You know how you sign children up to things that they express enthusiasm for and then five minutes later they hate the thing sooo much that they protest every single week that it is the worst thing EVER? I put only son down for Spanish Club this term and not only does he moan about it every Monday when he has it, but he spends the entire weekend anticipating it. What on Earth do they do there, I wonder? How can it possibly be that bad? I questioned him in detail the other day and it turns out they were doing colouring [to learn the words for colours]. “It was sooooo boring,” said only son. “Why are you making me go?”
Only son is not a person to hold back on what he thinks. When I arrived slightly late for pick-up he burst out of the school reception saying very loudly to the assembled parents: “Finally, mum. You are very, very late.” I consider five minutes of lateness to be essentially on time. I told him I was waylaid by the Taylor review which was suggesting, among other things, that zero hours workers could request permanent hours after a year. Given the weakness of the flexible working right to request I was not sure it was going to be a great success. Only son was not impressed.
I then proceeded, since it was a Monday, to ask him how Spanish Club went. “It was great. We did numbers again so that we don’t forget them by the time we get to Year Six,” said only son with uncharacteristic enthusiasm. Maybe he was coming round. Even so, I did my usual PR job on Spanish Club. “Think of all the extra people you could talk to and play with if you spoke Spanish,” I said, listing some of them and singing La cucaracha to him. Only son momentarily showed an interest.
His dad is going into his school to talk about Spain on Friday and I’m hoping that will build his enthusiasm. We made a picture presentation at the weekend after only son told us that the Polish mum who went in last week not only got the kids doing a Polish dance, but gave them all Polish sweets. “The bar is high,” I told my partner. “No pressure.” The teacher already told us that the kids are very excited as they know quite a bit about Spain and it is the last parent session this term. I’ve told my partner to try and restrain from mentioning Brexit. I fear things could go horribly wrong…
It later emerged that only son had not in fact done a session on Spanish numbers and had bunked off Spanish Club. “I was at lunch and the teacher was a bit late coming to get us so I went out and played football instead!” he said triumphantly. Hmm. So the whole tale about numbers was a lie? Only son is a very thoughtful person. He pondered deeply for a few moments and decided that I could never ever trust him again. I told him that deep down he was a very trustworthy person and that it was only with regard to Spanish Club that he wavered. We sat and read a Spanish book together in our own home Spanish Club and he cuddled up and went to sleep.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk. Picture credit: Wiki Commons.