I have bought an embarrasssing hat. It is pink and fluffy, as embarrassing hats should be, and looks ridiculous. I am probably as embarrassing as I found my parents wearing their own embarrassing hats to pick me up from school. I wonder if my daughter will remember it with as much fondness as I now remember those furry Russian numbers and brightly coloured berets.
She has her own embarrassing hats too of course. She has a lion one and a cow one and a cat one and a penguin one, though my current favourite is a hat that makes her head look like a strawberry. No doubt one day she'll look at the photos and cringe. But it won't put her off - one day, I have little doubt, she'll look at her kids and think about her role as a parent and think to herself, what I need, what I must buy, what I absolutely must put on my head, is an embarrassing hat. It's a parenting rite of passage.