Friday, 18 February 2011

Going commando on Mufti Day

My big boys go to the local village school and like most English children wear uniforms to school.  I have to say I am a big fan of the uniform gig.  So simple--they get up and put on grey trousers, a white polo, their school-logo ‘jumper’ (read: sweatshirt for my American friends), and their black shoes.  Some schools even have school-logo jackets and book bags.  It’s a great equalizer and it’s easier on my laundry and my nerves since despite my best efforts my boys prefer their clothes ragged and filthy.
Today however was ‘Super Hero Day’ at school.  Every once in a while the school council will decide they want to raise money for a charity and they sponsor a ‘Mufti Day.‘    Last time this happened I asked every single one of my English friends what in the world “Mufti” stood for and none of them had any idea.  The responses were all along the lines of “You know, MUFTI.  It means the kids pay a pound and get to wear whatever they want.  A MUFTI Day.”  This was about as helpful as answering that cheese tastes, you know, cheesy when asked to describe its flavor.  No fear!  I looked it up on the faithful Wikipedia!  Phew.  According to wiki it’s derived from Arabic and was originally adopted by the British Army in the early 1800’s to describe some robes that the army fellas wore when they weren’t wearing uniforms.  Which works well for today.  Because B went in his bathrobe to school today (read: dressing gown for my English friends).  He was a Jedi.  Jedi (Jedies?  what is the plural form of ‘Jedi’?) wear bathrobes apparently.  Our friend Mark P. wondered if he was perhaps the incredible sleeping man.  B just showed him the lightsaber slung under his robe and gave Mark an incredulous look.  Apparently B got a lot of questions about the robe today which really surprised him.  “It’s the closest I could come to a Jedi cloak!”  Scott suggested perhaps he was Obi Wan before his first cup of coffee.
C went as a ninja.  Of course.  Several months ago he took Scott aside and let him know the news, “Dad, I have something to tell you.  I should have told you a long time ago. a ninja.”  He dresses ninja-style a lot.  Scott taught him how.  Apparently he and his best bud used to dress this way quite often when they were junior highish age, sneak out of their respective houses, and run around in the dark.  Cue my mother instinct freaking out and praying that none of my three choose to follow in their father’s footsteps.  I know.  Dream on, right?  The outfit consists all of navy or black clothes.  Today it was: navy blue trousers, black tshirt and sweatshirt worn inside out to hide the logos, with a navy blue capillene tshirt worn as a mask over his face and black socks with finger holes cut out for gloves.  Oh, and a Samari sword tucked down the back of the sweatshirt.  Gotta have the appropriate weapon at all times.  
I love C’s love for transforming into other characters--he wears his knight cloak and carries his sword when we visit castles and really wanted to wear torn jeans and eye makeup to the school disco last week so he would look like a rock star.  He has an uncanny ability to fashion costumes out of any available items.  He’s been known to be an African 'King of the Wild' (B’s lion hoody towel with a belt, bow and arrow, and sword), a Native American chief (belt, washcloth loincloth and rope around his head), and my personal favorite was the outfit that he fashioned from Scott’s brown scarf--and nothing else.  The tying job was amazing on that one.  
Last weekend C came down in what he wanted to wear for Super Hero Day.  He was bare chested in black trousers, a black belt slung diagonal across his chest and a black bandana tied rambo style on his head.  He did NOT agree that they most likely would not allow him to go bare chested to school.  So understandably I sent Scott in to approve the costumes as they were being laid out last night.  This is the conversation I overheard from the other room:  
Scott:  Under no circumstances am I letting you wear underwear on your head to school.  
C:  But DAD!  It’s part of the mask!  See, I look out of this little slit!  It looks cool!
Scott:  No.  It looks like underwear on your head.  
C:  But it helps keep the other part on.  It’s part of the mask.
Scott:  It doesn’t look like a mask.  It looks like you have underwear on your head.
C:  Ah, I don’t care!
Scott:  Under no circumstances am I letting you wear underwear on your head to school.  
The hilarious thing is this argument juxtaposed with one a couple of years ago.  I was standing in his room where Scott overheard me say:  C, you MUST wear underwear to school.  
C:  But MOM!!  I hate wearing underwear!  
Me:  I know sweetheart, but you change in your classroom with everyone there so you have to have on underwear!  
C:  I don’t mind!  
Me:  I know you don’t, but those are your private parts and you need to keep them private.  It’s not polite to show them to everyone when you change.  
C:  But do I have to wear them at night?  
Me:  Nope.  You can take them off as soon as you get home.  
C: The weekend?  
Me:  Nope.  You can go without on the weekend.  
We visited Dover Castle one time and B was shocked that one of the WWII soldiers would announce to the world that he wasn’t wearing underwear.  What do you mean, B?  I asked.  Look right there, Mama.  It says “Commando.” He’s not wearing any underwear like C.  It was one of those parenting moments where in spite of your best intentions to keep a straight face you are in fact doubled over with laughter.  

Ah those boys.  They’re good for a lot of laughs.  We love C’s creative license when it comes to dressing, but are quite thankful that when it comes to school apart from those pesky Mufti Days there’s no question about what he’s wearing.  


Tara said...

Hi Cori, thanks for the comment on and look forward to reading more of your blog. Great pictures of the costumes. Would have had NO idea what MUFTI day is, and I still can't get used to the whole jumper thing. Jumpers are the #1 fashion faux-pas in my book, (US usage) so the last thing I want to do is admit to owning, let alone wearing one.

Many, many congrats on driving in the UK and jumping through all the hoops. I saw a "Congratuations on passing your driver's test" card last night at PaperChase. If they've got a *card* for it, it might be a serious exam!

kelly said...

Bless young Caid, still think Bridge may have been a hankering to be a batman to a certain bat girl!

And reading the above comment, I now need to know why a jumper is a fashion faux pas? Whats wrong with a jumper? See to me, a sweater sounds wrong, when I layer I want to be toastie not sweaty!

Cori said...

@Kelly, as @Tara said--US Usage. In the US a 'jumper' is a freakishly ugly dress sort of thing that I will admit--I wore in the late 80s and early 90s. The image I have copied below says below it: Please arrange an intervention if you see me wearing this. That about sums it up!

Yes, B was pretty sad that he didn't wear the batman costume. :-)

@Tara I have a great guy here in London who specifically teaches Americans how to pass the test. It was hard, but I passed with flying colors (or colours in our current locale)! Let me know if you want his info.

Cori said...

oh and...there should be a card. I think I should buy myself one now. :-)

Noel said...

I know of two little girls that most definitely wore underwear on their heads.