So, work. Am at work again. Distressingly for my new blogging activity, last week was quite busy. That is not in the game plan. How am I meant to witter away on my blog (far too much lounging around watching TV and grazing from the fridge to be done at home to waste time blogging) when they ask me to initiate projects into rationalising the company structure? Maybe I looked desperate.
Anyway, it all seems to have worked out quite nicely with work. Not that bossman is too happy but this will teach him to learn about maternity rules and to organise my annual review less than 12 months in arrears. So anyway. I’d asked to reduce my hours from mid-Sep. This is because Scrotal Sac (SS – child one) starts school in Sept. And whilst nursery do great 7.30am-6.30pm hours, schools seem to operate on a strict 9-3 agenda. The inconsiderate monkeys. So – The Man will be dropping SS off and I will be finishing early to pick him up by 5pm. Work *finally* agreed to slightly shorter hours (my flexible working request gave them little room for manoeuvre without resort to an Employment Tribunal), they gave me the back pay they owed me and formally acknowledged the pregnancy. HOWEVER, because September is less than 15 weeks before my expected due date, my maternity pay will be calculated on the 8 week full-time period (including back pay), essentially July-August 2013. Which to cut a long, boring, and rather dull story short means that for the first 10 weeks of mat pay I will be getting MORE money monthly than I do working full-time at the moment. RESULT. Boss just looked at me with a despondent stare and mumbled something about HR not telling him that.
Bad Mummy 1 – Dull Work Place – 0.
Quick rant about these whilst I’m feeling fruity (it’s amazing what these pregnancy hormones do…). SS is going to the local school. It appears to be OK – has doors, windows, tables, grass, a few teachers and the like. Now, rightly or wrongly, my main concern about this whole starting schooling malarkey is based in practicalities:
What time do they start?
What time do they finish?
When is lunch?
How much is lunch?
When do we pay?
Where do I buy the uniform?
Where’s the afterschool club? (not that there’s any place in this unless you know someone who knows someone who knows the Head – but this is another rant for another day).
Now there were a number of visits for SS and a couple of parents meetings. All good. But this is where I get ranty. The purpose of these meetings was essentially to tell us parents about how every child is unique and special and how the school will strive to find out what motivates and interests our individual children. We even got a form to fill in, “my unique child”. Now excuse me while I go and vomit in the corner. NOTHING about how to pay for lunch. NOTHING on start and end times, other than the juicy factlet that they’ll be tired at 3pm. Useful.
My child is not unique. Apart from in his genetic make-up (and I reckon if I write this on the form, I may be black-listed forever as *that* parent). If he ever gets DNA swabbed by the police, his unique fingerprint will be held on file. Apart from this, well, he’s a bloody 4 year old boy. He likes fighting, dinosaurs, eating, sweets, running around and answering back.
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I want the school to teach him how to read, write and add-up. Not discover that his unique skill is to be able to burp and fart at the same time. Maybe I’m old school, but this learn through play business may have gone far enough. He’s done 4.5 years at nursery and he now needs a strong hand, discipline and maybe to be put in his place when his boots swell that little bit too much. The ‘positive reinforcement’ message was also plugged and I had to suppress a snigger, in that if, and I kid you not this was the example used, the little angels are running around, the last thing you should shout, is “STOP RUNNING
YOU LITTLE FECKERS” but “SS, darling, wouldn’t it be better if you walked, you may slip and hurt your knee if you run”. Mmmmmm. Enough said. Make up your own minds.
Anyway, it only struck me on the last visit by SS that whilst I now have a rather strong grasp of phonics, learning through play and positively reinforcing my ickle angel, I have absolutely no idea how to put his name down for school dinners. So I asked. This was met with the same bemusement as when I asked in the parents’ meeting about the afterschool club. Eventually, I had to ask at reception and they told me just to turn up with some money on the first day. OK. Righty-ho. I’m trying not to think about the logistics of 400 children turning up with money on the first day and a bemused looking cook with a single tray of lasagne working out to divide it into 400 portions.
So, my ‘unique’ child will start school quite probably in a ‘unique’ uniform as I’ve had to make most of it up from what I can see on the school’s website. He can’t wait. And unfortunately for the school, I very much suspect that if they do discover his unique qualities, they will rather wish they hadn’t.