Image via karmaclothing.co.uk

I am sure that by now you will have met the infamous onesie.

I call them grotesque. One-piece jumpsuits, they are used not just for indoor leisurewear but, on occasion, for outer wear. To one who has lived through the eighties’ jumpsuit, a onesie is a little too close for comfort.

Onesies have passed our immediate family by. But the fashion-conscious crew down the road, my sister’s family – which includes my diminutive five-year old nephew, Big Al, are greatly taken with them. Heavens, if Cheryl Cole has one, then of course the Princesses – my nieces – must follow suit.

Santa was petitioned, then, for three onesies.

Al’s was the softest one-piece jumpsuit you ever did see. Dressed in his little suit he looks, and feels, like a big beaming – if extremely vocal – teddy bear.

He gets home from school and the uniform comes off and the onesie is put on, and all is right with the world. Often I will stand at the door exchanging important information and a small teddy bear on the stairs gives me a high-decibel update from Planet Al: the news of the day.

The other day, Al’s family had rather a fright.

They are having the upstairs of their house remodelled. Al is to have his own, tiny, room. The workmen are wonderful but everything is rather up in the air until the moment they pack their bags, about 4:30pm and get into their big white van, and drive away.

At 4:35, my sister marshalled the kids for tea.

She called them all together: but Al never came.

He’s hiding, the girls giggled. And they searched his favourite hidey holes; but Al was not to be found. They called his name over and over: but there was no answer.

After ten minutes everyone was a little frantic. If he wasn’t in the house, where was he? Β And then it occurred to my sister that the builders had just left. In their great big white van. To drive a long way away with lots of very dodgy substances and tools in the back.

He couldn’t have, could he? He couldn’t have got into the back of the van?

The family burst out of the front door to look for him, hearts hammering, very close to tears, and with not the first idea where a little boy might go exploring.

And then, a sixth sense made the littlest princess pause.”Mummy, what if Al comes back to the house? Someone needs to be there for him…” she sobbed.

They opened the front door so the Princess could stay and wait.

And a very noisy small boy burst out joyously: “Ta-da! I was invisible!”

His three discoverers were torn between outrage and overwhelming relief. “I’ll give you invisible, I thought to myself,” confided my sister later.

The reason for his monkish silence? Al has had a change in diet.He is gluten-free these days. And that means special food, different from everyone else.

It seems that gluten is very tasty.

Al and his onesie had discovered one of those children’s hotel-size packets of cereal behind the sofa in the conservatory. And it seems the meeting was almost spiritual: a chance to catch up on some much-missed gluten. Had he said a word, that packet of cereal would have been taken away and a gluten-free alternative proffered. And so he stayed silent, munching, while the family called for him and puzzled as to his whereabouts.

And so Al was not in a van half way across the county, nor happily exploring the streets, but behind the sofa all the time.

Better fit the onesie with a homing device, methinks.


47 thoughts on “Hiding

  1. So glad Al was found, and hopefully his little gastrointestinal system tolerated his pilfered gluten. As for the onesies–I can guarantee those won’t be making an entrance in my home any time soon. πŸ™‚

  2. A “Big Al” experience is a great way to start my day, but, OH MY, not the best experience to have, indeed. I remember taking my daughter shopping when she was about 4 and she simply vanished when I had let go of her hand for a second to grab some clothing on a hanger. Your heart really does jump up into your throat and panic is immediate. Found her in a very short time under a rack of clothes that she was hanging out in. Whew!!

    A tracker is a definite yes for “Big Al”.

  3. They have “tot tracking devices” in bright colorful watches, I believe. Designed to prevent misplaced and lost children.

    Glad that Al was just “invisible.”

  4. Oh my! Not a fun big Al tale, for his family at least πŸ˜€
    Our grandson did it once – he was barely three at the time – and we found him hiding in his parents bathtub upstairs, when we were near ready to call the cops!

  5. Whew, I was worried there for a minute.

    It never occurred to me that a onesie was a version of an adult jumpsuit. But then, I thought onesies were just outfits for infants. (Don’t tell Al I said that.)

  6. Please tell Big Al I understand his pinings. I try to eat GF, but I simply must have a piece of gluteny bread every once in a while. I must. It just isn’t the same otherwise. I keep telling myself just a little bit won’t hurt me, but last week, I overdid it in a big way and paid.

  7. Oh that scamp! I can just feel the family’s panic rising…I’ve been there myself, and it’s amazing how instinctual that panic really is! I hope he enjoyed his forbidden fruit because something tells me he won’t be having treats any time too soon! Hope you’re feeling well this week, Kate! πŸ™‚

  8. Big Al. Always a story with him, isn’t there, Kate? I keep thinking, someday, when he is a bit older, a book series. The Adventures of Big Al. Having had that type of scare in my time, I understand your sister and the princesses’ panic. Thank goodness he wasn’t in the van. Cute story about a cute boy.

    1. The van didn’t bear thinking about, Penny: though as soon as Al is uncomfortable, he makes his discomfort patently clear. He does not suffer silently. I wonder how far down the road the van would have got?

  9. Poor Big Al, deprived of the very thing that makes foods chewy gooey. I’m sure that was a spiritual experience, no matter how much it scared the family.

  10. Oh, naughty Al. Though it is awfully difficult to be the only one on a special regimen which doesn’t allow for hotel packets of yummy cereal.

    On the subject of onesies, I have nothing to add save a massive shudder of distaste.

  11. That’s a frightful thing for any parent to go thru. I briefly lost our youngest many years ago in a department store. She’d been with her sister and me. Then she was gone and we were frantic. Moments later a page came over the store’s speakers alerting me that our “lost” little girl was safely upstairs in the office.

    Glad it turned out all right, and that Big Al’s scam didn’t cause any tummy problems.

  12. Back in the day, in my senior year of high school, I got to sleep over with a classmate as queer as a nine dollar bill, i.e. as queer as myself. Her parents were away visiting her brother. We had the house all to ourselves. When bedtime rolled around, I eagerly awaited her to exit the bathroom. I was clad only in the drool from my tongue. When she emerged from the bathroom, she was clad in a bright green velour onesie. Instant lady-boner killer.

    Onto more current and pressing matters, it came as a relief that mischief-maker Al was found safe and sound, just hidden away chowing down contraband. But I must admit that I actually laughed out loud when Sister Kate said, β€œI’ll give you invisible, I thought to myself.” That sounded like a direct quote from my very own mother.

    1. The green velour onesie- ouch. And Al: well, he has a way of just emerging and trusting everything in the garden is rosy…we were just really glad he was safe. And cross. And glad.

  13. We had onesies when I was young – about 70 years ago. They were called siren suits, and we wore them at night. If the air raid sirens went, we were picked up straight out of bed and taken to the air raid shelter. They were wooly with a hood.

  14. Oh, this whole thing made me laugh – I’m reading your blog backwards, so I immediately thought he was claiming the power from the Food Force (or whatever their name), oy! A little gluten snitch, don’t blame him, I wouldn’t have faired well as a child on this diet. ~ a

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