World Book Day seems to have become a much anticipated event in the calendar year. I remember getting a £1 book day voucher when I was at school (back in the day…) but don’t ever remember dressing up or having any special events or competitions. Even the shops seemed to have jumped on the bandwagon selling book character costumes that children will probably only wear for one day.I’m all for encouraging children to read and having worked in schools before having the boys, seeing all the children dressed up and excited about literacy was always lovely to be part of. I loved the unusual homemade costumes most of all and looked forward to reading stories and making these type of costumes with my own children one day.

Well my ‘one day’ has arrived and  Toby’s not interested in books, he doesn’t have the interest or ability to sit and listen to a story. We do however listen to story songs on YouTube. Barefoot Books (check them out Barefoot Books YouTube) which are great. He watches these at school and gets very excited when we put them on at home too. He jumps, claps and flaps as someone sings through the story. I would love to snuggle up in bed and read him a bedtime story but he struggles with people talking to him at the best of times and doesn’t really tolerate anything that doesn’t interest him and so books are out!

Toby’s school celebrated World Book Day today and children could dress up as their favourite book character if they wanted too. When Toby first started school, dress up/non-uniform days used to stress him out but as they regularly wear ‘different’ clothes he was happy to wear his own clothes with Ted’s lion costume over the top. I wouldn’t have forced him if he didn’t want to and I know several children with ASD who have gone to school today in uniform as they don’t do dressing up. We decided that the lion was from one of Ted’s favourite books, Dear Zoo – which also has a signing video on YouTube that Toby watches. Finding out who a child’s favourite book character is who doesn’t speak or read is a tricky one..!

A friend joked yesterday that Toby should just go as himself as he has his own blog…ha!

So I haven’t had to spend hours sewing a home made costume or reading bedtime stories. Although life with the boys hasn’t turned out how I imagined it would, we are content. I wholeheartedly believe that God has given us Toby for a reason and we are privileged to be have him in our lives. Processing these feelings of disappointment that things haven’t gone the way I would have wanted properly helps me to not become angry or bitter. Some days are challenging (he has been up since 2am) and some days I do wonder what life would be like with ‘normal’ children but this is our adventure and I want to enjoy living it rather than being bitter that life hasn’t gone the way I would have expected.

Happy World Book Day!