Monday, 28 March 2011
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Saturday, 12 March 2011
Do you believe in omens?
I went to visit a school for her and on the way there someone I know and really like yelled out the window of her car and her children go to the school. Maybe that doesn’t count as I did sort of know that her children went there. But she stopped and we chatted and I remembered why I think she is a great, upbeat person and then she told me that she went there when she was young and gave me some ides about some of my transport difficulties. Probably not really an omen, huh?
And then there was a calendar on the wall of dogs, which was by the photographer I am working with at the moment. Probably not a lot to hang the whole idea on, eh? But I love the shots…
And if I think about it in terms of Ofsted reports and whether I want her to learn through play or actually learn to read and write, and whether it’s me that cares about uniforms or her, and whether it is good to be near home or near my work when I have no idea where I will be working, and if I can actually cope with doing a packed lunch every day, let alone with the fact that I really want to live somewhere else entirely….well, I just go mad. So I might as well make a mad omen sort of decision, no?
Oh, and when I walked around the school and saw the artwork on the walls I nearly burst into tears. I’ve no idea why. Does that count?
Does it even matter if she learns to play not to count?
Tricky thing the English language, practically every word one picks is an exception to the rules of phonics, not to mention the rules of grammar, spelling and a load of other rules that take up rather too much childhood time.
On the way back from seeing a friend in Holland Park we play spelling the names of her friends.
‘Me and my best friend, it’s OK.’ She says, delightedly.
Ok, to get the (what I choose to call a ) joke you need to know that her best friend’s name begins with K and hers O. Ok, even after that it’s not exactly a belter but it’s her first wordplay joke, as far as I'm aware, though maybe she puns and riddling with the teachers and minders all day every weekday.
We begin to sound out the name of another friend.
“A, m, e, l, i, a….”I enunciate in my best consonants and vowels (might as well do a bit of elocution at the same time).
“Eh?” she says.
“Yes: A, m.....- e! Clever girl!”
“E?” I catch her eye in the mirror, she’s looking very pleased with herself.
Oh, eh! I geddit…another little wordplay. At this rate I’ll have to get her a Shakespeare red nose
t-shirt for Comic Relief.
Saturday, 5 March 2011
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
I know this because the school has sent me two texts this week helpfully informing me that on thursday my child must take her favourite book to school and also come dressed as a character from it.
I've come to dread texts from the school. They're full of cakes that need to be baked, special clothing that needs to be found, or inform me of yet another day off (sorry, inset day) for the teachers, which means yet more foraging around for someone who is not her mummy to look after her.
Favourite book? Hmmmm. For years I longed for time spent with two heads in one book. I’ve loved books all my life and I always thought that passing on the joy of reading would be a pure, simple pleasure. But, come the pressure of an evening when we haven't got into the house until seven, and then her into bed until eight and I've more work to do.... well, the stories I like the best then are the short ones. At the moment this is Cinderella.
We read it and then she begs for telly. Yes, wrong. I know. Yes, it shouldn't even be in the bedroom (strange that it is, given that for years I didn't even have a telly in the house) and she shouldn't be in there either, but there it is. She thinks that telly comes after books now, not dreamtime. In fact I’m surprised she didn’t ask to go to school dressed as her favourite character from Masterchef. This is not the childhood I wanted for her, it's certainly not the childhood I had. On the plus side last night she learned how to make a catwalk ballet dress with a big flower out of a highstreet number. I was thrilled (though maybe this is also misguided, given our clothing budget) that she preferred the designer one to the highstreet number. Anyway, at least she doesn't really need a fairy godmother, she's got Gok.
I did mess about with the idea of her going to the book day dressed as the monkey from that Julia Donaldson story we like but monkeys are a bit complicated whereas, we’ve got a whole dressing up box full of Cinderella balldresses. It’s all a bit of a cliché but X got quite into it, working out roles for all her little friends- who could be her ugly sisters and the prince etcetera.
Today, when she came home from school she was still full of the book event. Apparently about half the girls are planning on being Cinderellas and the others are coming as ballerinas –guess they’ll all be Angelina’s, then.. ..
X told me that the teacher was wondering if anyone wanted to be a witch. Good for the teacher, but I can’t think of a good witch story that X and I read and anyway, X is set on the Cinders route and is packing her princess shoes into her school bag right now. She’s nagged a friend who has a wand into being her fairy godmother, but not surprisingly she hasn’t got any ugly sisters and her prince wants to be a cowboy. Get used to it, that's real life, princess, I said.
Tuesday, 1 March 2011