Oscar has been looking forward to doing cookery ever since he started at his new school last September.
His last school did not have the facilities to do cookery lessons, so the novelty factor was high. He has been waiting patiently for months for it to be his turn to cook. They do these kinds of lessons on Wednesday afternoons, but so far he has been doing woodland studies and other more rugged pursuits. Cookery was scheduled for the first week back after the Easter holidays, and helped to soften the blow of going back to school.
I waited in the playground for him on Wednesday afternoon, ready to greet a boy whose enthusiasm bubbled over all the way home.
Instead, a dejected figure trailed out of the school doors, dragging his feet and looking at the ground. He was not happy. Cookery was ‘horrible mama.’ I asked what the problem was.
‘We made horrible, horrible food.’
I asked him what.
Oh dear. Not a good start. Who in their right mind tries to inculcate a love of cookery in a child’s mind by starting with porridge?
‘Porridge with fruit.’
Oh deary, dear. Healthy porridge. Not even porridge with cream and honey. Basically gruel then.
He turned his face to me and said in an impassioned voice:
‘And…and…mama, I just didn’t understand it! I didn’t know if it was a food or a drink. It looked like food. But then. Then you had to…drink it!’
This, it seems was the final straw.
He does not want to go back next week, although it is hard to say what they could make that would be as upsetting as a food that you have to drink.