Saturday, 27 February 2016

The Five stages of World Book Day

OK so it's World Book Day this week (it is isn't it, or have I just made that up?  I definitely saw an email the other week, I am sure).  And as this is something that I'm very familiar with, what with being a mum of primary school aged children, I am completely prepared to start tearing my hair out.

The thing with World Book Day is that it sounds simple enough, dress child in character from favourite book, send child into school, child has fun and (hopefully) wins prize for clever costume.  The end.

But it never quite turns out that way here.

Every year, no matter how good my intentions are, my World Book Day dreams fall flat.  Here are the five stages of World Book Day parental meltdown.

1.  Acknowledgement 

*Ding* There's the email.  World Book Day is in two weeks time.  You know the drill - child, favourite book character, costume, yadda, yadda, yadda... *yawns*

Accidentally delete File the email for later, two weeks is loads of time. And, this year, you have plenty of cool ideas.

2.  Excitement 

Kids come home from school after having had the World Book Day pep talk by their teacher.  "Can I be Spider-Man? What about Super Mario? Or a Pokemon?" they shriek with wide-eyed excitement.

You patiently explain that this is not what World Book Day is about.  They need to choose a character from a favourite book and helpfully you have a few ideas planned already.  You ask your children would they like to be:

1.  Aliens Love Underpants (strictly your favourite kids book not theirs, plus the costume would be piss easy to make)?
2.  Thing One and Thing Two from The Cat in the Hat (you've been through the stress and pain of twin pregnancy/childbirth, it must be the law somewhere that you get at least one cute twin-based costume once in your/their lives)?
3.  Funny Bones (essentially just skeleton onesie and a hat - because you are really that lazy and creatively challenged when it comes to dressing up costumes)?

All these you would be pleased with and secretly quite excited about.

World Book Day - The dream...

...vs the reality.  Dammit.


3.  Disappointment 

They don't want to be any of those things.  Not even Thing One and Thing Two (FFS why?  It would be perfect.  This is so unfair).

They want to be Spider-Man, Super Mario or a Pokemon.  You explain again about the book thing.  Several times through gritted teeth.  Eventually one child points out that Santa bought them a Pokemon Annual at Christmas and that it is in fact a book.

You cannot argue with this and in any case life is too short.  Still got loads of time to change their minds anyway...

4.  Panic

World Book Day is now 24 hours away.  There appear to be no off the shelf Pokemon costumes to be bought anywhere and you are buggered if you can make anything that a) will remotely look like a ruddy Pikachu and b) will be good enough to win a prize in assembly.

You beg your children to please choose a costume that mummy can make (pretty please)?  We could make alien masks to go with the underpants, it might even be fun?  You might even let them get out the glitter (don't be silly, everyone has their limits...).  You quickly come to the sad conclusion that you are clutching at straws and finally snap with the stress of it all.

"It is optional, you know?" You say.  "Fine," they both retort, "we don't want to dress up anyway".

Problem solved.

5.  Walk of Shame

You see, this is the biggest problem with reaching a stalemate with your own offspring.  One of you (usually you) always ends up looking like a wally (or a Where's Wally for WBD related humour).

On the morning of World Book Day you do the walk of shame across the school playground and into the classroom.  Naturally yours are the only children not in fancy dress, and as the tiny Elsas, Olafs, and assorted superheroes all dance around the room with their respective annuals and books, you can feel the other parents judging you silently.

FML

You only wanted to do things properly.

You decide that you probably should have conceded to the Spider-Man costume or even liberated the face paints for an impromptu Pikachu (try saying that after a couple of G&Ts...) and vow that next time you will be better at this.

*starts tearing own hair out again*

Or maybe you'll start making those Thing One and Thing Two costumes right now.  You are absolutely 100% sure the kids will go for that next year...*


*  They won't.  Make a mental note to stash some face paints in the glove compartment of the car, for last minute Pokemon based alterations to costumes instead.

7 comments:

  1. Yes it is Word Book day this week....lol
    This made me laugh out loud.
    We are sorted this year. My youngest is actually wearing something different from a princess dress. I won a giveaway on Twitter for a World Book Day costume....hehehe

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    1. That's a result! We're still at stalemate here - not sure either of them want to dress up and I'm running out of suggestions. Argh!!

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  2. I'm so glad I found your piece....I've conceded begrudgingly, to daughter dressing up as Misty (Pokemon trainer)..she has read most of the Johto Journey books (amazingly they do exist)so I couldnt put up much of an argument ... I'm convinced other people's children will be dressed as Stephen Hawking or Anne Frank but you're right.. Pokemon outfit still beats the look on your child's face when they walk into the playground in their uniform to see everyone dressed up as Elsa and Ironman.. So Thank you for reminding me what's important xx

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    1. Aww, thanks for your comment! Pokemon trainer is a great idea! As long as she's happy, who really cares? It's all about encouraging reading, isn't it? xx

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  3. I do love world book day but we didn't do it this year at school. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea and store costumes or any costumes your kid is happy in is good in my book. Plus not every kid likes to dress up. Hugs x

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    1. That's very true - I wish people were a bit more relaxed about it. Our school were very good this year and let kids dress down if they wanted to :)

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