I hate book week. There, I said it. But before you stop reading or un-follow me, let me explain, as my headline is a little misleading. I love books. But I loathe book week.
I am a book nerd. I have at least eight books on my bedside table at any one time, and a few on the coffee table in the living room. I adore reading. I would be lost without books, and I read many genres. I love escaping into a good plot at night with character rich stories and compelling plots. During the day, when I have “spare time” or on Slow Sundays, I enjoy reading nonfiction. Currently I am enjoying Arianna Huffington’s Thrive, Andy Puddicombe’s Headspace and Steve Biddulph’s Raising girls. And, yes, I am reading them concurrently. You can do that with non-fiction, but I only always have one novel on the go.
My kids have inherited my love of reading and this gives me great pleasure. Enid Blyton is Miss A’s favourite author at the moment, ending each day with a chapter of The Faraway Tree series. Almost regrettably she has started reading on her own now and doesn’t need me to read to her. But she indulges me and we enjoy the tales of Moonface, Dame Washalot and Mr. Watzisname together. And what a wonderful world it is to inhabit, even as a grown up!
So, it may seem somewhat as a surprise to hear I don’t like Book Week. It’s a little unusual for a book lover. When the notice came a few weeks ago that Miss A would be required to dress up as her favourite book character to celebrate book week at school, It immediately sent me into a cold sweat. Where other mums seem to excel in this area, I fall spectacularly short.
When it comes to Book Week there are two types of mums:
- Last minute mums who fashion a night-before costume out of bits and bobs, and pull it off beautifully.
- Crafty mums who get seriously creative and effortlessly create something worthy of being plastered all over social media!
I am neither.
A few years ago I remember committing the cardinal sin at my daughter’s kinder. A notice was sent home strongly “encouraging” us to celebrate book characters, not modern-day TV characters. And there was an undertone that princesses would not be viewed favourably.
I completely caved. My daughter wanted to go as a princess (not really specifying a preference) and we happened to have a costume so along she went, happy as Cinderella was before she got turned back into her rags. So many mums had gone to incredible effort in dressing their little cherubs in cute Alice in Wonderland and Hungry Caterpillar costumes. I failed. Parents were supposed to send the book along too but I failed at that, too.
So, when I saw that Book Week was upon us again, I felt panicked. You see, I have absolutely no skill whatsoever with a needle and thread, so that means making something is out of the question. And I don’t seem to be any good at “making do” and pulling together bits and pieces to create something cohesive. I am also a scrooge so buying something is not an option.
We all have strengths and weaknesses as parents, and creative costuming definitely falls into the latter category for me. So, I did the most sensible thing and called my sister-in-law and asked if she had an outfit I could borrow. Not only did she have one, but she sorted me out with an entire box of dress ups her kids had outgrown. Suddenly we had a selection of perfectly suitable options.
Problem solved. Crisis averted.
So Book Week is sorted for this year, and Miss A is actually going as character out of a very well respected and much loved childhood classic. Can you guess who she is? Why, Silky the Fairy of course. I think she’s a “suitable” fairy for Book Week. She’s got more street cred than Tinkerbelle. Not that I am judging mind you…:-)
How about you? Are you handy at creating costumes for your kids?