We are back to school with a vengeance now. The inexorable tide of school centric crap is coming my way. Book bags are already beginning to fill with begging letters. Oscar and Tallulah will both be swimming and doing cookery lessons from now until half term. God help me. This will mean being extra organised, and even more forms and letters.
If that is at all possible. There were sheaves of the things yesterday:
Can you help with any and all things.
The monetary begging letters.
This term your child will be playing the Phrygian nose flute whilst balancing eels on the end of their nose. This activity will help their core motor skills and help us to appease OFSTED. Please send in four million Euros in loose change by Friday.
I am fascinated now, by the fact that it seems to be a new trend to have to justify all trips, jollies etc, by finding spurious reasons why this activity will help my child get a career as a brain surgeon in X years, which is why it is O.K. to ask me for £17.50, because one day Oscar will be able to pay me back from his brain surgery activities.
The letters demanding bits of administrative nonsense.
We know you have already filled in four million forms in triplicate, on paper so yellow it made your retinas burn, but could we just ask you for a few more details, like your sort code, your account number, a small DNA sample and a picture of your grandmother playing ukulele with Prince Philip.
It makes me so happy to comply. As you can imagine.
I was particularly impressed by the levels of incompetence shown by Tallulah’s new school. It is the same school Tilly is at, so they should have all my details. I know they have all my details because they are very, very keen on contacting parents by all means possible, particularly if your child has infringed one of the rules.
Tilly, for example, went to school last Friday in her trainers. We had an e-mail and a letter saying that Year 11 children would be doing team building all day and would need to wear trainers. She took this literally and turned up in trainers instead of her school approved shoes. She got inspected and found wanting because she had broken the school shoe rule – already – on her first day! Terrible child.
She explained that she had misinterpreted the letter.
They said it didn’t matter and they would be informing me, and sending someone round to inspect her on Monday in the hope that she had seen the error of her ways and would now come to school in the correct footwear.
I then received a text message from them, an e-mail from them and a note in blood written on the flayed skin of an ex year 11 pupil who was found wanting for other misdemeanours and wasn’t suitably grovelly.
I am surprised that they haven’t yet trained owls to drop letters down the chimneys. It is only a matter of time.
Despite this impressive array of missives being fired in my general direction, Tallulah came home on Friday and announced that the school needed my phone number in case they needed to contact me. I showed her the array of messages I had received and announced that they were having no problems at all contacting me, and if they asked again she should explain that she is Tilly’s sister and they already have more than enough of my details on file.
She went to school yesterday armed with this information and came home last night saying that apparently this won’t do, and they can’t possibly do joined up thinking or be pro active (things which they are very keen on all the girls doing, I might add), because they can’t. I am ordered to give my phone number by today. Or else.
The temptation to say: ‘You and whose army?’ and refuse point blank is enormous, but Tallulah really doesn’t need a rebellious parent issue at this stage in proceedings, so I complied. Grudgingly and with enormously bad grace.
My best thing would be to write letters to the school about any and all things my children do, asking for donations of money and help and justifying why these things are good for their future careers as brain surgeons, goat whisperers and international singing sensations. I would also like to write letters, to the girls’ school in particular, asking why Tilly regularly comes home covered in ink, or mud, or sandwich filling, and saying that if she doesn’t live up to the high standards I expect of a child in a very exacting home, I shall have to report them to OFSTED.
It would be wonderful.