My son once slept in a flowery nightie, now he dresses like a gangster

LORRAINE CANDY: My son once slept in a flowery nightie, now he dresses like a gangster

Growing up fast: Lorraine's five-year-old son now goes to school dressed like a gangster (file photo)

Growing up fast: Lorraine's five-year-old son now goes to school dressed like a gangster (file photo)

My five-year-old son has suddenly started to take school rather seriously. Joining Year One from his Reception class has prompted quite a transformation in the boy who once called himself Princess Argentina and slept in a floral nightie.

His new, more professional, persona is more Dragons’ Den Peter Jones than Barbie Fantasia, one of his previous character references.

‘I have been voted on to the school council as class representative,’ he told me proudly one day last week.’

I will need the following: five white shirts with cufflinks (he’s obsessed with cufflinks and blazers), five smart trousers with no pattern on them and a longer, less puffy, more smarter probably wool, winter coat please Mum.’

He is now going to school dressed like something out of a Guy Ritchie film or The Godfather.

has also volunteered for the choir and put his name on the waiting list
for science club (he would have had a place already if someone in his
family had remembered to fill in the form during the school holidays.
This person will probably be fired by the mini Richard Branson soon).

has proven something of a disappointment for him though as they don’t
‘do anything by Beyonce or Adele’ (his two main musical influences). And
there is no dancing, which he is rather partial to.

industrious and smartly dressed quest for self-improvement also applies
to other members of the family and he is teaching Baby Mabel, aged 16
months, to read.

is testing his new-found professional patience and man-management skills
given she spends most of her time on the kitchen table jumping up and
down shouting ‘give it’ loudly at everyone else going about their
domestic business.

(Yes, yes, I know she shouldn’t be on the table but you’re welcome to come round and wrestle her off. You have a black belt in karate I presume No Well then I don’t fancy your chances much).

When he is not getting dressed for school council, he is talking about school council.

He explains that he asked the class to vote for him because he is a ‘good listener’. Which is true. And then informs me the other Year One class voted for their rep because he was ‘good at skateboarding’ which makes me wonder what happens in these meetings.

More from Lorraine Candy…

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LORRAINE CANDY: Put your clothes on, Baby Mabel, or Mummy will set fire to your trampoline

LORRAINE CANDY: I love my job but not as much as I love a tiny person who smells of milk


His first manifesto suggestion is a bubble machine in the playground and I like his thinking. I want one in the lounge, but Mr Candy won’t hear of it.

In a surprising acceptance of authority Henry’s sister Gracie-in-the-middle, aged eight, has this term been voted prefect for her class. We are, of course, delighted (intrigued, but delighted) given Gracie’s admirable laissez faire attitude to school rules.

I would love to sit in on any meeting that required a logical approach from a newly installed prefect with Gracie’s eccentric but loveable traits (it would be like Bubble from AbFab during a Cabinet meeting about the economy, I suspect).

She lost her prefect badge two days after being given it and on the same day somehow lost most of her school uniform after PE. ‘This is not a good start,’ I tell her. ‘You cannot be a prefect in your PE kit. It’s no kind of example to set.’

‘I’ll be fine,’ she tells me. ‘People just like me so it’ll all work out’.

Predictably, as a working mum I am ridiculously grateful for any evidence of success in my offspring — it alleviates a little of the maternal guilt.

I don’t really care too much about exam results, or prizes, but the notion that my children are generally liked by their classmates cheers me up as I go about my working day. I must be doing something right if they get voted for at school, mustn’t I

And as Gracie pointed out when I praised her: ‘Getting votes for things is good, Mum, it means I may win X Factor one day.’

High hopes indeed.

Lorraine Candy is editor-in-chief of Elle magazine.