Wallop!

It’s the end of my youngest son’s first half term of school. It’s been largely uneventful save for a couple of minor issues, oh and there was a little problem with a bit of a fight.

My dad was one of those dads who always told you,

“If he hits you, you hit him back”.

I’ve not said that to either of my children. It’s not that I don’t believe in punching someone in the face if they’ve just done the same to you, far from it, I just believe that you should judge every situation as it comes i.e. How big is he? How much did it hurt? Did I deserve it?

In any case that belief is for adults only, not for children, especially 4 year olds like my H! Instead we have adopted the approach,

“If someone upsets you go and tell the teacher.”

We haven’t even mentioned ‘punches’, as far as my kids are concerned no-one wants to punch them in the face. That’s how it should be!

Despite all this I got called aside by H’s teacher at the end of one day and she spoke to me while a sheepish looking H cowered around my legs.

Apparently a kid in Year 1 (year above four year old H) was saying horrible things to him and generally being verbally abusive. My seven year old eldest would be very upset and tell the teacher immediately, H smacked him in the face without a word.

Now I don’t know if it’s being a dad as opposed to a mum, but I felt a pang of pride swell up from somewhere inside me that I just couldn’t control. Of course on the outside I was horrified, I said all the right things and chastised H and told him that was not the way to behave. And on the whole I agree with my outside appearance. But that pang inside remains whether I like it or not.

A few days later I was telling one of the other dads in the school playground. A bespectacled fellow who doesn’t appear to have any aggression in him whatsoever. His response to the story was.

“Good on him!”

I didn’t agree with him openly and still towed the party line that I was shocked and appalled. But inside I felt glad that I wasn’t a monster.

I found out through the grapevine later that the boy who H walloped is known for being a bit of a bully. Apparently getting a slap from a four year old has brought him down a peg or two and he’s treating others with a bit more respect now. My outward words of warning for H have certainly taken effect too and I don’t think he’ll be walloping anyone again anytime soon. Perhaps all’s well that ends well?

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The Late Kids

 

I was once at a customer’s house and he was discussing his young grandaughter’s first couple of weeks at school. He wasn’t a fan of her headmistress and complained,

“She stands in front of the school once the bell goes in the morning and tells the late parents they must make more effort to be on time, can you believe that?!”

My response,

“Yes I can believe that, your daughter is obviously a very selfish person and it sounds as though she has been late on a number of occasions already within the first two weeks for you to know that this is something the headmistress does every day. Does she think it’s a good thing that she’s teaching her child that it doesn’t matter about being on time and that everybody will just wait for you because the whole world revolves around her. Does your daughter care in any way that somebody has to take time out of their day to take your grandaughter to her classroom, where her teacher has to stop what she’s doing with the twenty nine other children just to accommodate your grandaughter and her selfish mother?”

Well that’s not quite true, he was after all a customer and I was trying to secure payment from him for services rendered. I believe my true cowardly response was something along the lines of,

“No, that’s terrible”.

There is one child in my older son’s class whose mother doesn’t have time (can’t be arsed) to feed him in the mornings. So she stops at the bakery opposite the school and buys him a sausage roll which makes him ten minutes late every day. He then spends the first twenty minutes of school wandering round the classroom eating and dropping said sausage roll all over the place. The other children aren’t allowed to eat in the classroom and this child can’t possibly start work until he’s finished his sausage roll so everyone ends up disrupted. The child is behind in terms of learning and is well known as a child who frequently misbehaves in the classroom. I’m not qualified to suggest there’s any link.

Now, I appreciate that getting children ready for school in the mornings is a nightmare and there are going to be some mornings where there are catastrophic failures in the process, so I am not talking about parents who are occasionally late with their children. I am, however, talking about mums who are late at least four out of every five days, week in week out.

There’s one mum at our boy’s school who is on time perhaps one day every two months and lives a one minute walk from the school.

The link between all of the mums at least is that they are immaculate, hair like they’ve just stepped out of the salon, make up that could have been done by Estée Lauder herself and smelling like they work behind the perfume counter at Boots. We’re not talking usual effort for a day at the office either, we are talking an effort that most women would only make if they were going to a black tie do or out to the races. Surely some of that preening time could be used to help your very small child to get ready in the mornings or is that too obvious?

