Happy new year!
Well that’s a sentence that is immediately contradicted by the news that we are home schooling again. And this time there’s no novelty factor – we know exactly what we’re in for. And more to the point, I have exhausted all my ways in which to pretend an enthusiasm for the art of multiplying mixed fractions. My 11-year-old now sees through my outright lies about how important fronted adverbials are, and both kids know damn well that the sum total of knowledge I’ve managed to retain about electrical circuits from my own school days, amounts to being able to yell down the stairs that the fuse has blown, and can somebody please flip the switch. In short, they know they are dealing with a fake.
The great news is that their schools, who have yet again been incredible at very short notice, are providing as many live lessons as possible. Live lessons mean the children can engage with their teachers and classmates, and can stick to a routine more easily, all of which help dramatically with both their education and their wellbeing.
It also means that the children must remember to keep their cameras and microphones switched off. The danger of not doing this has nothing to do with student safety. It’s so that their poor teacher doesn’t have to witness any wild-haired, oddly-dressed mothers bursting onto the scene, demanding to know whether their child intends to have their January wash at some point before February arrives.
In my defence, I had woken from a deep sleep and was in a great hurry to let the dog out before we both regretted it. So I grabbed the first things I saw, which happened to be knickers, a t-shirt and a pair of child’s earmuffs. The fact that I was still wearing the same things two hours later, is irrelevant. After 90 minutes sleep the previous night, my brain had obviously registered the t-shirt and decided it was a case of ‘job done’.
In addition to camera awareness, the other thing about the girls being at home all the time, is the constant food preparation. I have no new lunch and dinner ideas left. I’ve tried googling recipes, but each new week of lockdown seems to knock five foods off their ‘I will eat this’ list and send them over to the ‘I will vehemently deny that I ever liked this, and brand you a liar for even suggesting it’ list.
Yesterday’s conversation went as follows:
Daughter: ‘What’s for dinner tonight?’
‘I don’t like salmon’.
Me: ‘You love salmon! Literally two weeks ago you asked when we could have salmon again because you really love it’.#
Daughter: ‘I know, but will it taste like bum?’
Also me: ‘Why would it?’
Daughter: ‘Because the last two times I’ve had it, it tasted like bum’
Other daughter: ‘How do you know what bum tastes like?’
There was only ever one direction this was going to go in, and sure enough, as I’m sure happens so often in so many households all around the world, a long argument about bums vs salmon ensued.
I managed to keep quiet for an impressive amount of time while I looked longingly at the gin and wondered how that vaccine rollout was coming along. But eventually, I put a stop to it by shouting that they shouldn’t judge salmon by their own standards, and that they were now having beans on toast.
Bring on Bedtime!