Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Slowly, Very Slowly...

This posting is brought to you somewhat painfully as I've managed to fry the end of my one of my fingers. I was frying eggs (that immensely complex and intricate culinary task) and one of the eggs seemed to turn to dust in my hand and my hand plunged mercilessly into the boiling oil.... I had to resort to spending the entire evening and most of the night with my hand in a glass of iced water and then turn to cider in an effort to limit the suffering. Cider is to burns what gas and air is to childbirth - it's not actually going to do anything about the pain but if you have enough you won't be able to string enough of a sentence together to make a coherent fuss about it.
Anyway so here we are in good old Half Term. Again. And it's pouring with rain. Again.
More on the Half Term activities (other than wall to wall Scooby Do watching and way too much Malted Milk eating) later, lets first turn our attention to the end of Term itself and that great bastion of parental pride - Parents' Evening.
I kind of dread this anyway because it feels as if you, as a parent, are being somewhat scrutinised too and you don't have to study my departures and arrivals at the school too hard to see that, at times, I'm not getting an A+ in the 'wondrous parenting and organisation of small people stakes'.
As we know there was the time where I had to stand in the playground wearing one welly and a sheepskin boot.
There was also the time I smashed the teacher's wine all over the front seat of the car.
Or the time I took the children back to school on a day it wasn't actually open.
To this I could add a multitude of other failings.
The football boots forgotten six Fridays in a row so that in the end I only had to rock up at 2pm on a Friday afternoon and shout 'it's me' through the intercom to be let in.
The forgotten packed lunches meaning I had to speed to the nearest shop (several miles drive away) and resort to a jumbo hot dog, Fruit Shoot and Freddo the Frog (these were the days I lived in fear that Jamie Oliver would rock up with a full Channel Four film crew and make a documentary sobbing over the contents of my child's locker. I would then appear on page 5 of the Daily Mail wearing ill fitting leggings and shouting at the camera in a angry fashion beneath the banner of 'The Mums that Just Don't Care Enough').
My comments in the 'Reading at Home' folder ('I notice that on page one of this epistle mum has the wine out. Well she had the right idea as by the end of trudging through this lot I'd had to sink half a bottle').
The Valentine's Disco where I broke all the rules and took an 'under 4 year old' only for him to disgrace me utterly by hurling a ketchup adorned hotdog onto the lap of the PTA Chair before crawling round the dancefloor and causing a pile up which I can only compare to some kind of outlandish contemporary dance performance designed to represent the 'inner torment of the forgotten soul'.
Or in fact the day my son returned home from the 'Welly Walk' to inform me that he'd enjoyed the outing but found it rather painful as I'd sent him in with one of his wellies and one of his three year old brother's...... He didn't say anything. Just scrunched up his foot and hobbled across the fields......mile after painful mile. In my defence - both wellies were green. There's nothing more I can say.
So I was nervous before I even sat down but if the general comments on Facebook, internet message boards and 'typical mummy blogs' are anything to go by, every other small child in the world has a parents evening which roughly goes along the lines of 'your child is the most gifted, able and wondrous being that has ever graced my classroom and every time I stare upon them I am beholden to their captivating intelligence, beauty, wit and manners'.
Every child it appears but mine.
For mine the teacher greeted me with a sigh. Her shoulders slumped in a fashion which indicated just too many years at the coal face of trying to persuade 4-6 year old to put their own knickers back on after PE, try not to take eachothers eyes out with the sharp ends of pencils and work out what to do with a magic 'e'.
'Your son' she stated 'has to be probably the most frustrating child I have ever taught. One of the kindest and most tolerant but boy oh boy is he hard to get going!'.
'I know' I replied 'I live with him'.
'It's not that he can't do it - he's clearly highly intelligent - it's just that, well to get him to actually DO anything, other than immensely detailed drawings and run around outside, it takes superhuman amounts of time and energy'.
I nodded.
I know.
Its this superhuman effort which means that by the time I have 'persuaded' him each morning to get dressed, eat, put his shoes on, close the car door etc etc etc I manage to forget his lunch, his PE kit, 2 matching wellies or his spelling list.
Well that's my excuse anyway.
And yet you put him outside (or in Asda, any large DIY store, long institutionalised corridor or cemetery) and you can't blimmin stop him!
Go figure.
I think he needs to go a forest school.
However, his teacher said, when he does click into 'go' mode he does come out with some lovely work.
She pressed his Topic book in front of me.
There was a beautiful drawing of what was clearly our bathroom, the two kittens and his brother. And there were all the bottles of beer filling up the bathtub (long story involving home brew). And there was 'mummy' in the doorway. With a face like the 'Scream' painting.
Beneath it was written:
'Last nite my bruver took the kittens and frew them in the bath on top of all the beer bowtles. Mummy went mad and towld him off and frew the kittens out and then we had to watch tele all nite long'.
So now as well as thoroughly disorganised with a son like a Sloth with chronic fatigue, I'll also be down as the woman who keeps a bath filled with beer and allows her children to torture kittens before staying up all night to watch TV.
And the youngest one hasn't even started school yet.......and there my people's lies real trouble....

