Sunday, January 29, 2012
It is impossible to remove any item from Mr5's room while he is on the premises. He shows a marked tendency toward the Family Hoarding gene, and clings like a barnacle to anything - and I do mean anything - that I might decide is surplus to needs. He LOVES those chocolate wrappers and is "collecting them to make Mr8 an Invisibility cloak". He NEEDS that wooden train set, despite not having looked at it for three years.
So I must sneak through under my own Invisibility cloak while he is otherwise engaged.
I really wanted to do it today. I wanted to clear his shelves, air the cobwebs, remove the old, and give him a clear, uncluttered space in which to begin his schooling life (on Tuesday). So I put aside the aforementioned train, the fake food and fake picnic set, several books, outgrown clothes, any variation of Wiggles puzzles (or, in fact, anything Wiggles, him being 'too big for them now Mum')... all ready to go to a young friend of ours who will love them too.
And then I got to the dress-up box.
Our dress-up box is like a perfect time capsule of the boys' interests over the years. The doctor's kit and cool little white coat. The fireman suit with reflective strips. The fireman helmet that makes a whiney, siren noise. The Spiderman suits, the Superman suit (with attached cape), the cracking Ninja Turtles suit (complete with shell). Harry Potter robes, wands, glasses (all bent).
But it's the additional stuff that I love. The baby wraps that can be capes, or togas, or ghost outfits. The five different gloves that serve as Super Whatevers, or Ninja whatevers, or medical protection. The lanyards from various conferences. The scarves that can be utility belts, or Ninja wraps, or Knightly garb. The swords of assorted length, colour and degradation. And the hats - so many hats! Hard hats, police hats, beanies, helmets.
My boys love dressing up and there is nothing they like better than ferreting about and creating the perfect outfit. An outfit that may make no sense to outside eyes, but to them, turns them into The Masked Avenger, or Sir Whosiwhatsit.
The dress-up box I left alone. There'll be time enough to sort through that. But for now, it's feeding their imaginations. It pays its way.
Do your kids have a dress-up box? What story does it tell about them? And what do you think are the essentials for a great dress-up box?