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Monday, 11 February 2008

Outer Space Cow

By Lia of the Yum Yum Café blog

It’s raining tigers, vampires, princesses, spies, and other mini-sized Hollywood figures. The school children are out in full regalia, celebrating Carnival. I nearly got skewered by a witch’s broom on the way to work today.

So, here’s a Carnival confession of a negligent mother…

One year, when my son was in first grade or so, he had two carnival dress-up parties to go in one day. The party at his school had the theme, Findus and Peterssen: a series of books about an old man and his mischievous cat living in rural Sweden. At my son’s day care, the theme was outer space.

Other moms were sewing costumes for their children weeks beforehand. I was specialising in procrastination, while they were honing their sewing skills. Two days before the deadline, I had to admit to myself that two costumes were not going to miraculously turn up on our doorstep and so I went to a local shop that sold a variety of costumes.

Since it was so late in the Carnival season, all the good costumes were sold out. The only thing remotely Findus and Pettersen that I could find was a floppy hat made with black-and-white cow patterned cloth with two horns attached. I figured my son could wear this with his black warlock wrap from the year before and - voila, he could go as a Swedish cow.

Later that evening, in a moment of desperation or inspiration, I thought to add some bobbles and copper wire to the hat’s horns. Thus ingeniously, I thought, creating a Hey Diddle Diddle outer space cow. My son was quite sceptical about the metamorphosis of a Swedish cow into an outer space cow, but relented in the end.

Unfortunately, German children do not know Hey Diddle Diddle. They do not know about a cow jumping over the moon. They do know though how to tease an outer space cow orbiting in amongst spaceships, astronauts, Martians, and shooting stars.

I’ve already saved up a bit of money to pay for that session on the couch of my son’s future therapy. It is the very least I can do.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:38 AM | Permalink | Email this post


As usual your story was so well written that I could visualize your little boy in his Hey Diddle Diddle costume trying to explain his mother's sense of the appropriateness of the costume. I don't think he will need therapy; you gave him a great story to tell when he's grown. He will treasure you for it, but don't be surprised if you hear it many times in future years.

Thanks Darlene. I do think that a sense of humour goes a long way towards finding forgiveness.

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