Saturday, 5 February 2011

The Facker at the Window - and other childhood tales...

So my Original Son is now in Year 1.

This means he's basically in proper school and is his day involves him needing to sit at a table with a pencil in his hand and create something other than a detailed map of the South Eastern Rail Network (he is perhaps the only child in the country who steals packets of biscuits from the cupboard so that he can build a replica freight yard on the living room carpet).

This is not a popular move.

If it's indoors and it doesn't involve trains, tornadoes (and other fearful enemies of Japan) or chocolate then basically it's not worth the effort.

The problem is added to because his intermittent loss of being able to hear anything much at all (glue ear) means that he's either oblivious as to what is going on or just fills in the gaps and makes up a totally different reality.

This can be summed up by me telling you that a recent spate of watching Scooby Doo and the Abominable Snowman 15 times a day was reinterpreted by him as Scooby Doo and the Vulnerable Snowman.

Well yes I guess all snowmen ARE vulnerable. Mainly to dogs cocking their legs on them, drunk people knocking their heads off and daytime temperature above 0 degrees Celsius. However running around screaming 'waaaaa RUN, it's a Vulnerable Snowman!' was somewhat confusing to onlookers and other children in the park. Especially when it hasn't snowed for weeks.

Then there are the spelling tests where he can't make out the sounds in the word let alone spell it correctly. Preparing for these is much loathed by all - I have better things to do at 8am on a Friday morning than bellow 'not SPUNK, I said SPANK, A, A, AAAAAAAAA - CAN YOU HEAR THIS!? SPANK - yes? Like this (slamming my hand down hard on my thigh). He blinks back, somewhat befuddled and carefully writes 's p a n g' across the pages.


God knows what the neighbours think but as they frequently see me loading a female pelvis, replica placenta and a variety of balls into my car, probably not much different than they did already.

His first official attempt at the school spelling test started with the word CROP. He made a good stab at it but summed up his feelings by replacing the O with an A.

The teacher put a polite cross next to it and moved on.

And then we have reading.

Off he cracks 'Biff and Chip are at the castle. Biff looks up. There is a...... what's this word mummy?'.

The world is face. F.A.C.E.

'Sound it out. SOUND IT OUT!' I bellow, forgetting that face isn't really that phonetic. Something to do with a magic E.





Facker! It says Facker!

Oh dear god.

'There is a facker at the window'.

I start to laugh.

I can't stop.

Pleased that he's actually pleased me, he continues.

'Kipper looks up. 'I can't see a facker' he says'.

'They go into the castle to look for the facker'.

By this point I'm laughing so hard I can't breath and both kids, ultra-happy, that for once I'm not gritting my teeth and sighing, start to rush around the house screeching FACKER FACKER FACKER. FIND THE FACKER!'.

Oh crop I think, here we go again.....