Am feeling very tired and grumpy at the moment for three reasons:
1. I’ve received a letter from The Boy’s school. From his PE teacher who writes that he is ‘extremely concerned by the lack of progress being made by your son in physical eduction this term’ Why? Because he is wearing ‘incorrect socks’. This particular PE teacher roared at The Boy,’And what would your mother think of you not wearing the right socks for PE?’ and The Boy responded, ‘Actually sir, I don’t think she’d give a shit.’ And got a big detention.
Poor Boy. He’s right about me not giving shit about his socks. But it’s also because some PE teachers can be strange people. I had one who was obsessed with sport – carrying a long pole with a hook on it to prevent any errant (drowning) students in the pool from clambering out. She also had a fun game of screaming that the last person out of the changing room lost a House Point, so we all had to rush like mad, struggling into our wet clothes, so as not to be the one who let down their House by losing a House Point.
I’d be worried if The Boy was being bullied or a bully himself. I’d be worried if he was depressed. And I’d be worried if he was a lazy arse. But am I worried that his socks are incorrect? No I am not.
2. I’ve been doing a lot of marking at the moment. And it’s exhausting trying to be honest but constructive and kind at the same time. I opened a short story where the author announced they were writing ‘in the style of Sylvia Plath’. And succeeded. In the sense that after I’d read it I wanted to stick my head in the oven. Why can’t writers develop their own voice?
3. The Girl has started reading her Key Stage One book, and I’m supposed to make comments in the notebook. I read one note from her teacher saying: ‘The Girl has difficulty in recognising some words. She should try harder’. For some reason that comment really hacked me off. What words does she have difficulty with? Existential? Erroneous? Patronising Twat? Now I know how hard it is for teachers having to push children towards targets all the time but she’s five years old. I’m going to read to her and let her listen to audio stories so she grows to love words and books, at her own pace. I restrained myself (just) from writing, ‘Piss Off Teecher’ in the comments box.
Told you I was grumpy. Off to eat steak and watch some bad telly. Less grumpy tomorrow.