In the spirit of all things Book Week, I thought I’d share a piece that I wrote a couple of years ago as a sleep deprived mother of three young kids. Enjoy a small laugh at my expense. It is (mostly) all true.
It’s that time of the year again. The time of year when frazzled mothers’ race to their local Spotlight store, in a frantic dash to gather ammunition to create a last minute Book Week Parade costume. I was there last Friday. I was lost somewhere in between the red spandex and the fluorescent beaded goodness-knows-what. My quest? To locate the appropriate white stretchy fabric to create the perfect Princess Leia costume for my eldest daughter. As I walked past the ready-made costumes I cursed (probably out loud), “Why couldn’t that bloody kid choose to go as Harry Potter?” No such luck. My kids would never be so pedestrian as to select a costume I could purchase on sale at Spotlight.
Sunday afternoon it rained and so I accepted the challenge to manufacture the best Princess Leia costume in the history of Book Week. I started sewing. Even my recent purchase of a special needle with a rounded tip couldn’t help me. Having established early on that this fabric was impossible to unpick, I did manage to construct the main body of the garment. Everything fell apart when I attached the arms the wrong way out. Somewhere in between this I could be heard screaming at my middle child (who was screaming at his baby sister), “Stop making such a racket or else . . . or else. . . I’m gonna’ expire and then you won’t get your own flaming costume!” Master M promptly dissolved into tears and I gave up, defiantly tossing $15 worth of white slinky fabric into the bin. “I can’t do it!” I told my daughter; “I need to learn to sew a bit better before I will be able to succeed in making a Princess Leia costume.” I secretly sniggered knowing that by that time it will probably be the X-rated version.
Needless to say they both are going to school with their Book Week costumes tomorrow. They’ll probably be cold but their spirits will no doubt keep them warm. In the end Ellen has decided to wear a red dress we bought in Hong Kong. It is about two sizes too small but I’ll make her wear leggings and she might resemble something from Adeline Yen Mah’s Chinese Cinderella. Michael will is going as a jazz piano playing cat from a picture book called Max and the Lost Note. I’ll need to find some black face paint to create whiskers and a nose (I might even employ permanent texta). Don’t even ask about the baby. Thankfully she doesn’t go to school yet as that would definitely tip me over the edge.
Happy Book Week! My commiserations to those of you undertaking the impossible this week. Who even knew that you could cook, clean, iron and wash, all in addition to constructing a one metre high cardboard hat while you taxi your progeny to their mid-week basketball game?