(I know this will be written about over and over, but I just had to add my story to the mix.)
It is that time of year again; the time of year when we celebrate reading, by dressing up as our favourite book characters, reading stories to our children and their friends, taking photos of reading in unusual places. In fact, anything book worthy goes for this one week of the year. I am lucky that mine both love a book; they don’t exactly challenge themselves, but they enjoy a read and I’m happy with that. They love dressing up and have wardrobes and drawers full of outfits, so you would think WBD wold be easy for is, so why is it so difficult every year?
This year the themes have been selected as Unicorn and Penguin; no actual books have been picked, that is job one; match the outfit with the book. Something tells me it should be the other way around, but what the hell, I will go with the flow, anything for a quiet life.
“OK. You want to be a penguin; which books have penguins in?” I provide her with a selection of penguin related reads and she goes for one she had as a toddler, which surprisingly, I just can’t find anymore, who knows where that could be??! It has few words and touchy-feely pictures of penguins on sledges. This is my 6-year-old, who is in Year 2, I think the school might be expecting something a little more highbrow from her. She has recently starting reading Roald Dahl, but can I find a Penguin in Roald Dahl? No! Eventually, I remember Poles Apart, which I know she loves, sadly we don’t have that book, so off to a well know online retailer we go and order said book. Expense no.1.
Now to the unicorn – this time we head off to a well know high street book shop and breathe in the wonderful smell of new books, or at least I do. She finds the toys and says, “Let me know when you find one.” I find a fairy / unicorn book that looks like her kind of thing; now bored of the very small toy display, she would agree to anything and OKs Sophia and Rainbow, she will be Rainbow. No disrespect to the wonderful institution of book shops, but I can get it cheaper online, so a quick photo is snatched and we very unsubtly zoom out of the shop. Quick app search and 30 seconds later, the book is ordered at half the price, with the threat of no chocolate for a month if she doesn’t get it read in time. Expense no.2
The really frustrating thing is that they both have a unicorn and penguin onesie, so you would think, great, job done, but NO, they want new outfits in a more dress up style. Tutus seem to be in at the moment, so I suggest a rainbow Tutu with leggings and a white top. Unicorn girl goes for that, so off to the online auction site, yes you know the one. Oh no, they are all in China and will take weeks to get here; oh great, there’s one vaguely closer and can arrive in time, click, click and there is expense no. 3.
Now, to the issue of white leggings and a white top – unsurprisingly, we don’t tend to stock up on white clothes in our house. White leggings ordered and a suitable white top purchased from a high street store. Quite a lot of effort already put into this, I then buy strips of ribbon for a tail, which have now been sewn (with my stunning sewing skills!) to the tutu. Expenses no. 4 and 5. I found a box of discarded hair chalks in a drawer; with her long hair I will create a unicorn mane, well that is what my head is telling me, let’s see how it turns out on the day.
Back to penguin girl; already having declined the onesie idea, I set off to Pinterest and offer her a few options. It turns out that penguin outfits are a bit boyish for her style, so we settle on a more girlie tutu styled version. Another tutu ordered, this time in black, so there is more choice available. Black leggings already in the drawer…. Woo hoo, I’m saving money. I find her a furry black waistcoat in a charity shop and buy a new black top, justifying it by saying she can wear it again – she won’t though, as she doesn’t like black. I then find a fluffy white top to sew onto the waist coat as the penguin’s stomach. Orange felt is purchased to make feet. The total is adding up now. She sees the felt and instantly discards the foot option; I can see the seeds of doubt sprouting in her mind, something tells me that the penguin option is not so appealing anymore. I suggest a change of outfit, but she declines the offer, so we continue with a dress rehearsal. Both seem enthusiastic when wearing the outfits, but disaster strikes on Tuesday morning (WBD being Thursday). The expression is there; I know there is a problem, so I ask the question that I really don’t want the answer too. Yes, it is exactly as I thought; penguin girl would rather be a unicorn. So, Sugarlump and The Unicorn, it’s your time to shine. Book sorted at no extra cost, but what to do about the outfit with 48 hours to go. I glance at the class messages and see all the amazing planning that is going into this event and a feeling of panic starts to spread through me. Quick, back to popular online shopping site, order goes in for tutu and leggings. Tuesday is fully booked up with stuff to do, I have no time to think about anything else. Evening comes, I check my delivery notes and, disaster…… they will not arrive in time. So much for the membership thing that promises 24-hour delivery! I’ve got to now fit in a trip to the shops to see what I can do with 1 day to go, which unicorn no.1 kindly pointed out when I said I was in a panic about the outfit.
In between drop off, pick up and the day job, I squeeze in a trip to the biggest supermarket I’ve ever been too (seriously, the place is huge; I love a browse around a shop, but even I’ve had enough about ¾ of the way around), several options of leggings and tops purchased, I head home to collect the small people. Arriving home, I find that popular online retailer has, in fact, stuck to their bargain and delivered the unicorn items. On arriving home from school and seeing my selection of costume items, she has the cheek to ask if there is a tail for the outfit! Luckily there is ribbon attached already which looks like a tail…… result! All is fine, she is satisfied.
At the 11th hour, the outfits are ready, the books are packed into bags, just the hair to sort out now on the day.
(The one bonus is that I get chance to do the hair again, I’m going to get more ribbons, the chalk is not bright enough)
It’s the morning of WBD, will the school open or not in snow? The class chat lines are open, eager with the anticipation of a PJ day. I keep watching and checking for an update; our snow is a bit pathetic though, so it is unlikely that the school day will be cancelled. Eventually, we can hold off no longer, they are desperate to get dressed up. One last check; no news, so off we go to get ready. Outfits on, hair done, come downstairs and there it is, the text message, but not the one you think. The school is open, but WBD is postponed! The chat lines are on fire with reports of children being dragged kicking and screaming out of their costumes to get into their uniforms. Some parents are indignant and are refusing to change their children, so the school run is a mish mash of uniforms, regular clothes, costumes, half and halfs, even some of the staff are still dressed up. Unicorn 1 and 2 took it all pretty well, they got changed at record speed and went into school without a murmur, I think they could tell that Mummy was on the edge.
I love the idea of World Book Day; reading is so important, and despite the pressure to find the right costume, it is worth it to see them so excited, look at they how cute they loo too! But this year I am so over World Book Day and may be opening the gin at 9.30 in the morning!