Mother Minding Marathon

Yes, I know, one minute I’m posting daily the next you don’t hear from me for the best part of a week.
Yes, it was that time of year again, my Olympian Marathon, except it happens annually, not quadrennially.
Mother deigned to grace us with her presence.
Teenage daughter was battened down, BBC was despatched to re-hab, hubby made arrangements to be in Europe on business and then we were ready.
Spine straight, shoulders square and upper lip stiff, we set our faces to the wind and prepared for the onslaught.
Poor old SezJez could wear a burkha and the old girl would still find fault.
Anyway, apart from deciding to clean the grill just before everyone got up for breakfast, (at Christmas she decided to clean the worktops while I was trying to prepare the turkey,) she kept herself reasonably contained.
I nipped in the bud her habit of asking “What do you want me to eat up?”, which she surely must have realised by now pisses me off totally, by explaining that I now had a pet gannet that would eat up any left overs.
Unfortunately I wasn’t as successful with her habit of reading headlines and stories out loud from her newspaper when I am trying to have a quiet five with my, different, newspaper. Nor with her habit of telling you things you already know, e.g. “Oh, this is the men’s diving.” when you are watching the men’s diving.
And all in all she had a nice time, lunch in Leeds, run out to Sheffield, a couple of gentle walks, which, given the weather and her health is about all that you can do.
And I know some of you think I’m mean but I can tell you, she will be glad to get back to Morecambe away from my lackadaisical squalor, haphazard eating arrangements and erratic comings and goings of the teenagers. As she says, “It’s lovely to see you, but it’s lovely getting back to my own place too.”

Everyone’s A Winner

A father in Kent has launched a campaign to have the junior football reserves team re-named because it makes the poor little kiddies who don’t make the first team feel second best.
Presumably both teams will be called the first team, or the “A” team. No doubt the teams shouldn’t have a captain either, because the children who aren’t chosen to be captain will be upset. We’ve already had some halfwit saying that league positions for under 11 years football teams shouldn’t be published because the losers might be upset.
If this attitude takes hold imagine the scene in 20 years time. The Premiership will consist of 92 teams, and there will be no Championship, Division 1 or 2. Everyone will be allowed to have the F.A. Cup in their trophy cabinet for one 3 day period, and all football matches will end in a draw, probably goal-less so that there is no goal difference to mark a team as not quite as good as any other team.
Of course the standard of football will have fallen as there will be no point in being brilliant if you are not allowed to win, or not even allowed a place in the first team because somebody who isn’t as good wants to play but can’t be bothered to put in the effort to improve.

Parent Power

As the government wheels out yet more ideas for parents to stick their noses where they don’t belong, headteachers, finally, are starting to rebel.
Concerns are growing about the amount of power being given to parents, what with positions on the governing bodies of schools, and now being able to form parent only groups which can call for OFSTED inspections if the parents claim that the school isn’t performing satisfactorily.
A major flaw in this plan, is of course the parent’s objectivity, or lack of it. Naturally parents want what they perceive as best for their child, irrespective of whether it is best for the child’s progress or that of the other pupils in the class.

BoggartBlog went along to St. Fuckwit’s to sit in on a parent council meeting.

Chair: Ahem. If we could all take our seats, it is time to get this council meeting underway.

Mrs. Lardarse: Too right mate, I’ll kick it off for you. We need to do something about that Mis Smiff. She’s always having a go at my little Kylie. The ovver day she sent her home wiv a book, and a reading record log and said I was supposed to listen to her read. I ain’t got time for that. That’s what teechers is sposed to do, int it, teech the kids to read?

Chair: We-ell, it is common practice to send reading books home and to expect the children to read to their parents…

Mrs. L: A bloomin’ cheek I call it. If we got to teach them at home there ain’t no point sending them to school in the first place, is there?

