When the Children and I got our new Winter hats, we were thrilled. I mean who wouldn't want a hat that is an Angry Bird, or a Panda or a Husky? What do you mean the majority of the adult population of the world? Don't you know how warm these hats are? They are like Deer Stalkers, only furry!
I didn't think twice about wearing it around Birmingham. I didn't think twice about wearing it on the School Run. I smiled at all the children (like I normally do) and had a shared grin with the parents brave enough to make eye contact and a right giggle with those parents who know me and the daft things I do, heck half of them have seen me in my swimming costume on my Instagram account.
Everything was going fine, until one person piped up.
"Gosh Pippa, you're so brave wearing that in public"
Errr, No. I'm cold and this is warm and it's winter and it's the best hat in the world. What's brave about wearing it?
Then a few hours later, someone else said.
"Oh we were chatting about you and your hat earlier. We said we wished we were as brave as you to not care what others thought about us."
Erm. What? I'm supposed to care what other people think about what I'm wearing? For crying out loud, I barely care about what I'm wearing and I never notice what other people are wearing.
It struck a nerve I didn't realise was a nerve though and I started thinking about it. Was I wrong? Should I have been caring more about what other people thought about me? In the end I realised that no, no I shouldn't care about what other people think about me and my hat, it's my hat and my head and I can decide what does or doesn't go on it.
Wearing my hat over the last three days on the School Run has given so many children and adults a reason to smile in the morning. I've stopped and talked to people walking their dogs. I've stopped and talked to parents who know me as a Parent Governor, but haven't ever spoken to me. I've spoken to Neighbours, Community Support Officers and random strangers who've got more courage than me and will strike up a conversation with a stranger.
The only time, I did feel awkward, or rather worried about how others saw me was when I was introduced to some parents who'd come for an open day at the School. They were looking to see if our School would be a good fit for them, and when they were introduced to Mrs Wright, one of our Parent Governors, I quickly removed my hat. I probably had really bad hat hair, but I thought that was a better impression than the one given by wearing a novelty hat!
The parents didn't bat an eyelid.
The hat fits and I'm going to continue to wear it.