We entered the Abyss Of Shame today. As a result of not checking in this morning and our strategy of only posting one picture per week on the class hub, Cerberus’ teacher staged an intervention. There has to be one set of parents worse than you and I can tell you we are they.
So caught up with managing our own lives and trying not to cry 24 hours a day, we dismissed education entirely from our minds and it sped up behind us like a fermenting chihuahua and bit our bottoms.
Teacher Mrs E emailed out of the blue and asked a) if everything was OK and b) if we could have a ‘chat’? My heart sunk, the same feeling I used to get as a child when I saw my father dip his hand into the biscuit tin when I and only I knew I had eaten every Wagon Wheel and was feeling rather sick. I’d feel even more queasy when he leapt out of his slippers witnessing the desolate sight before him.
Grasping the bull by the gonads, I spoke with Mrs E and explained as best I could that we are wildly selfish parents who have placed greater station on our getting paid than educating Cerberus. Frankly, I noted, it’s not worth the bleedin’ hassle. When does the rotter ever thank us? Never.
I admit I exaggerate. I grovelled. Unabashedly. Explaining that we’ve bugger all childcare support due to a) the living grandparents being further from human reach than the dead ones; b) John Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon; c) F*#!ING LOCKDOWN, I cleared my throat, quivered a little, and noted we are failures but would try harder.
Making clear to the household we couldn’t accept this hopeless scenario I committed to drive up Cerberus’ standards immediately and postponed my work team call until evening. This instantly upset all my colleagues who had marked 5pm onwards as ‘beer time!’. My only surprise was they haven’t moved on to the gin by then. I have.
As Lord Sumption might have said, one must make decisions when it comes down to it. In this case alienating my workforce and own boss by pushing a meeting to an inconvenient hour beats getting publicly shamed by Cerberus’ teacher in the fake classroom they’ve conjured online. Nothing comes close to lockdown for demonstrating what a bunch of approval seeking flimflams all other parents in your child’s class are. This of course is their view of me too.
Mrs M and I can’t compete with the tiger mummies of our village and its bucolic surrounds. Today we woke up to about 1 foot of snow. The class feed was full of updates on inventive projects completed amidst the big freeze. One child, presumably assisted by a small army of Inuits, built an igloo, including indoor lighting and a reading corner. All it made me think was ‘where do Inuits do the toilet? Do they stick their bums out of the open window? Do they were special sealskin nappies?’.
When I went for a bracing stroll to wash away the old engine oil flowing through my blood, I met village chum Lizzy with her daughter. Her school task of the day? Build an exact replica of the Titanic made from snow. I make a mental note that we should never have moved here. My rash thoughts are banished in an instant when I ask if they completed the task. “Pffft”, she snorted. “We don’t have time for that kind of rubbish. I’ve got work to do!” Amen, Lizzy, Amen.