For a few days now Skye has been arriving home from school with a sprinkling of glitter across her eyelids and cheeks. I had put it down to some messy art project but this morning discovered that this was not the case.
She ran into the classroom, wriggling out of her coat and leaving it on the floor in her excitement. Two little girls ran over to her, they all squealed, hugged, did a little jiggy dance together and then…
One little girl whipped a glittery lip gloss out of her pocket and brandished it in front of Skye. The three girls became still, eyes wide and serious, then slowly with the utmost care they took turns applying the gloss to each others cheeks and eyelids.
While I watched I had to chant to myself, ‘she is only four, not fourteen. Still four, not fourteen…’ Then my chant was broken by the teacher threateningly clearing her throat and beckoning for me to come closer.
“Your daughter does not have a bib,” she proclaimed.
A bib? Why would a fourteen, er, four year old need a bib? Bibs are for babies, not schoolkids, I thought. Aah, obviously I had got it wrong again, I must remember that things are done diffently in Italy. In a country where it is considered normal for a man to live with his Mamma until he is married of course it would be normal for a class of four to six year olds to still wear bibs while they eat.
“A bib?” I said as disdainfully as possible, “but we stopped using them years ago! She doesn’t wear bibs anymore.”
“Well she is the only child without one and she felt left out yesterday,” said the teacher , followed by an audible ‘hhmph!’
“Fine, I’ll see if I still have one around,” I sighed.
Back home I rummaged through the cupboard next to the fridge. At the very back, buried beneath some old teatowels, next to the strange shaped shot glasses that nobody can drink out of without dribbling, I found it. The bib of all bibs, never been used and still waiting for its moment of glory. I present to you, proudly modelled by Boomerang, the Sushi Bib…
I proudly folded it and placed it in her school bag, happy knowing that if my girl has to wear a baby bib, at least she will be the most trendy bib wearer in the school.