01/03/2016 12:43 GMT | Updated 02/03/2017 05:12 GMT

How to Survive World Book Day - Next Year

The mention of World Book Day makes me break out into a cold sweat. I love getting lost in a good book. I love sharing books from my childhood with my children, and discovering new ones. I love the idea behind World Book Day.

I do not love trying to turn a character from a page into a costume for my children to wear, that has to: A, actually resemble the character from the book, and B, be fully functional so that my child can go to the toilet with relatively easy access. I am not a Pintrest perfect kind of Mum. I am crap at crafts.

The first year I encountered World Book Day I was full of foolish optimism and naive stupidity. I thought I could do it myself. The topic for the term had been animals, so the children's costumes were to reflect this theme. It was also Easter and I had seen bunny ears in the shop where children can buy anything they want - aka Pouldland. How hard could a bunny costume be?

Bunny ears and some weird white fluffy material obtained, I began with the sewing. Several hours and 47 needle stabs later I had made my first costume. A grey top with a slightly wonky fur patch on the belly, and grey jeans with a furry bunny tail stitched onto the butt.

I was impressed.

The big one wasn't. Reasons cited were:

  1. The ears are pink. I hate pink. Pink is for girls (There may have been tears about the pink)
  2. The tail hurts my bum when I sit down. (I may have sewn it on a bit low down)
  3. I wanted to be an elephant. (I want to be a size 10, we can't always get we want)

He was so unimpressed that photographic evidence was prohibited.

This year, to avoid disaster, I threw money at the situation. I ordered a costume of his choosing. It is blatantly not hand-made, and clearly not worth even half of what it cost me. The material is so thin that the poor kid is going to freeze. I now look like the parent that can't be bothered in the playground.

So after two years of being crap, I finally had an ingenious idea. I am sharing my genius with you, so you can avoid all future potential World Book Day Disasters. You're welcome. Here it is, in three simple steps...


Image: (c)lifeloveanddirtydishes.com

Step One:

Look for the kid with the most awesome and original World Book Day costume in your kids class. It's the one that all the other kids are falling over themselves to get a look at, whilst simultaneously looking very disappointingly at you and your efforts.

Step Two:

Once you have located that kid, locate his/her parental. Done that? Good, now compliment him/her on their son/daughter's costume, and ask him/her if they made it. The answer you are looking for is "Yes."

Step Three:

You now have a year until the next World Book Day. That's 365 days to make this person our new bff. Do whatever it takes. Compliments, wine, chocolates, play dates. Woo this person like they are Gerard Butler's sister. Share birth stories, bond over your offspring, get them so drunk they reveal their deepest darkest secrets. Infiltrate yourself into their lives so that you become part of their family. Do them a ton of favours, look after their kids, paint their bathroom if you have too. But come this time next year you will be so embedded in this persons life that you won't even have to ask the question. They will offer, "Would you like me to make little Johnny a costume for World book Day?"

Hell yes. My work is done.

This post first appeared on Claire's blog, Life, Love and Dirty Dishes. For all the latest posts follow Claire on Facebook.