This morning, when my husband asked me what I had planned at work, I replied: “I’m turning a sheet of cardboard into a Native Indian Camp using sand, rabbit straw and PVA glue. Then I’m making a 3D totem pole and action figures. The children made their own teepees.”
He looked a bit incredulous (but he’s heard a lot more convoluted) then laughed: “You don’t go to work, you go to playschool”. And I have to admit that at times it does feel a bit like working behind the scenes at Blue Peter.
It’s also approaching ‘that time’ of the year again - when I’m asked to weave a bit of special magic at school.
Where in the past I’ve made a library out of a stage, a leg of lamb from a piece of foam and a pair of tights; a witch squashed under a wooden house from much the same things and where I’ve turned ten children into trees and twelve little girls into sunflowers.
I’ve made a Chinese dragon out of a pink sheet, raffia ribbons and four excitable girls and when the enormity of trying to paint an Aladdin backdrop turned me into a quivering, snotty mess last year, I learned when it was okay to say ‘enough’.
This year we are to transform the stage into the ballroom scene from Beauty and the Beast; make cutlery out of children, turn one boy into a grandfather clock, another into a mirror and make sure the Beast’s ‘head’ stays put.
We have the added complication of making 4 framed 'works of art' which will be smashed over one actor's head by another every night whilst ensuring no violations of Health and Safety regulations are infringed.
It’s not going to be easy, but it’s always (in hindsight, anyway) a lot of fun. And very, VERY messy…