Friday, 5 March 2010
For those of you that weren't aware, last Thursday was World Book Day.
To celebrate my sons had to go into school dressed up as characters from their favourite book. Some furious last minute rummaging through the dressing up drawer resulted in Middle Son deciding to don his slightly too small Power Ranger suit (according to him there is such a thing as a Power Ranger book, and anyway comics do count.) He then spent the next half an hour before school racing around in said ill-fitting suit (which happens to be the most lurid and migraine inducing shade of lime green you can possibly imagine) pretending to taser his siblings, and taking flying leaps at the sofa like some hyperactive sherbert lemon. Oh, the joys.
Eldest sons father had lent him his climbing harness, complete with clinking karabiners and prussock loops and helmet, in order for him to dress up as some real life bloke who had written a book about how he had fallen seemingly to his death during a mountain climb in the Himalayas, only to crawl a thousand miles to safety with one arm hanging off or something. Which got me off the hook, so I wasn't complaining.
An author had been invited to come to the school for the afternoon, to talk to the children about creative writing, and to give out a prize for the best costume. Parents were also invited to attend. Last minute refusal to leave the house on the part of The Youngest unless she not only got to dress up in a costume but managed to find every little last bloody accessory that went with it, made us inevitably late; but eventually we got there and sat down to listen to the author who then proceeded to go on and on interminably about the difference between kayaks and canoes for some reason that escaped me (turns out she actually wrote the history books that the school subscribed to and wasn't technically a creative writer at all.) I could that see all of the children were deeply unimpressed. J.K. Rowling she was not.
Bored, my gaze wandered idly around the room. Amongst the deeply unimpressed I spied a nose picking Oliver Twist, a couple of Harry Potters, a rather impressive Willy Wonka, and even a Princess Leah (?) complete with the hair-do of my childhood dreams. When the time finally came for the competition to be judged the author asked if anyone wanted to stand up and say a bit about the character that had inspired their costume. Eldest Son stood up and said that his was inspired by a true story. He then went on to describe in gory detail the near death experience of the climber in his fathers book. I felt rather proud watching him. He had overcome his considerable nerves and mustered the confidence to stand up - and to his credit he came across really well, and as if he had genuine enthusiasm for the book. When he'd finished he sat back down and looked at me. I smiled and gave him a discreet thumbs up.
The prize itself was a huge Easter egg. I could see all the kids eyeing it and waiting breathless and vulture-like to see who would have the pleasure of getting to eat it. After some deliberation the author gave it to Eldest Son on the basis that not only did he have an interesting costume, but that he had been the most well informed about his book. I could see that he was thrilled to win, and I was actually rather thrilled for him too. No doubt my indulgent smile and over enthusiastic hand clapping were most nauseating. It was clear that the hopes of others had been cruelly dashed. King Arthur was now sporting a rather black look as though he were spoiling for a fight, and poor Princess Leah was openly weeping with disappointment.
As parents and children alike filed out into the hall to collect coats and school bags ready to go home, other parents crowded round to congratulate Eldest Son on his well deserved win. Clutching his prize and smiling broadly he cleared his throat as if about to begin some sort of rehearsed acceptance speech. 'Funny really' he announced after a pause. 'I failed to mention that I hadn't actually read the book'.
Ah. This now has the makings of a village scandal. There's not a huge amount to do around here. I can see it now.... 'And so it came to pass that Gappy was shunned by the P.T.A. mums for the rest of her childrens school life...' Or something like that. Ha ha, cheers kid.