So, as if you didn’t know its Book Week. I could was lyrical about how this event is a wonderful way for the young and the young at heart to celebrate the magic of reading. But this is Mumabulous. I’m going to blog about how for most parents Book Week is a pain in the derriere.
I’m sure you can relate to the following scenario – You are flat out juggling your high powered career (meaning two menial part time jobs) with family and you’re ability to cope is less than stellar. Your house is a bomb site and your blog is deader than Jon Snow. (There’s a 75% chance that Jon Snow will be resurrected, Mumabulous not so much). Worse still you’ve suffered an horrific weight gain because you cant get to the gym but won’t stop drinking to compensate. Then you skim the school news letter and discover that Book Week is fast approaching.
You think to yourself “Sod Orf School! The last thing I want to do is procure two book character costumes outta my wazoo. That would eat into the dwindling reservoir of time I have to faff about listening to Richard Fidler podcasts and googling Clive Standen shirtless. Ah Clive its been so long I can barely remember what you look like…
You then immediately feel pangs of guilt for entertaining such impure thoughts – the ones about Book Week not Clive. You do after all want to be a “hands on” parent and your kids get some much enjoyment out of this dressing up shite. You feel like the Grinch that stole Christmas which luckily doubles as a costume idea.
You initiate a brain storming session with your eight year old by suggesting that they go as the “bum that went psycho” from Andy Griffith’s The Day My Bum Went Pyscho”. The eight year old rolls her eyes at your in horror. You are secretly relieved that you don’t have to paper mache over two balloons. You include your five year old and gather around the book shelf for inspiration.
The five year old pulls out this tome and says cheekily “Here’s a good one”.
This once again demonstrates that P2 not only looks like me, she thinks like me. Lock up your sons now!
You suggest that they both go as Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie but this idea is regarded as “daggy” rather than retro chic.
The eight year old decides she wants to be the Cat in the Hat and the five year old eschews Little Red Riding Hood for Snow White. Conveniently she has a generic Snow White dress from K-mart. Easy but lame.
You wonder to myself how parents who work full time cope with this crap. When the day of the Book Parade rolls around you get your answer. Harried working parents cope in two ways
- They put their child in a generic dress up from Target or K-mart regardless of whether the outfit as anything to do with literature.
- They throw money at the problem.
At this year’s parade our school yard was awash with Harry Potters. Iron man was out in force, as was Spiderman and Batman. I spotted one Superman and a Thor. Whilst I dont have an issue with the Comic book universe coming under the umbrella of literature, I’d hoped some of its hawter elements could be represented. The hawtest comic book element is of course Loki but Chris Pratt as Starlord is closing in fast from the rear (Oh my!!!). Paul Rudd’s Antman is also very, very hawt. Disappointingly all three were absent.
There was however, a gaggle of Darth Vaders accompanied by an army of Storm Troopers and ship loads of miscellaneous pirates. They mingled with a coven of witches with outfits recycled from last Halloween. A large contingent simply donned animal onesies – I mean there’s got to a book about a giraffe somewhere right? Most surprising was the excess of minions. I had no idea that the Despicable Me franchise was based in literature but there were at least two minions per class. The playground was a symphony of yellow and blue. Strangely one girl came dressed in a black body suit with a matching face mask. She was carrying a whip. I thought she might have been from 50 Shades of Grey but its turns out she was Cat Woman. At the other end of the spectrum there were a cast of Lord of the Rings, King Arthur and Robin Hood type characters whose parents obviously shelled out the big bucks at a fancy costume hire place.
As is the case every year a small number of parents used the occasion to show off. We had a smattering of highly original and skillfully put together pieces from families who apparently do “have time fo’ dat”. We had the wardrobe from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, the house that Alice in Wonderful exploded out of and the Magic Bus. A dozen sixth graders carried a magnificent rainbow serpent like dragon dancers on Chinese New Year.
For me the parade itself was ninety minutes of sitting in the sunlight worrying about work that wasn’t getting done. At least the music which obviously reflected the senior teachers personal taste, was completely on point. There was nary a tune produced after 1985. When AC/DCs classic “Its a long way to the top” began playing our mild mannered head master started head banging. P2’s teacher head banged harder but he’s charismatic. A daggy Dad standing behind me started singing loudly “Its a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll”. When a boy shuffled past with a fake bald head and enormous plastic ears shuffled past the same Dad yelled out “there’s Tony Abbott’. Fair enough Tony Abbott does have his own book – Battlelines.
How was your Book Week experience? Did you enjoy it? Or did you find it just another thing to cram into an already overstuffed schedule?