I have a not-so-secret weakness for Mini Boden. It’s not just that the clothes are incredibly cute (and I’ll admit I’m already looking forward to the day when Elma is big enough to wear Kitty’s hand-me-down blue flowery dungarees), it’s that the catalogue lulls me into a false sense of calm and tidiness. Little people in Boden don’t have cluttered houses. Little people in Boden are always smilingly sweet to their sisters. Little people in Boden don’t get overtired, eat all their broccoli, and do not under any circumstances consider chocolate a major food group.
In that moment I can see us all, dressed head to toe in the latest season. The girls are smiling angelically, and both looking at the camera, and I’m wearing clothes that are completely clean in all directions, my make up is perfect, and somehow my hair has an actual “do”, rather than being tied up with a Hello Kitty bobble with a big red plastic apple attached. It’s very silly, and a little bit fun, and usually Kitty joins in too, flipping through the pages, “pretty dress …. NOT pretty dress…”.
And then came their latest plan. A plan that involved art, but no cleaning up; that let me spend a lovely hour or so chatting to my biggest daughter about pirates and rainbows; that once in a blue moon gives us a chance to win a Boden voucher; and that gave £1 to a great charity:
Design your own Mini-Boden catalogue cover and Boden will give £1 to Kids Company; what’s not to like.
It’s been pouring with rain today and bitterly cold to boot, so while Elma napped, Kitty and I hustled through the tidying up and sat down in front of the computer. Thanks to a lot of practice at the tidying up game on the nursery computer she’s not too bad with a mouse, so she did almost all of the picture herself, with occasional use of Mama’s manual dexterity when it came to getting just the right size and just the right place for all her different bits and bobs, and even that was under very strict supervision – she certainly knows her own mind (no comment on where she gets it from!).
And this is what she made (with one final little PicMonkey tweak by Mama to change her name):
She had a whale of time creating it (sorry, couldn’t resist) and I think she’d make a million more given half the chance. The Boden site asked for a potted history of the newest island on the planet, and this was Kitty’s explanation:
“It just started with a rainbow and it’s just beautiful! Pirates live there! We made the sun pink and then we made it yellow again! [Mama: would you like to go there?] YES! In my balloon!”
Boden are going to print the first 10,000 as individual catalogue covers and as I think we’ve got half a chance of being inside that number I asked little miss whether she’d like it printed and posted to her. Her first comment to H as soon as he walked through the door was:
“Daddy! Some boys and girls are going to print my pitcher and send it to me and it’s pink!”
Definitely an afternoon well spent, and it’s open until 7 March if you fancy playing around. I can also promise they have colours other than pink. Purple, for example!