Today I’m wearing my FDP’s (Friday Disco Pants). They’re a kalaedoscopic triumph from Sandro and made of some sort of shiny Spandex that magically flatters even the most unruly derrière. Think palm trees, galaxies and rainbows on acid and you’ve got some idea of the power of these trews. If My Little Pony created a pair of pants that epitomised the brand’s multi-hued DNA, these would be them.
Someone in the office said: “I thought you were a teenager from behind” – the face obviously revealed two years of sleepless nights and general urchin toil. While a kid on the street outside Le Pain Quotidien (safe, middle class, Boden-wearing central) pointed and asked, “why has that lady done a funny drawing on her legs?”
Now, the FDP’s have always drawn a crowd. I wore them pre-pregnancy on special occasions – birthday, best friend’s birthday, the Postman’s birthday, that time when Kerry Katona won I’m a Celebrity – and I wore them during pregnancy because they reminded me of Friday Disco times as I was waddling about Tesco’s.
But since having my daughter (nearly two years ago), they’ve been buried underneath layers of safer fashion accoutrements – the boyfriend jean, the dungaree, the Breton top and a heap of greying Primark T’s. Unknowingly, these maternal stalwarts have gradually bullied the FDP’s out of the wardrobe.
The reason? Much like my five-year-old self in the playground, I subconsciously wanted to fit in. The FDP’s aren’t the sort of pants that seal the deal on new mama friendships at Baby Bounce. They don’t say, “I’m just getting by”; they say, “I’m getting high”. They’re not as endearing as a distressed (the name says it all) denim pant; they’re not as down with the kids as a dungaree get-up.
I just didn’t want to look like a trussed-up mother clinging to the days of jaegerbombs and tales of Ri-Ri and TomKat in the latest issue of Grazia.
Until my daughter dragged them out of the wardrobe (having released almost every other garment in the process) and held them up for me to wear. With Disney-esque eyes, she hollered, “Mama, mama, mama” and then, “Mama-aaaaaa-aaaaa” when I didn’t immediately swoop upon them like a well-trained Crufts contender.
So to keep her schtum (this is nothing compared to some of the things I’ve endured in the name of peace – there was a face-painting Sudocrem episode), I slipped into those jazzy, multi-hued leggings that were made for dark disco nights on nasty narcotics, not bright playground days fuelled by a discarded, half-chewed Babybel. And I went to the park.
I don’t know if I scuppered any potential lifelong friendships – there was a curmudgeonly-looking nanny with her troupe and a pale-faced and wan Dad there, so I assume not – but it sure felt good to relight that psychedelic fire. More than anything, the incredible, achingly funny and big-hearted mothers – the sort that have you snorting tea through your nose with laughter – I’ve met through Project Procreation would be all over the FDP’s like a relentless nappy rash.
It was just time for a slight re-brand: cue the PDP’s (Playground Disco Pants).