Along with a lasting dislike of tinned tuna, fear of fancy dress was a legacy of Sophie’s childhood.
She did not understand why her mother, generally adept at parenting, had failed her so dismally in this regard. Neighbouring kids would turn up to trick or treat or parties looking the part. But her Roman toga was just a pillowcase cinched around her waist. Her sea-creature was an aquatic-themed shower curtain with a slit for her head and a (well-used) loofah shoved into her hand. It was the first time she remembered feeling ashamed.
Determined not to repeat her mother’s shortcomings, she’d start trawling Google for costumes in August, guesstimating how much they’d grow by October. She made the decisions for them because Halloween simply did not need another Harry Potter and his blasted scar.
Lily and Oscar did not share her enthusiasm, though they tolerated it. As long as they over-dosed on Haribo, they were happy.
She’d send her mother a photo. She’d try not to mind when all she’d get back was a smiley face or worse, that photo of herself, the year her mother had wrapped peach coloured loo roll around her, told her they were both brilliant mummies, and sent her out in the rain.