Wednesday, 1 August 2012


2 September 2009
Written when Luke was 11, Amber was 7 and Cole was 5

Luke's in the middle of his exams at the moment, so I've been helping him a bit with his studying.  I know, what can I say – I’m a glutton for punishment.  Does anything suck more than Gr 5 Natural Science?  No wait, yes indeed, Gr 6 Natural Science.

So because I am pre-occupied with Luke and he needs my attention, Grant put Amber and Cole to bed for me, thereby enabling me to make a "quick" guest appearance to say goodnight.  All for a good cause, so that I could “rush” back to Luke and the wonders of “photosynthesis”.  For Grant this entails doing toothbrush patrol as well as ensuring that the necessary ablutions have been done.  So on my “speedy” pop-in to Cole, to just kiss, cuddle and say goodnight, Cole of course got a near fatal attack of verbal diarrhoea.  He was lying in his bed telling us this whole long involved and slightly garbled story.  And it simply wouldn’t be fair on him to cut him short.  He so badly also wants to be heard and share stuff with us.  Quickly pat-patting him, before dashing off would have felt cruel and at five years old he is just so cute.  So Grant and I both very patiently gave him his time and did not rush him at all.  I mean how important is Luke's Natural Science exam after all? 

But now listen to this story - told to Cole’s pre-school class by their Student Teacher.  It's a story about a caterpillar and a tadpole who are in love – odd, I know – not really a match made in heaven, but anyway.  The caterpillar wears black pearl earrings (???).  It took Cole a good three minutes to come up with the word.  Grant and I must have sounded like we were trying to guess something whilst playing charades.  Cole couldn’t get the words “black pearl earrings” out, so he kept on pointing at his ear and we're saying "ear”, “earlobe”, “earring”, “ear hole".  “No”, Cole says “it's this thing and it's black”.  Right – my favourite – a thing.  It leaves a very vague grey area to be covered.  So Grant and I persevere saying "pierced ear”, “ear bud”, “dirty ear”, “dirty ear bud".  Eventually he said it's black and it sounds like berry.  Thank heavens it was only about a minute and a half's leap from that to “black pearl earrings”.  It was like a little light bulb moment for him when we finally got it.  Added to that, he was absolutely delighted when I quickly fetched my black pearl earrings from my bedroom to show them to him. 

Anyway so the story goes that the caterpillar and the tadpole are in love.  The tadpole's nickname for the caterpillar is "Rainbow, my love".  This story just becomes stranger by the minute.  So then Cole goes into a lengthy discussion on tadpoles changing into frogs and caterpillars changing into butterflies.  And at this point I reckon there's obviously a little Biology lesson mixed into the story – back to that mean old Natural Science again, and to be honest, I was about to start zoning out.  Was I never to escape it tonight?  I mean, when did kids stories stop simply being about fun?  Why must it always include school work?  Fun, silly, funny stories – great. Moral lesson stories - great.  Stories for five year olds incorporating Biology - not so great.  Grant and I were transfixed - very eager yet nervous to see where this would lead.   So then Cole tells us that one day the frog was hanging out in the pond and then he ate the butterfly.  Hello???  Just like that!  No warning, no dramatic background music, simply no clues as to the butterfly’s pending demise, just the end!  Are you friggin kidding me?  I was traumatised!  I like sappy-happy-ending-true-love-stories.  This was a thriller for kids!  Cole absolutely loved it and thought it was the funniest story he'd ever heard.  I reckon Megan, the Student Teacher, is going to go far!  The only way she could possibly have made the story any more cool, would've been to add a bit of toilet humour or something even more gross into it, like vomiting for example.

And yes, as I do every single night, I lay with Amber in her bed so that we could cuddle together and have a little chat about this and that and life in general.  And then after studying with Luke (which felt like it took forever), the two of us played this pencil game that ALL the kids are playing at school – an utterly pointless game, that involved making pencil marks on a page.  And then we talked about soccer cards, soccer players, soccer teams, soccer scores, soccer tactics, soccer, soccer, soccer - again - at length - ad nauseam - no seriously, ad nauseam!
Now I'm not telling you this because I think I'm a good mother, or that I give my children so much of my undivided attention, or time - I'm telling you this because I think I'm a bloody idiot!  A BLOODY IDIOT!!!  COLLECTIVELY THEY CONNED ME OUT OF AT LEAST AN HOUR'S TIME!!!

1 comment:

  1. They sure know how to play you!
    You are sooo patient with them.
    I had a giggle though - they are all artists at keeping one hanging at bedtime! You were good too.