Flea's school is having a party, and so this week, her teacher asked her to take some party clothes in to school in preparation.
Flea duly packed her Spiderman backpack with her favourite pirate jumper and skate trousers, along with the trainers that flash when she stamps her feet. Perfect.
Except her teacher disagreed. And when I collected Flea from school it was gently suggested that ALL the other little girls would be wearing dresses and Mrs E (the headteacher) would really like it if Flea wore a dress, too.
"I don't have any dresses," said Flea.
The teacher made a sad face and looked at me. Instantly I felt guilty – it's a reflex whenever anyone in a position of authority looks at me.
"I guess we could buy one," I mumbled.
The teacher smiled at me and nodded. "I think that would be lovely."
So after school we traipsed off to Mothercare and looked at some dresses. Flea chose five to try on and went into the changing room. Twenty seconds later something unexpected happened – Flea looked at herself in the mirror, twirled around and exclaimed: "Mummy, I look SO beautiful!"
This from a child who has not worn a dress since she was two years old. One day I'll share the photo I took of her on that day – her scowl could have wilted flowers at fifty paces. But today? Today she looked like this:
Quite the transformation, eh?
In case you're worried that the transformation into respectable girl-dom is complete, I can reassure you that Flea is still – well – she's still Flea. As demonstrated by my daughter's response (below) to the PERFECTLY reasonable question: "Can Mummy take a picture of you looking so lovely?"
The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?