World Book Day is a bit like going to the dentist for a root canal. You know it’s coming but if you can just stay in your current state of denial, maybe it won’t happen or the end of the world will come first. Here’s what happens in the 24 hours before the dawn of the day most parents have come to dread.
24 hours to go.
Parents across the land wake up with that feeling. The one where you know you’ve forgotten something but you can’t remember what the hell it is. What is it, what is it? Suddenly it hits. S***. Tomorrow’s World Book Day! DOUBLE S*** as you remember you now have two kids in school, which means TWO COSTUMES. Arggghhhhh! Why have you left this until the last minute, AGAIN? Some parents, on the other hand, have been planning their costumes for weeks. You are not friends with these parents. You probably should be.
23 hours to go.
Ask kids what they want to go as. Kids name several characters. All from films. You say, ‘No, it has to be from a book? What’s your favourite book?‘ Your kids give you that same dumbfounded look they give when you ask them to put their shoes on, ‘What’s a book?‘ You storm out of the room muttering something about, ‘Sodding World Book Day.’
22 hours to go.
Text friend to ask what her kids are going as. She hasn’t a clue what you’re talking about because she drank two bottles of Prosecco last night and isn’t quite sure what her name is. You make a mental note to get friendly with those parents who’ve been planning their costumes for weeks. Who knows? If you get REALLY friendly, they might make yours next year too.
14 hours to go.
Having spent the whole day procrastinating because, well, the world could still end and save you from having to go through this hell, you decide to procrastinate just a little bit more, turn on Netflix and eat a pack of chocolate digestives.
12 hours to go.
The world still hasn’t ended. S***. You really might have to get your act together at this rate. Right now, traffic to YouTube is at an all time high as parents watch videos like ‘How to make a cape out of absolutely nothing,’ and ‘World book day costume ideas you can make out of absolutely nothing,’ before getting completely sidetracked watching a video of some crazy dudes putting stuff on their heads and trying to guess, ‘What’s on my head?’ (It was a blender, in case you’re wondering.)
10 hours to go.
Sip gin. Mess about on Facebook. Look at old dress on floor, which you found sometime between the chocolate digestives and the gin and thought you could make look a bit cape-like. It’s all a bit hazy and you’re exhausted from all the procrastination. Fall asleep on sofa in a pool of dribble. Wake up two hours later having completely self-sabotaged yourself. Oh well, off to bed. There’s always tomorrow.
Next morning. World Book Day. 45 minutes to go.
Wake up with that feeling. The one where you know you’ve forgotten something but you can’t remember what the hell it is. What is it, what is it? Suddenly it hits. S***. Today’s World Book Day! Rummage about in kids’ wardrobes. Find an old halloween cat costume and something that is most definitely Disney. But anyway, who’s to say what came first? The book or the film? It’s a bit chicken and egg really, isn’t it? That’s your line and you’re sticking to it.
(World Book Day. You b*stard.)