Ms. M. C. Mumm: Of course there is, and most parents do make the time to listen to the children read, despite having all the other things to fit in, violin, piano, extra maths, tennis, swimming, French and Mandarin to name but a few. However I do have my concerns not only about Ms Smith who teaches my Sabrina, but also Mrs. Dotty, who teaches Anastasia. I am concerned that the children are not being stretched enough. Although I have raised this issue with both teachers at parent’s evening and on other occasions, homework still seems to consist of reading, learning spellings or times tables and the occasional mental arithmatic worksheet. This simply isn’t good enough. My children need stretching, they are becoming lazy as the work is sooo easy they think they don’t even have to try. They should be tackling maths problems from the Level 6 curriculum, or writing 1000 word essays on the need to reduce consumption in order to reduce greenhouse gasses and global warming. They discuss these issues on a regular basis at home and it’s such a shame that they are not allowed to showcase their skills…

Chair: If I may interrupt…

Mrs.L: Crumbs somebody needs to, she never shuts up Ms. La-di-dah, does she. How wonderful her children are, they ain’t no better than anyone else’s. My Kylie told me that Sabrina gives Joe Taylor all her sweets on Monday playtime if he lets her copy the spellings during the test!

Ms M.: How dare you, that is simply not true, I personally test both my children on their spellings every evening for twenty minutes…

Mrs. L: Oh yeah! My Kylie says that Sabrina told her that you do the mental arithmatic sheets for her as well. And the model Roman town that she got a Headteachers award for, she says you made all of that while Sabrina was watching Hannah Montana!

Ms. M: (Going bright red) Oh, I really don’t know where you get such ridiculous stories from…

Chair: Now ladies I think we need to calm down. You must not forget why this meeting has been called.

Mr. Jock: Well I think the school is failing as it doesn’t provide enough time for sports, or enough variety. My son, Beckham, is so keen on football, yet the children only get one half term of football per year. They have to do girlie sports like hockey and netball and really boys should just be allowed to play football if that’s what they want to do. Then in the summer it’s always rounders and athletics. They should be allowed to play cricket, cos Beckham, he likes to play cricket and he’s ever so good, he can bat all day long, even against the really good bowlers, it’s so difficult to get him out, he usually has to set himself a target and then declare when he reaches it, so I think the school is undermining his abilities by not allowing him to play cricket, or if it does it is non-stop cricket which really is just like rounders.

Mrs L: I think there’s too much sport. My Kylie gets all out of breaf and has breaving difficultees if she does too much sport. I think children who don’t wnat to do sport should be able to stay inside and watch a video or somefing. I think the school is wrong to make them do sport if they don’t want to.

Chair: The school is required by law to provide at least one hour of sports teaching per week, Mrs. Lardarse, and as far as I can see, that is what the school does.

Mrs. L: Yeah, but, see, Kylie doesn’t like it so she shouldn’t have to do it should she? That’s what I’m sayin’.
And anovver thing, I don’t like the way you got to ask the Eadteacher for permission to go on holiday. Everone needs a holiday, don’t they? They make you fill in a form and then it comes back with “permission not granted” on it and you ask them why and they say it’s cos you’ve already taken your kids out of school for 21 days so far this year, but if you’ve booked yer holiday you can’t leave yer kids at home can you? They’d lock you up for that. The school ought to realise that.

Mr. J: I agree with Mrs Lardarse on this. I wanted to take Beckahm to Euro 2008, over in Austria like, well we booked the tickets for the hotel and everything before England got knocked out cos it was cheaper, so we thought rather than cancel it would be an experience for the lad, and also he wouldn’t get upset if England didn’t win, cos it can spoil your holiday that, you know. So we asked to take him out for the four weeks and the answer comes back “NO”. Well we booked the tickets and everything so we’re going anyway.

