There’s Stress on the Costume Department

There’s been more activity at Alfie’s school.  Last week it was Wacky Wednesday, this week it’s Book Week.

As part of the celebrations of Book Week, Alfie’s class enjoyed an excursion to the local library.  At the library they were fortunate to listen to a talk from one of Australia’s most successful children’s authors, Duncan Ball.  Duncan is well-known for writing the Selby and Emily Eyefinger series and Alfie has read many of his thoroughly enjoyable books.  He talked to the children about being a writer, the importance of being a good reader and what to expect from his upcoming books.

Selby by Duncan Ball

After the excursion the children were asked to write about their experience of visiting the library.  Alfie’s story made it into the school’s newsletter.  I don’t think he’ll mind if I share it with you.  (He won’t mind because he won’t know – we’ll keep this just between us!)

‘Yesterday 2B and I went to the library. When we entered the HUGE library we saw loads of books. (Oh, sorry, I‟ll get to the Duncan Ball part right now). So…we were walking down the carpeted floor then suddenly, not to our surprise, we saw Duncan, the Duncan, Duncan Ball, the guy who writes Selby and Emily Eyefinger (you know, the author). Anyway, it was cool. He told us a little bit of the latest Emily Eyefinger, then lots of other stories that he wrote. Then he told us where he was born and more about him and then we went back to school.’

His teacher told me Alfie is showing signs that one day he could be a great blogger!

But Book Week doesn’t stop there.  Oh no.  No, it’s back into the Costume Department that’s already under strain for yet another outfit and this time they had to come to school dressed as their favourite book character.  Alfie has read almost the entire Geronimo Stilton series so of course wanted to go as Geronimo.  ‘Yes dear, I’ll just walk into that spare room we have turned into the Costume Department and pull out the mouse costume’.

Geronimo is a mouse!

But I didn’t want to disappoint him because he’s an enthusiastic reader and loves his books and so wanted to be involved in Book Week so knowing I’m a dud when it comes to putting together costumes I took him to the fancy dress hire shop that we walk past on the way to school.  Handy!

It’s just I left it a bit late and so most of the costumes had already been hired by the super-organised mums so not only was there no mouse costume, there wasn’t an animal costume left of any description.  Of course there were hundreds of Harry Potter costumes but Alfie hasn’t started reading that series so had no interest in being a wizard.

He dithered about looking all confused while the woman politely informed us it was now closing time and that really, if he didn’t want to go as Harry Potter the only other costume she had was that of a soldier.

‘But I haven’t read any soldier stories’, said Alfie who was now looking deflated.  And it did occur to me that we have a Toy Story book at home and some of the toys are army soldiers.  ‘Alfie, how exciting!  You could be a character out of Toy Story.  How fantastic.  And I bet you’ll be the only one with a soldier’s costume and look, it even comes with a gun!’

A Toy Story soldier

So Alfie became all excited and he tried on the costume and we hired it and then he had to patiently wait 48 hours before Book Character Day came around and when it did he was up early and dressed in his soldier’s costume and all ready for school an hour and a half before we had to leave the house.  Exciting times.

Very happy to go to school!

And you would think that would be it for the costumes but no.  No, we’re not that lucky.  Carl and I have been invited to a birthday party on Saturday night.  Great.  Lovely.  Really looking forward to it.  But then I read the fine print on the invitation and it said, ‘Fancy Dress – Zoo Animal Theme’.

If anyone has a spare leopard or tiger or giraffe or elephant or lion or orangutan costume lying around, please email – we’re not choosy.

See you on Facebook! 


  1. He’s SO cute! My mind is racing about what you and Carl will be wearing. Please post photos. The last fancy dress (costume party to Americans) I went to was with ex husband after we’d decided to split but the party was at a good friend’s place so we went. We went as a pair of dice. Paradise Lost. I hadn’t thought ahead because we couldn’t sit down in our boxes!

  2. I bet you can hear my groaning across the blogwaves. Fancy dress – how I hated it when the kids were at school. Why does everyone think it’s so much fun!

  3. Alfie looks great in his fancy dress! But I am just wondering what you and Carl will be dressing as!

  4. Lol! Your costume department is on overload! And Alfie is a great writer – humorous and descriptive!

  5. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    Oh, you poor dear, needing to come up with all of these costumes.

    Glad you found one for Alfie. In the U.S., even a toy gun like he’s carrying would not be allowed in school.

    Also just wonderful to read that Alfie is a good reader. I hope he continues to embrace books as the ability to read is absolutely essential to success in school. And, yes, he may be showing signs of early blogging talent.

    (P.S. I won’t tell Alfie you posted his writing if you don’t tell my son I sometimes write about him. Deal?)

  6. Haha, I like the mind game you played with Alfie to distract him from what he really wanted as a costume. I guess these are the tricks you learn as a mother 🙂 He looks great!

  7. Just wear yourself a really sexy leopard print dress!

  8. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    I think you really better add some costumes to your stockpile. Looks like this is just going to keep happening — to infinity and beyond!

  9. For a mum without her own costume department you’re really flexing your imagination muscles coming up with these varying ideas. Looking forward to your animal of choice. Does Carl get to be the front or the back? Or will he be his own animal?

  10. He looked very handsome. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for your party.

  11. AAAAAAAAAH!!!! I HAD SO MANY OF THE SELBY BOOKS!!! Oh, this post brings great joy to my heart. I always adored Book Week in primary school; I spent all my free time reading, so the costume possibilities were endless 🙂 Well done on getting your way with Alfie’s (cute!) costume 😀

  12. How exciting for Alfie that his story got into the newsletter! And I’m very glad that his costume worked out so well — he’s such a cute kid.
    Good luck with your costume party, you can always done a black leotard and put on little ears and call your self a black panther!

