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? 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.