Is it just me who this bothers. Does anyone give a toss about being on time anymore?

Embarrassed Daddy or Embarrassing Daddy?

“Oh, by the way daddy, I told Miss Smith how pretty you think she is”

My four year old has finally started school. He was more than ready and his confident stroll in without looking back on his first day gave me the full confidence that he was going to do fine!

His teacher is very nice, to make this story less embarrassing (for her in case she ever read this) let’s call her Miss Smith. Now Miss Smith is in her early twenties and in her third year of teaching. Her first year was spent teaching my eldest in year one and we were very pleased with how he got on that year. Also, Miss Smith is hot. As I am now forty there is no way to say that that doesn’t sound pervy. It’s just that out of all the teachers in the school she is noticeably the hottest. It wasn’t just me, all of a sudden I had a lot more dads to talk to at school pick up time…

It would of course be completely inappropriate for me to convey that I think Miss Smith is hot to either of my boys of four and seven. They wouldn’t understand at this age. However, I was tricked by H into revealing the tiniest piece of my thoughts on the subject, a lapse I now regret.

I should reveal at this stage that four year old H is a ladies man. He’s a bit of a lad and loves playing rough with the boys but if a big girl comes along his head is turned and he spends all his time trying to impress them. This manifests itself in the most part as him being a bit of a ‘mummy’s boy’. He’s absolutely obsessed with his mummy, bringing her presents, calling her a princess and taking the opportunity for a cuddle every five minutes.

At nursery he was consumed with getting a ‘Superstar’ rating every day, the rating they achieve if they have gone out of their way to be good that day. If he didn’t get noticed for being good then he would make sure that they knew.

“Charlotte, I’ve tidied the home corner”
“OK H, but you did that yesterday”.

So the next day he would try something new.

“Alice, I’ve put all the books back on the bookshelf”
“OK H, but there was only three books on the floor, I don’t think that warrants you being a superstar”.

But then he cracked it.

“Kirsty, I’ve put all the dressing up clothes back into the box. Also, you look very beautiful today.”

Bingo…

So with this in mind the following conversation wasn’t a surprise.

“Daddy, Miss Smith is very nice.”
“Yes, she is H.”
“Daddy, Miss Smith is very pretty.”
“Yes, she is H.”

That was it. I had hardly gone over the top, merely agreed with the opinion of a big girl obsessed four year old.

The next day I dropped H at the school gates. It was the first day he had to walk into the main gates and make his own way to his classroom. I put his huge book bag on his shoulder, kissed him on the cheek, gave him a hug and whispered in his ear.

“See you later matey, have a great day at school”
“Bye, daddy.”

He turned and took a few steps towards the gate, then he turned and said.

“Oh, by the way daddy, I told Miss Smith how pretty you think she is.”
“Thanks, H.”

Shit. H’s teacher thinks I’m an old pervert.

I did share this info on my Facebook page to much laughter and piss taking.

“Is lingerie inappropriate to give as an end of term gift?”, was probably my favourite.

“It’s going to make parents evening a bit awkward”, was another comment.

No it’s bloody not, it’s going to make school pick up time bloody awkward, in four hours time! Then it’s going to make every pick up on every day awkward. When parents evening comes round it will be beyond awkward!

I have to admit that I’ve not been completely honest at this point. It isn’t the first time I’ve been embarrassed in front of Miss Smith although it is the first time it wasn’t my fault. When T was in her glass he had a gymnastics lesson after school which meant a later pick up. As he was getting changed he excitedly told me that Miss Smith’s dog had had babies and that she had brought them in to show the class. Just then Miss Smith walked through the hall where T was getting changed and said ‘hello”.

“Hi” I said, “T was just telling me how much he enjoyed his day”.
“Oh that’s lovely” she said “Yes I showed the class my puppies today and they loved it.”

The snigger rose up like a volcano, I tried to suppress it but it teared up the back of my throat and roared out of my nose before I could help it. The noise lasted a millisecond but it was enough for a chest tightening awkward moment.

“That does sound like a good day” I finally croaked.

After the latest slip the only option for me now of course is to emigrate.