World Book Day 2022
I recently posted on my own Facebook page bemoaning the fact that every year my kids refuse to choose what could be termed 'normal' characters to dress up as. Consequently, every year I end up trying to cobble together costumes that vaguely resemble the person they want to be. Over the years, I've created Kung Fu Panda, Mr Tickle, Julian from The Famous Five, The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock (but the TV version not the original). All of these have involved me stitching things together, cutting old clothes up, or running around the shops trying to find bits and pieces to create a costume. With the exception of one year when Henry went as Harry Potter, last year was the first year in sixteen that I've bought a complete costume and even that had to be supplemented because apparently accessories were 'essential' even in a WBD celebrated at home in Lockdown. Last year also required me to source and deliver lessons on Robin Hood all week because that was what the boy wanted!
However, even as I wrote the original post I acknowledged to myself that if they did choose something 'normal' a part of me would be a little bit disappointed. Both my boys revel in being different and doing the unexpected. This year, I didn't even attempt to guide Arthur towards a particular character, I just asked who he wanted to go as and kept my fingers crossed it would be a manageable costume. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his recent obsession with Horrible Histories, he announced he wanted to go as Dick Turpin. True to form however, he insisted I had to recreate his Highwayman outfit of choice and I was tasked with recreating Mathew Baynton's 'Dick' from the series' music video 'I'm A Dandy Highwayman'. Never one to pass up the opportunity to get the small one reading, I immediately looked for a book about Turpin for him to read and was delighted to find that there was actually a Horrible Histories one at the right level. That's been his reading book for the past week and I think I'm enjoying it almost as much as he is!
I know WBD causes a lot of stress for families who struggle with the cost of costumes and I completely understand that - we're in a very privileged position that that side of it doesn't really factor too much into our thinking - I also get that it can be difficult for children who don't cope well with a change and routine and I sympathise completely. However, my personal experiences of the day have been wholly positive. Neither of my kids have ever cared that their costumes are at times, quite frankly, bizarre and cobbled together. For us, the day has always been about sharing a love of reading and talking about the the books we love.
Or at least it is, once I've recovered from the trauma of trying to use sticky tape and my limited sewing skills to put the costume together without attaching it to the child inside it.
By the time I post this, I'm hoping that the costume will be complete and he'll have gone off to school happily shouting 'Stand and Deliver' to everyone we pass in the street. However, the gold frog fastenings aren't due to arrive until Wednesday and I'm running a writing workshop Wednesday night so it could be a late bedtime...
ETA: They arrived in the afternoon so I didn't have to stay up until midnight. The command strips I'd bought fell off straight away, but double sided sticky tape came to the rescue! I just had to explain that I wasn't giving him guns to take to school, nor was I buying him a horse and he couldn't put a saddle on the dog instead!