I know this because the school has sent me two texts this week helpfully informing me that on thursday my child must take her favourite book to school and also come dressed as a character from it.
I've come to dread texts from the school. They're full of cakes that need to be baked, special clothing that needs to be found, or inform me of yet another day off (sorry, inset day) for the teachers, which means yet more foraging around for someone who is not her mummy to look after her.
Favourite book? Hmmmm. For years I longed for time spent with two heads in one book. I’ve loved books all my life and I always thought that passing on the joy of reading would be a pure, simple pleasure. But, come the pressure of an evening when we haven't got into the house until seven, and then her into bed until eight and I've more work to do.... well, the stories I like the best then are the short ones. At the moment this is Cinderella.
We read it and then she begs for telly. Yes, wrong. I know. Yes, it shouldn't even be in the bedroom (strange that it is, given that for years I didn't even have a telly in the house) and she shouldn't be in there either, but there it is. She thinks that telly comes after books now, not dreamtime. In fact I’m surprised she didn’t ask to go to school dressed as her favourite character from Masterchef. This is not the childhood I wanted for her, it's certainly not the childhood I had. On the plus side last night she learned how to make a catwalk ballet dress with a big flower out of a highstreet number. I was thrilled (though maybe this is also misguided, given our clothing budget) that she preferred the designer one to the highstreet number. Anyway, at least she doesn't really need a fairy godmother, she's got Gok.
I did mess about with the idea of her going to the book day dressed as the monkey from that Julia Donaldson story we like but monkeys are a bit complicated whereas, we’ve got a whole dressing up box full of Cinderella balldresses. It’s all a bit of a cliché but X got quite into it, working out roles for all her little friends- who could be her ugly sisters and the prince etcetera.
Today, when she came home from school she was still full of the book event. Apparently about half the girls are planning on being Cinderellas and the others are coming as ballerinas –guess they’ll all be Angelina’s, then.. ..
X told me that the teacher was wondering if anyone wanted to be a witch. Good for the teacher, but I can’t think of a good witch story that X and I read and anyway, X is set on the Cinders route and is packing her princess shoes into her school bag right now. She’s nagged a friend who has a wand into being her fairy godmother, but not surprisingly she hasn’t got any ugly sisters and her prince wants to be a cowboy. Get used to it, that's real life, princess, I said.