Saturday, 6 March 2010

Meanwhile in the Blue Peter House....

My parenting skills usually extend to taking the children to places suitable for me to watch birds. They will, for this short period of their lives at least, have had a unique growing up. Pudding, who is but two, can identify Coots at 150 yards. Sitting at the breakfast table, Pie happily calls out all the various birds visiting our feeders. She is four. Muffin (another fab pseudonym, any suggestions for better ones?) can wander round Bush Wood with me and pick up Great Spots on call, and on paper at least, can ID a ridiculous number of birds. Yes, I am a great father.

So it will come as a surprise perhaps that I really pulled my finger out for World Book Day, where all kids, anywhere, it seems, must dress up as their favourite character from a book for the day. We have a plastic owl mask already, it would have been so easy for him to have gone as Wol from Winnie the Pooh. But no, he wanted to be Fantastic Mr Fox. What a great book that is! This is a definite fringe benefit to having kids, you get to reread all of these gems again. But it meant me actually doing something. It required advance planning, and DIY skills. In other words things foreign to me. You'll be pleased to hear I substantially raised my game. A cereal box was carefully peeled apart, and under close supervision from the girls I mixed red and yellow paint to create an eye-catching shade of orange. Yes, you read that right, I mixed paint. Wow. This was all done during the school day to be dry and ready when he came home - that's what I meant by advance planning. Amazing huh? Yep.

Have you typed "Fox" into Google Images lately? Do it. Do it now. I think you will be surprised. I was. And so was Muffin I think: "Daddy, why are there all those ladies?" Yes, in a sad indictment on the general state of the internet, you have to specify "Fox Animal" in order to get some photos of an actual Fox. There must be some kid-safe setting that I need to work out. Anyway, a photo of a Fox was procured on the second attempt, and away we went. Scissors, sellotape, colouring pencils and genius were all that were needed.

He was pretty pleased. Heck, I was pretty pleased! At school the next day, he proudly walked in amongst all the Buzz Lightyears, Power Rangers, Darth Vade....hang on a minute? What the? What is wrong with people? The clue is in the name. World BOOK Day. BOOK. An old-fashioned thing made from, wait for it, paper, with words on it. How difficult can it be? Honestly, I was appalled at quite how many parents had succumbed to a quick-fix from Toys-R-Us. Had I been in charge, I'd have sent them all home and lectured the parents (at length, and on a wide range of topics), but that might have made for a rather tearful World Book Day....

1 comment:

  1. I think I will continue not specifying Animal in my Fox searches.