  13. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Kudos to Alfie! He and you must be thrilled. Costumes…I’m surprised my child wasn’t born in a costume. At 22, he still loves them, but then, his mother has been accused of having a costume-like wardrobe as well. Good luck with your Fancy Dress. I hope you post photos!

  14. gosh you guys use the customs way too much, in here we don’t really dress up… I do have to say that i would like to dress up more often but also I can understand why sometimes it can be a bit stressful specially for parents!!

  15. Alfie you cutie! Loving the costume!
    And your post brings back SO many memories about Geronimo stilton and LOVE for Selby 🙂
    The good old days!

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. justonecookbook says:

    Hahaha! I definitely want to see you in fancy zoo animal attire. 😀 What a good looking boy Alfie is! My son lately is into soldier for some reason, and he’d love that for this year’s Halloween for sure.

  17. Glamorous Glutton says:

    All that costume stress! I love costume parties but only one dressing up event at a time. Well done to Alfie he must have been delighted to have his story in the newsletter. GG

  18. CUTE!. Go as green tree snake to the party.

  19. InTolerant Chef says:

    Geronimo Stilton books were the only ones my littlej would read, ADD and dyslexia meant the only other ones she wanted were comics or big technical tomes that were over my head!
    Alfie looks darling, and his story shows his personality doesn’t it? I hope you post photos of you and Carl in costume too 🙂

  20. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    There is definitely a costume theme going on in your house. Don’t hate me but I secretly (or not so secretly) love fancy dress!

    Alfie is a great little writer. Must take after his clever mum!

  21. Your life is one great show with all the drama that entails. Your costume department must be growing. It’s a shame the soldier one has to go back. Alfie wrote a great piece and in such a chatty voice that he would be perfect at blogging.

  22. The costume saga must have rotated around every member of your household by now! Let’s hope the dogs aren’t called on to dress up any time soon…

    I love the concept of book week though and well done to Alfie on his impressive writing!

  23. yummychunklet says:

    Zoo animal theme? Oh, my…

  24. Hahahhaa it’s funny how you’re constantly surrounded by costume issues Charlie 🙂 you poor thing! Alfie looks so smart hehe very cool costume! Ohh a Zoo Animal Theme sounds like lots of fun 😀 Have fun!

  25. hahahaha!!!! Your son is so sweet Charlie even with the gun..

  26. I had to laugh, Charlie. All the times you’ve mentioned barely getting him to school on time and this time he’s ready an hour and a half early. Too funny and too cute!

  27. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    I reckon your solution is to open a costume store – there you have it, all sorted out, see eezy peezy. 😉
    Have a super weekend Charlie and looking forward to seeing what you and Carl find to wear
    🙂 Mandy xo

  28. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Oh my goodness, it truly is a trial. I bet you wonder when will this costume business be over? He does look adorable-I mean tough and scary!! 😉

  29. Joanne (eats well with others) says:

    There are way too many costumes in your life these days! I used to LOVE Emily Eyefinger books!!

  30. So cute you shared Alfie’s story. A teacher friend would save the cutest stories to share with us; out of the mouths and minds of babes, their innocence and views are so unique! To remain childlike in life, in some ways, is a gift. And I guess, your friends like to keep things fun too…can’t wait to hear what you will be wearing!!

  31. I’m liking your ‘costume department ‘stories Charlie ! Somehow you pull it together well under pressure.I’d love to know what you come up with for the zoo animal theme…No doubt Alphie will be interested in that too ! He’s a great little writer.

  32. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) says:

    Hey Charlie, I’m running around like a crazy person today, so I don’t have any time. Just wanted to wish you a wonderful weekend!!

  33. It’s too bad you don’t live nearby…I have plenty of costumes from Halloween and the high school homecoming week and all the other events where my 3 kids had to dress in costume. I don’t have the heart to give any of it away! Alfie is a fine writer…you must be proud!

  34. GourmetGetaway says:

    LOL! So funny, we did book week too, but being not super organised and probably a bit on the super lazy side I told Locky he should dress up in his Grim Reaper, Halloween costume and go as a monster. He did 🙂 Little Anias wore her ballet clothes and a tail and was Angelina Ballerina (and she didn’t even have to change for ballet that afternoon 🙂 It was a win for the good guys … ie: parents 🙂

  35. Oh NO!!!! Not the costume stage!! And then we went home. The end. I love kids writing, we should all write like that. The big end. c

  36. Norma Chang says:

    For the birthday party what did you and Carl dress up as?
    Norma Chang,

  37. He looks mean!

  38. lisaiscooking says:

    Every year at Halloween time, I wonder how I’m supposed to put together costumes for us. Lucky you to have a shop on the way to school! And, great thinking with the soldier idea. Good luck with your own costumes for the party.

  39. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake says:

    Haha he actually looks pretty cute (although quite stern and serious looking) in that costume. 😀

  40. Barb Bamber says:

    I have a corner of the basement and 3 huge boxes dedicated to costumes.. none of which should fit my daughter, but now that she’s grown, they are the perfect length, lol. I love how you put a spin on the soldier costume, great thinking on the spot, mom!!

  41. I’m running a bit behind…so I am sure you’ve already had your Saturday party! What did you wear? I really don’t know anyone with more need for costumes than you do, Charlie! How time consuming, and I’m sure a bit expensive! But you are a fun mom to go along with it all. Your Alfie is quite the writer! He seems to have your flair for telling a story! 🙂


  1. […] I mentioned last week, the Costume Department has been coming under strain, not only because of the needs of the off-spring but because friends […]

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