Eight o’clock yesterday morning. Half an hour before I have to take the kids to school. I’m in the shower.
Amelia suddenly runs in. “Daddy! Daddy! I’ve just remembered, we have to go to school today dressed as a character from a book. What can I go as?” This is the first I’ve heard of this.
Through the steamy glass of the shower screen, I asked what she had in her dressing up box. “Nothing. None of it fit me anymore, so mummy through it all away.”
I explained that she would have to just go in school uniform then. There was tears and there was wailing. And then she had an idea and grabbed a book from her bookshelf. It was called Cubs Ahoy! and she’d bought it from a second-hand bookstall some time ago for ten pence. “I could go as a character from this book and just put my cubs uniform on!” she exclaimed excitedly. I thought it a bit naff, but as I was unlikely to come up with anything better in the next twenty minutes, I agreed that she could do so. And Harry could too.
Once they were fully attired, I asked them which characters from the book they were going as. “Don’t know”. “We haven’t read it”, they said. I quickly scanned through the book only to discover there were no girl characters in the story.
“Right, Amelia, you can be Nobby. He’;s the clumsy one by the looks of it. Suits you to a tee. And Harry, you can be Buster. Right, sorted.”
When we arrived at school, all the kids – and indeed, some of the teachers – were all dressed up. Some of them (well, some of their parents) had made a real effort with their costumes. There were princesses aplenty and more Harry Potters than I could count.
But Amelia and Harry were the only ones to go as two cubs from a really obscure children’s book, that no-one had ever heard of.