog grudgingly approves; I think she was holding out for the real thing. Sorry, girl!
So, party dress, party shoes, a crown made out of a Christmas gift bag, a Frog, a ball and a very happy Mog all head off to school. The bus escort notices the crown, the driver notices the pretty shoes (mainly because Mog kicks him repeatedly in the head as he kneels down to clamp her chair in), and school staff report she has had a wonderful day.
All this leaves approximately 4.7 minutes to create a costume for Little Fish; I'd forgotten preschool were also celebrating. Thankfully, Little Fish has a big sister with a wardrobe full of beautiful outfits. So I grab a purple party frock and pull it over Little Fish's head. "Pretty Dress" she says, full of admiration, and is so taken with the flowers on the front she fails to notice me sneaking her splints on, cleaning her stoma, and smuggling emergency supplies into her school bag. Pretty dress is a good start, and for a while I consider taking a second frog from the windowsill and sending her off as another Frog Prince princess. Separate schools, who would know? But then I find another toy - a large Incey Wincey Spider. Little Fish seems to find it suitably amusing. A quick empty pot labelled "Curds and Whey" and one Little Miss Muffet is on her way to preschool.
And then this evening we continued the literary theme by attending the launch party for Mog's mother's book. So Mog, still carrying her frog and ball, managed to star as herself. She had a fine time, with the world and his wife coming to say hello. She also discovered the joys of the Sound of Music, singing along with Mother Superior!
She's now settled in bed, sitting upright and velcroed into her body armour. Her snores are louder than Little Fish's ventilator, and much more musical. Do princesses snore? Perhaps she has a frog in her throat.