This is a bit of a cop out, as I decided to do it very, very far from home. So none of the social embarrassment of having to explain myself on the school run, but instead a host of other issues, trying to retain the integrity of Bananaman, without sacrificing warmth or safety on the slopes.
We told the children last night that for the next day of skiing, Mummy would be Bananaman. I love how children accept such things as if they were entirely normal. Why not, after all? They were actually disappointed that I hadn’t brought superhero costumes for them aswell. (Why didn’t I think of that? It would have been a whole lot less embarrassing for me, and they would have loved it!)
Still, off we went to the most populous resort of the Giant Mountains, me in full Bananaman garb, for absolutely no reason at all. (Thank you, Ferg, for suggesting it). But the odd thing was, it drew almost no reaction from anyone. Which made it possibly more embarrassing! In the general way, fancy dress is a conversation starter – people want to know why, or what you are supposed to be, or what the occasion is, or something. The Czechs did not raise an eyebrow. A ski school of kids may have tittered. One man shouted ‘Superman’ as he shot past me. But in the main, studied nonchalance. So little comment did I draw that I frequently forgot I was wearing it.
I had a brief bout of euphoria, snaking my way down a red run, cape billowing in the wind, with 3 well behaved and beautifully coordinated children descending the mountain in my wake, some of them almost smiling… But that brief snapshot was notable for being the only 10 minutes of the morning when no one was whining.
For much of the day though, my garb was entirely forgettable. Barring the odd glance from my other half which clearly indicated that I am a massive tool, most people couldn’t care less. It was a day on the slopes like any other, pulling small people out of the snow, bile rising at the endless bickering about who would sit with whom on the chairlift.
I drew a few more looks in the restaurant at lunchtime. Children couldn’t help but stare, but still, zero banter. The serving staff were plainly unimpressed by superheros, particularly those who couldn’t order drinks in the right language.
An amusing moment post lunch. The plate of goulash and half-litre of apple juice each prompted a family visit to the facilities. Each child piled into a cubicle, wrestling with their many layers of clothing. A Czech teenage girl was not far behind us, and she opened the door to the first cubicle (none of them had locks), to find a small child having a dump. She withdrew hastily and opened the second cubicle – in which another small child was having a dump. She opened the third, only to be faced with – you guessed it, a THIRD small child having a dump. Shaking her head in disbelief she opened the fourth door – and there was Bananaman! She withdrew in considerable confusion.
Our afternoon was altogether jollier. Fuelled with goulash and mars bars we attacked the red run several more times in higher spirits, and only abandoned play when all the lifts had shut. A satisfying day after all. And happily Bananaman is now done, the only worry being that I have promised 3 more Bananaman outfits in smaller sizes, and another family Superhero outing, sometime soon…