Ms. M: Although it irks me to agree with the previous two speakers I have to say that travel does broaden the mind, and yet it seems ridiculous to pay inflated prices during the peak period, and you also have to put up with all those dreadful chavs and their horrendous offspring running amok, getting drunk and vomiting all over the place. I dread to think of the injuries my two darlings might have suffered on the ski slopes earlier this year, if we hadn’t gone for the whole of January when it was quiet, and of course it’s no better in the summer, when all those windsurfers and jet skiers are cluttering up the Med, so naturally we do take our summer break in July and have another little break to top us up in September, and all I get is hassle from the teachers saying how I am ruining my children’s education. What do they know?
I think this really highlights why this school is not meeting our children’s needs and should be inspected.

Mr. J: Hear hear. We need an OFSTED inspection as soon as possible. The head is incompetant and needs to go.

Mrs. L: Yeah, that eadteecher, he don’t know his arse from his elbow, get shot of him I say. Let’s have an inspection.

Chair: Well, as you seem to be unanimous on that, so be it.

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Children From Hell

Children are like farts, your own aren’t so bad but anyone else’s are horrible.” How many times has that been said by people in my age group I wonder.
Having reached the brink of old-githood I can now look forward to being able to say “I love children, but only if they are served with Hollandaise sauce.” A quip from comedian W.C. Fields of course, the comedian who claimed he had developed a look that could kill a child at 50 paces. Some readers may still be looking forward to spawning your own sprogs and playing happy families for a decade or so. Be warned, the sentimentalisation of children is just a cynical plot devised by the ruling elite to make us all abandon our carefree early adult years and conform. Trust me on this, the time between the two year old deciding that Mr. Ploppy likes to sit in the sugar bowl and the adolescent falling victim to hormone fuelled mood swings is of only a few days duration. Or so it seems for children eat time as they eat everything they can get their hands on (including Mr. Ploppy if they are young enough.)

The ruling elite easily dismiss fears about parenthood. Well they would, being able to afford nannies they need not see their disgusting offspring from immediately after the christening or naming ceremony to the insufferably trendy, until its is time to say “goodbye darling, we have enrolled you in an excellent school.” Being able to delegate parental responsibility to the hired help until well after that awkward period when hair starts to sprout in funny places and body piercings start to sprout in the funny places where hair does not grow masks most of the horrors and actually lends parents a certain social cachet.
The incurably sentimental will by now be thinking “how can he be so heartless, children are a gift from God.” Can people not see, children are from Hell.
I have always felt that somewhere along the line religion got it horribly wrong. If we accept the standard definition of God then He gave us mortality, guilt, war, disease, religion, the missionary position, Britney effing Spears, piles and children. On the other hand the Devil’s works include recreational sex, recreational drugs, recreation, sex, Pamela Anderson, over indulgence and contraceptives. It’s a no brainer isn’t it? Just as the world’s most religious country keeps electing the wrong President the people who invented religion elected the wrong God. If the other guy had got in women would have deposited a tiny egg in a flower, cocooned it in silk and got on with their lives. Twenty one years later a fully formed adult would have emerged and taken its place in society without ever once having demanded Turkey Twizzlers, an iPod, a hoodie, expensive trainers or vast sums of money.
My anti – child stance can be traced back to the time when old fashioned bringing – up – kids, a process of trial and error that most of us seemed to negotiate without having to resort to nailing the little brats feet to the floor, suddenly morphed into parenting, a skill that had to be learned at great expense from people with degrees in childcare or worse still from self – help books written by Californian fuckwits or worthy but boring British ladies who take themselves far too seriously. Nowadays the parenting industry has grown to such an extent there are even TV shows dedicated to making struggling parents feel inadequate. In these shows Professional Nannies who bear a more than passing resemblance to Bette Davis, Rebecca de Mornay or Glenn Close knock into shape both children and parents by acting like a drill sergeant in the Paratroop regiment. The message is of course you will fail unless you SPEND SPEND SPEND.
So far neither of my offspring have shown the least inclination to make us Grandparents which is good as neither of us fancies smelling of urine, breaking out in hairy warts all over our faces or wearing cardigans. As people live longer and retain youthful attitudes into their seventies cloning starts to seem like a good option.

Copyright © 2005, Ian Thorpe

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