Lockdown Home School – Day Fourteen

Thursday’s are always bustling, hurtling days. This is largely because it’s the one with most work meetings; ensuring every other task is executed at a furious pace. This dynamism also applies to home schooling and thus I dug out several projects set for Cerberus by teacher Mrs E and unleashed him at them. Remarkably he did quite well, though this was due to my delicate selection rather than his brain functioning properly. 

I made sure all homework today was art-centred, as this is clearly where his talent lies. One need only look at his inventive use of language to detect this. In the art of teaching a minor to write fluently, there are little markers on the page showing a disembodied finger, designed to encourage the budding human to separate a word from its neighbours. 

A week ago we had not mastered the art of finger-spacing. Now we have. As if to offset this small but glorious gain, Cerberus has started writing each subsequent line over its predecessor. It reminded me of a visit to the Imperial War Museum where letters are on display from the Great War. Because pencils, papers and often fingers were in short supply, soldiers at the Front wrote a letter from top to bottom before turning the paper landscape and scribbling over the earlier updates from the mud-sloshed hellholes they found themselves in. 

Incredibly, the soldiers of 1914-18 wrote in straight lines, even as their ear drums must have been splintering from incessant shellfire, and their correspondence to sweethearts and parents was perfectly legible. Cerberus on the other hand resembles a whizz-bang in all that he does, writes, draws. This now includes his grasp of written English. To look at a page authored by he, it is clear there has been some form of detonation on the page. If what you pour onto paper is an insight into your mental state, I am calling the police. 

One exercise set for my eldest was to write a story about a domestic pet and draw the same animal repeatedly to demonstrate its alternate moods; happiness, sadness, anger and so forth. For a reason I struggle to grasp this kind of exercise is right up his insalubrious alley. Personally I wouldn’t fancy drawing the same critter over and over. I’d just do a rosy-cheeked face, perhaps a one-fingered salute and a background of no-man’s land as a thinly veiled scream for help. 

Cerberus on the other hand delved into it like a Mexican miner. Like a gift from the Heavens, I focussed on work to stave off the debt collectors for another month and he slipped into his imagination for several hours. It is at times like this I almost like him. 

Medusa has had a raw deal from lockdowns. She hasn’t had the chance to build up an army of midget friends. As a nursery-goer, and second child, she’s been largely ignored since birth. There’s a third coming to join them in the near future and it’ll be lucky if I notice them arriving. 

With each day that passes Cerberus dominates our ears, eyes and brains to capacity. I pray he’ll have the resolve to focus on a job which involves no spare time whatsoever; either an Olympian athlete, the military, or as a brain surgeon. 

That being said, there’s no chance I’d let him near me with a scalpel. I’ve seen the look in his eyes. This is the downside of having an miniature artist in the house, with a pathological incapacity to listen or bear instruction. One never knows when he might cut off your ear. Just for practice.

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