Its that time of year again, no not Christmas. Or Easter. Or Sports Day. No, it’s World Book Day. On Thursday to be precise. (yes, Thursday for all those sitting thinking- World Book Day? Shit!).
Another day added to the never ending excuse to bankrupt parents both morally and physically in the wallet. Last time, it was Wear Your Pyjamas to School for Children in Need. Before that it was Princess Day(!) and there was Jubilee day, and of course, last years World Book Day.
Usually, I leave all that crap to the last minute and end up, the day before, at Asda buying whatever costume I can find that will fit the Brat it is intended for. Last year, Mini went as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and Littlest went as Harry and His Bucket of Dinosaurs.
This was for practical reasons.
The problem with Littlest is that he cannot merrily stroll around in definitely cold, possibly snowy, or damp conditions wearing next to nothing. He is also still of an age where wearing a costume that undoes at the back is a stupid, doomed to toilet related failure. (And why do these costumes have back fastenings? Why not front or side?). Hence why last year he wore jeans and a hoodie, just like Harry.
This year, I decided to stop being a lazy bitch and get the costumes sorted. Mini currently loves Roald Dahl, and has been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at school and at home, so she is going as Verruca Salt, in a costume not so much bought as copied from the Gene Wilder film. She already had a red dress, and black shoes, white tights and a white, puffy sleeve blouse. All I got her was a Golden Wonka Ticket from eBay.
Littlest is more difficult, as I say, he has to be warm. I had thought about his knight costume, as he likes Horrid Histories, but he owned up to putting it in his “give to charity pre-Christmas clear out”, so whilst he has a sword and shield, he has no costume. Instead, I found his Joker from Batman costume, which also kind of looks like Willy Wonka. Sorted.
Feeling smug, I relaxed safe in the knowledge that it was done, and dusted.
Until they got in the sodding car on Friday.
“Mummy, have you bought my costume, instead of making it?” asked Mini.
I said, well kind of, but you already had most of the bits so don’t worry.
“No, Mummy”, said Littlest “you’re not allowed to buy them. You have to make them, and sew them, from scraps in the house. Ms H said so in ‘sembley”.
It’s true. They don’t want you to buy something. They want you to make one.
And, to make it more fun, they will be awarding prizes to the best costumes on the day. Smashing.
The thing is, I am:
a) not Mary sodding Poppins, or Maria from Sound of Sodding Music. I don’t have scraps of material lying round for costume emergencies, nor can I take down curtains and run one up either (we have blinds. Not curtains). I also don’t have a magical bag like Mary that is a bottomless pit of costumes.
b) I am shit at sewing by hand and my sewing machine is buggered
The last time I actually made an effort, on the Jubilee, I
wasted 5 days of my life I will never get back took 5 days to make not one but two costumes using little more than wonder web, elastic, and two poundshop flags (not to mention blood, sweat and actual real tears) and did anyone else bother?
And did either of the Brats win the sodding Best Costume award?
No. One of the same kids who wins bloody everything, wearing a Next Flag dress, just like 85% of the rest of the girls (the others, bar Mini having the George at Asda version) won. You know, cos their Mum made such an effort, driving to town and parting with £24.99.
I hate, actually despise, the whole competition element, and the way they use the kids to pressure you into making the best costume. Plus the upset it causes when they don’t win, because, of course, then its your fault for making a crap costume.
Why the bloody hell can’t they just say “hey kids, the government thinks you’re not reading enough, as you spend every waking non school moment stuffing your faces with crap food, playing video games and having no actual imagination or interest in books unless they are on a Kindle or iPad, so we’re going to make you dress up for the day to remind you of actual words and not Text Speak and give you a £1 voucher which you will lose down the back of the sofa or trade in to a swotty kid for cash to buy more sweets or pointless games like Flappy Bird”.
And where has the World element come from? I don’t know many kids abroad, but I have a feeling this is done mainly in upper middle class schools where Boden is the parent uniform of choice, and not throughout the UK, let alone the bloody world. It does sound like yet another American thing which, due to our need to suck up and not get blown up by bigger countries, we have joined in with.
What is wrong with saying, wear what you like, if you
have no life you want to make it, if not, buy one, and at the end of the day, everyone gets a sticker or a packet of Haribo for joining in?
I say, this “everything must be a competition where only the same five bloody kids win and everyone else goes home disappointed, wondering why they bothered” must stop.
Now, I’m off to find a Willy Wonka top hat. I wonder if the Pound Shop sells them……….?