Sunday, 27 April 2014

Fez fuss and tassel hassle

I'm sure it all seems like a great idea, when you're a primary school teacher. You want to have a lovely event for the children, in which they all dress up, and so you think of something relatively simple which they can all wear and which can be made at home. It will fire their creativity, promote a sense of shared artistic endeavour, get them bonding with their parents as they lovingly work together. So you fire off a quick email to the parents, instructing them to make (I quote) "a simple homemade fez" at the weekend. Just to make sure no-one ignores this, you add the line "the children will feel sad if they do not have a fez." Just for good measure, you add "do not forget the tassel, as we want tassels to swirl when all the children dance."

Teachers, do you just want to stop for one minute and imagine the parent's reaction whent they open this email, at 4pm on a Thursday afternoon? Do you suppose they're going to crack a benevolent smile, picturing the heart-melting sight of their darling child in an adorable homemade fez dancing around, tassel swirling? Or are they instead going to think: where the hell am I going to get the materials for making a fez, complete with tassel, tomorrow and fit it into an other-wise busy weekend?

Now, I am lucky in that Friday is my day off work, so as it happens (having already polled friends on Facebook about how to create a fez) I DID have time to go to an art shop and buy some red art foam and red card. Several people had suggested a plant pot, but I was a little worried about Littleboy 2 dancing with a plant pot (even a plastic one) on his head.

The tassel has proved more problematic.  I don't happen to live near a haberdashery shop, and I don't (as suggested by Facebook friends) have any old curtains or dressing gowns hanging about the house with tassels on them. This is what happens when you are renting your third house in five years (which happens to have modern drapes, not curtains) and have ruthlessly thrown out anything old. I have looked in various charity shops/homewares over the course of the weekend but whenever I asked the shopkeepers if they by any chance had a small tassel, they just looked at me as if I was slightly bonkers. Unless we can obtain one in the next 24 hours, it will have to be small strips of cut out foam tied together (Littleboy 1's idea). Not exactly swirly, but better than nothing.

 Can I just add here that we also spent the whole of Saturday afternoon visiting, and taking photographs of, St Paul's cathedral, for Littleboy 1's school project?  So that's a good half of the weekend taken up by homework-related projects. I'm just glad we didn't have any massively exciting social engagements this weekend, and that I'm not also a doctor who's on call (as my husband was this weekend, therefore neatly excusing him from any fez-related activity).

 I am going to be looking closely at the fezzes when the boys turn up for school on Tuesday morning. I simply defy anyone to have spend the whole weekend making a really good one, but I am sure there will be some, made by alpha parents that could not bear for their child to turn up with a slightly rubbish fez.

Ours is, I admit, slightly rubbish, but hey, it was genuinely home-made by me and my child. I could have tried to buy one, in Brixton market, but that would have been cheating I suppose. So that's "all good" (as Ian Fletcher in the marvellous BBC comedy W1A would say). And, well I guess I have to thank the teacher for supplying me with good material for a blog post....



9 comments:

Melissa said...

Right with you. I am rubbish, rubbish, rubbish at this sort of thing and it drives me nuts when the school drops an art bomb project on us. We had to make a shield worth of the sheriff of Nottingham. Admittedly we had plenty of time to make it, but still, it wasn't easy. I found a piece of ply wood in the loft from an old picture, then got child to draw the shape. Then we attempted to cut it. Impossible. I eventually managed. Then we had to paint it and find find some kind of handle. It all seemed so simple to start with.....

You have my sympathies. I'd like to see a pic of the fez please.

MsCaroline said...

Oh, I am SO glad this sort of thing is behind me! I hated those projects! I have to confess, though, MrL is far better at it than I am, and any time I had the chance to foist a project off on him, I did so. Of course, that sort of defeated the purpose of my staying home with the boys, but I know my limits. The best was the year they made a didgeridoo out of PVC piping.... let us know what those other fezzes look like!

Conuly said...

Teachers do that who don't have any kids of their own yet. When they do, that's when they learn.

The younger niece's first grade teacher sent home a note telling us she had the option of wearing a shirt covered with 100 of some item to celebrate the 100th day of school. Not wanting to spend several hours ruining a perfectly good shirt, we decided not to do it - only to get chided for not doing it! Lady, you said it was optional, so we took the option. Life is to short to spend all of it doing homework.

Expat mum said...

It's times like this when I"m glad I'm a bit crafty like that although I wouldn't have had the materials to come up with a fez. I have had my kids say they need a Greek costume the night before they needed it. a monk's robe (has to be brown) two days before etc. etc. My sewing machine is permanently out at the moment as I have somehow managed to gain a reputation for being able to "run something up" and now have 5 monk's habits to make.

Kit said...

I might be able to make a tassel, but a fez would be beyond me! I agree it's often crazy the projects they have to do and if the teachers knew how long these things actually took they wouldn't have the nerve to suggest them. Recently we/our children have had to make a model of a pre-industrial farm, a water filter, and goodies to sell at entrepreneurs day complete with game. That's besides the rest of the projects and homework and helpful ideas for dressing up.

Knackered Mother said...

Where's the pic? We have to see it now...hilarious. Gold star for you though ;)

About Last Weekend said...

Oh I feel exhausted just thinking about that fez. After 16 years of this I have taken to deleting all school emails. My daughter just realised this and is very upset with me

nappy valley girl said...

Picture will be posted soon..in the meantime, mea culpa, I did actually get the date wrong when it had to be back in school, so in fact we had another week to make it...

nappy valley girl said...

Update - I have a tassel! A mum from school has very kindly provided one she had going spare. Pictures coming soon...