Ok, so World Book Day is fast approaching. I know, as a total book geek this is something that I should embrace, as it really does get children talking about books, buying books and gets people in independent bookshops which as you know is something I’m a bit obsessed with. However, it is the one day of the year I dread. Why? Because my book-worm of a daughter absolutely hates dressing up. It’s not even a diva type hatred, she just hates it full stop. It makes her feel insecure and a bit stupid, two things that children don’t like to feel.
For the first year, I just about convinced her that it was going to be OK. Luckily, the event was on her birthday so aged 5, the thought of the whole school dressing up for her was enough of a distraction to actually get her through the doors. The next year, not quite so lucky. It didn’t fall on her birthday, she was a year older and wiser, and could quite eloquently explain why she thought the whole thing was ridiculous. I swear the nail marks are still on the door frame of her classroom. I think she lasted about an hour, so as she had her school uniform underneath she spent the rest of the time surreptitiously shedding her outfit until she was once again ‘normal.’
I’ve bought outfits, made them, borrowed them but nothing has worked. It isn’t just World Book Day I have to say. ‘Pirate Day’ at school is still etched on my Mum’s memory as one of the worst of her life. She had the task of trying to get her to school dressed as yes, a pirate. The problem? A pirate is a man, and she didn’t want to go to school dressed as a boy. Exactly, oh boy. Not helped that her best pal tipped up in some kind of girl’s pirate attire, rather than a borrowed costume from yes, a boy. Not good. I don’t even think she lasted an hour that time.
For the past two years we’ve managed to pull of a Matilda/wearing normal clothes look, but I think a third year is getting a bit much, so she’s plumped for Mildred Hubble, from the Worst Witch. She loves the books, backed up by the new series on CBBC. This is got to be a winner, I mean, she basically wears school uniform doesn’t she? Ah yes, but it has to be the right school uniform. I could actually feel my chest tightening as we drove to the shops yesterday, how can this be littered with so many issues? My middle one was sorted in about three minutes, wanting to go as Wanda from Where’s Wally. That involved a stripey top and some glasses. Job done. Unsurprisingly, we didn’t find anything for the older one.
For a girl whose favourite past-time is reading, it does seem a real shame that the day is so hideous for her. Obviously as a Mum I blame myself, as I too hate the thought of dressing up. Usually I would tell her to ‘just get on with it,’ ‘stop being so daft’ etc etc, but, as she is in general one of the loveliest, calmest people I know, I’ll let her have this one.
I am now nervously awaiting the arrival of the ‘Mildred’ pinafore dress, bought online on return from the shops. It is likely to be the wrong colour, shape, size, length but at least we’ve tried. The tie has also been ordered. Just got to create some type of sash and we might be safe. That’s until the morning of the actual day, and who knows what might happen. Roll on March the 2nd.