As Mothers, we experience many, many, many fears…
Fear during pregnancy.
Fear of birth.
Fear every day…
But once a year, in early March, for many of us, there is a special fear.
It’s the fear of realising that it’s World Book Day…and you’ve sent your children off to school in NORMAL clothes.
This morning, I managed to get the girls out to school with unusual calm and minimal drama. I dropped them at pre-school and to the bus, and tottered on my merry, knackered way on to my other job-job.
I parked the car and reached for my phone to have a quick peek at my messages before going into the building. I hit the Insta icon, and speed scrolled absent mindedly… and then I saw them.
ALL of them…
All of the eleventy squillion images of kids I know and don’t know, dressed in all sorts of book characters, from Mr Twit to Mary-of-the-Poppins.
“FAAAAAAAACK!” I shout at my phone.
“FAAAACKIITTY FUCK FUCK!”
I scramble through my brain for faint memories of an unread message from the school about dressing up. Nope.
I try to remember if I saw a conversation about costumes on the parenty ‘Wattsup’ group… I really can’t.
I then have the tummy wrenching realisation that as a “Working-at-a-job-job Mum” who has just returned from a 4 day work trip 8734 miles away, that maybe, just MAYBE I have simply fucked up and MISSED something.
The Fear is real.
And the Mammy guilt that is already strong this week has multiplied ten fold.
I send a message to the parents group begging “Were the kids supposed to dress up today?” followed by “By which I mean, please tell me that they kids WERE NOT supposed to dress up today!?”
Even as I type, I am trying to figure out how I can get her Harry Potter costume transported from the house to the school in the next 14 minutes.
I’m trying to gauge if I could get to Penneysbest at break time to buy a stripy jumper to make her Wally, or an oversized fluffy jacket to make her The Gruffallo. Then I realise that the only Wally is me.
Just as I’m practising my “Sure you were Matilda Darling” speech for this evening, one of the other Mammy angels replies with “No costumes!”
I swear to God, the relief left me dizzy. I realised I was sweating like Mr Wormwood in a confessional box. My breathing was faster than Hermione’s when someone broke a rule. I was paler than Horrid Henry when, well… you get me yeah?
I had The World Book Day Costume Fear!
But, I fear that the only Wally on this World Book Day, was Mammy.