There has been a lot of focus on loneliness and isolation at work in relation to remote...read more
Sometimes in life there are small disappointments and sometimes large ones. The other day I found out that the Marvel comic character who only son refers to as Hot Guy is actually called Hawkeye. I have not shared this news with only son yet. He has Hot Guy down as some amazing figure with heat-raising powers which I don’t think he actually has, given that he appears mainly to be a good shot with a bow and arrow. My interest in Marvel Comics – which I have to say is not huge – has waned. Although I am forced to read the Marvel Comics book of Marvel Comics characters every night – and the back story does appear to be very complicated involving time travel, ancient Egypt and complex political stuff linked to someone called Nick Fury – I have not yet become a convert. This is mainly because we have to read the same three characters every night – Hulk, Captain America and Kang.
About two of the superheroes in his book are women. I asked only son if he thought girls can be superheroes and he said yes and that I was one. This is good news in a week when there was actually a bit of positive reporting about working mums [that we are good role models for our daughters]. It came after a European Council report which was interpreted as being a call by Europe to force stay at home mothers back to work. This, naturally, led to the usual knee-jerk attacks on Europe for telling us Brits what to do [even though the report merely recommended greater investment in high quality, affordable childcare] and the usual attempts to pitch working mums against stay at home mums. “Don’t you feel that stay-at-home mums are being discriminated against?” I was asked by a journalist. I replied that it may be that they feel this way because they are now in a minority – something that has happened quite startlingly fast. However, it was not so long ago that every second interview I did seemed to revolve around whether I felt guilty about being a working mum. Surely, said the journalist quite reasonably, childcare should be a family thing, not just about women. I agreed. Five seconds later she asked me to justify why I worked. When men are also asked such questions maybe we will have made some progress.
In any event, I’m not sure I’m a great superhero. My main superpower appears to be saving money and it is something I have passed onto my children. This week daughter three attended a taster day for secondary school. She has no intention of going to said secondary school. She just fancied a day off school, a bit of an adventure, if you will, and was attracted by the words “taster day”. Being one of four children she has gone to a LOT of taster events. She has sampled musical theatre, street dance and an assortment of drama and sports activities. Just for the free taster session. If she were to become passionate about any one of these in the course of a taster event, I might consider signing her up, but based on past experience passion dies around session three. I have therefore given up signing up to anything that is not a pay-as-you-go experience.
In similar saver mode I have been trying to avoid buying any new school uniform for the last few months on the grounds that people will only grow during the summer holidays. Only son is proving somewhat of a fly in the ointment to this plan. He has come home every day this week with some part of his uniform missing. He lost his tie the first day. Then I got it back and another one, which may or may not have been the one he lost several months before. The next day he lost it again. “I was running around with it on my head [why?], mum, and then I took it off and started twirling it and I don’t know what happened to it after that,” he told me. The next days no socks. I bought a massive packet of black socks earlier in the year and they have all disappeared. We are down to one black sock with a hole in it and a black sock with fluorescent trimming which I have to fold over so it is “school uniform”. His white[ish] shirts are covered in stains as he appears to throw his lunch at his shirt every day and the zip on his shorts is broken. Only four weeks to go though.