Not a hair out of place

She has a bit of a hissy fit [translation = tantrum]. It's not that I don't take them seriously, she has her troubles too as she's not eight yet, though I doubt if 8 is some kind of magic number. [translationi = typicallly developing siblings get a bad break] It's more than her grievances are not of the same magnitude to rise to the status of one of the boys' meltdowns. More importantly there is usually a kernel of rationality in her complaint which helps a great deal. In between her rambling protest, I gather that her jumper [translation = sweater] is not cool. I recall which child I am talking to and dismiss the temperature option. I remember [almost] instantaneously that by 'cool' she means ‘fashionably acceptable’ by her current peer group, without straining my brain cells too much. I know it is not cool, but that is because is it a school uniform jumper and she is going to school in the appropriate attire. That is what a school uniform is all about, therefore I am trying to determine the root cause of the problem. That's why it's called a uniform, 'the same.' [translation = uni]If everyone wore different things then by definition, it

Further grumbles are muttered, where she advises me that ALL the other children are wearing cool jumpers. But of course, now it makes perfect sense. I remember seeing a flyer explaining that they were clamping down on school uniform and would start enforcing school policy. I have no concerns in this matter. School uniform is a gift to the parent, and indirectly to the child. I already have forty years experience of school uniform, a couple of decades for me and a couple of decades for senior daughter.

The joy of school uniform if you are a parent is laundry control, always a high point. [translation = draconian rule and no arguments.] The agony of school uniform for the wearer, is the inability to express yourself through your appearance. [translation = horray! There is no individuality. Horray! You are all the same. Horray! Fashion does not exist. Horray! You are sexless at aged 7. Horray! Your financial circumstances are a mystery. Horray!]

Back in the good old days of yore, uniform was truly uniform. Deviant children such as myself, senior daughter, junior daughter, and anyone else cursed with school uniform, find that their imaginative powers come into play, to make small variations on a theme. [translation = a longer or shorter hem-line, socks that might have a small emblem that no-one will notice, a tie at a jaunty angle, the list is endless, but also futile.]

When Sister Theresa comes up to you aged 11, rips your tie from your neck and advises you that you 'look like a harlot,' when a 'harlot' is an unfamiliar term, [translation = any relation to the ocelot?] you sort of know that the road to hell fire and everlasting damnation is your only path.

Alternative terminology though the years, affirms that uniform is not a choice, it is a straight jacket;

“Those are the shoes of a street walker!” Aren't all shoes, by definition, the shoes of someone who walks on streets?

“Mark my words carefully girl, fallen socks mean fallen morals!” Pardon?

“Dirty shoes mean a dirty mind!” That's almost defiantly true, I can feel that one ought to be true.

“And make no mistake, the state of your undergarments is no mystery to Him.” Oh dear!

“You look like a Christmas tree, take them off this instant!” Ear rings are a little obvious, even if they're stuck on with glue.

“Cover your modesty!” Which bit is my 'modesty?''

“A girl without a clean handkerchief will never be ready for anything!” It's all so confusing.

“I tell you truly now, a hole in your clothing is an opportunity for the devil.” Which holes? The proper holes or the extra one's or both? How can I have been on this planet for 11 years and not know all this stuff?

“Good Catholics don't ask so many questions?”

Absolutely spot on [translation = Ain't that the truth.]

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