It’s January. The month where families head off for summer holidays and, on their return, whirl into organisational insanity getting the kids ready for a new year of school. Before I began Harper Bee, I ran a stationery company called Spencil. We supplied hundreds of thousands of school book covers to retailers and parents all over Australia and New Zealand, with most sales happening in January. The word bedlam comes to mind! From my experience, I’ve decided that there are two types of mums. The first are super organised. They have family calendars on their fridge, love ticking things off lists and colour code their kids’ clothes. They finish all their Xmas shopping by July (wrapping their presents in Xmas paper that they bought at the Boxing Day sales the year before) and have already bought next year’s school booklist pack in October.
They are the easy ones. There are always plenty of book covers to choose from that early in the summer, they don’t take long to decide what to buy (because they tend to buy all of the same design, so everything matches) and they are relaxed and friendly. Then, there is the second type. They do try to be organised, but with school finishing (and the seemingly endless string of school functions to attend), the mother in law descending on them for Xmas, a New Year’s party to plan and the flurry of activity in preparation to get away on their two-week family camping holiday, they have just two days back home before school starts – and a list of things to do as long as their arm. (You can spot them easily. They talk through gritted teeth.) These mums are not so easy to deal with. The book covers are down to the last designs (“and Charlotte absolutely hates flamingos, are you sure you don’t have any more of the unicorn ones?”) and conversations can get snippy and overwrought. I remember one year at Spencil, a mum phoned me, at home, on the Sunday before school started. She was wondering whether it was possible to send book covers overnight so that her son could go to school the next day (Jeremy, apparently, was a sensitive child, and if his books weren’t covered, he would have to stay at home). She lived in Adelaide. I lived in Brisbane. She was one very stressed mum! (I have doubts Jeremy ever got to school...)
So, just in case you are the second type of mum, take a few minutes now and order some book covers from our website. Yes, we do slip on book covers too – funny that! When they arrive in the mail, give them to your daughters and have them cover their own books before you head off camping. Then, you can relax on the beach, gin & tonic in hand, without a care in the world. Well, other than buying school uniforms. Sorry. Can’t help with that! Enjoy family time this month, I’m working in stores helping with back to school busyness until February 1st. Then I jump on a plane and MY holiday begins. I’m counting down the sleeps! Love, Janine