Saturday, 5 February 2011


HALLELUJAH!! With Secondary School just a few months off, Alfie has come in with the Big One; he is reading Harry Potter!!! His impressive reading bank now comprises Beano, Captain Underpants, Wimpy Kid, Match Magazine and Harry Potter! (I could include Top Trumps, but that would be gilding the lily)

To celebrate, I have thrown caution to the wind and bought new copies of the Harry Potter volumes at full price, an extravagance hitherto reserved for the School Book Fair when the Head is watching. ‘They’re classics, Alfie,’ I drawl ‘so we should buy nice new copies - maybe your own children will read them one day!’ (He reads a chapter book, next thing is I’m asking for grandchildren!’)

This zeal for self-improvement is down to his new teacher, the inspirational Ms P: ‘She writes words after my work instead of just ticks!’ ‘Never!’ ‘And she’s made this huge chart of conjgetives!’ ‘Con-nec-tives?’ ‘Yes!! D’you know about them too??!!’

Before Ms P (BP) literacy was as interesting to Alfie as a wet carrot. I’d find some ripped up piece of paper with illegible markings in his pocket, which I would waggle in front of him, wondering if he was planning to blow his nose on it. ‘What is this?’ I would say. ‘This is my story’, he’d reply, biting his lip to repress a snort of laughter. ‘I’ll read it to you: Billy Whizz got his lovely dinna and he got his shinny spoon and he put all the dinna in his mouth yum yum the end’

We have a little prayer of thanks for Ms P:

Our Ms P, who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy pen
I thought I couldn’t write
Till you shone the light
But now I can spell ‘eleven’

Same story wih Maths – he’s on fire! ‘Mummy! Can I do another mental maths test? Please?’ ‘That’ll be ten tests, Alfie’ pinning my eyelids open ‘Ready? Two.. Thousand.. Divided.. By-‘ ‘SLOW DOWN MUMMY!!..’ The minute the test is finished ‘Mark it! Mark it!’ hopping from foot to foot – ‘What d’I get??’’

By contrast, the lovely Maddy, with GCSE courses a few months off, is in danger of sleeping through her entire secondary school career, though in her opinion it is the school that keeps tests and homeworks a secret from her. (‘Why didn’t you know about this homework???!!! Were you in the class??!!!!’ ‘Yeah, obviously’) She has to choose her GCSE Options: ‘So what do you want to do at GCSE, Maddy?’ ‘Nothing’ she says. ‘…well that’s as good a starting point as any...’

But she doesn’t have a Ms P, only me, so I decided this weekend it was time to pull out the big guns: ‘Maddy, I’ll do anything you want if you will just get your act together. I will buy you Supernoodles for a month!’ ‘Now you’re talking, Mummy!’ she said, putty in my hands. ‘Give me a pen – I’ve got work to do!’

1 comment:

  1. Just love your posts, found you through The Guardian, your blog was on their blogroll!! My children are fairly young in comparison to yours but now this gives me an insight into what is to come - ahhhhh!