Wednesday 15 July 2009

Little Man's Teddy-Bears Picnic

I felt terribly guilty this week, when Little Lady came home from school in tears because not only had I not gone to her class picnic, but I had sent her to school in uniform instead of party dress as had been allowed for the day. She had been given a letter by her teacher about the picnic, but it never got to me. I rifled through her book bag to find weeks worth of homework, school letters, a jumper and various other junk. I was annoyed enough to demand that she holds onto every piece of paper that comes home from school until I get home and then put it in my hand.

Fashionista (now permanently in teacher mode) suggested I keep a little tray somewhere for the children to put all their pictures, homework and letters in as soon as they come home which I can check daily. I think that might be the best solution for now.

Little Man on the other hand, leaves all of his letters on the fish tank where they will be spotted straight away and then reminds me as soon as I get home that he has letters. This being the case, I took half a day off yesterday to attend his teddy-bears picnic. I turned up with Gorgeous and the mother-in-law in to find two classes of nursery kids all being marched out to the little nursery playground and being parked onto blankets. I remember thinking this is the most civilised picnic I have ever seen.

I sat (on tiny kids chairs) and watched the children eating jam sandwiches, punch (diluted orange drink) and crisps as the Postman Pat song played thinking how tedious it all was, but before long I was caught up with the atmosphere and the sweetness of the afternoon and most of all Little Man’s joy at seeing his mum at school.

Little Man (left ) with his best friend.

All of the mums knew each other and most knew my mother-in-law (who does the school run at the moment). I felt like a spare part trying to make small talk whilst the others chatted and laughed away, including my mother-in-law who even managed to match-make (I ended up taking numbers – she’s very good).

It really made me realise once more, as I went through this with Little Lady, how much of the small motherly things I miss – picking your children up from school, keeping tabs with the teachers, making friends with the other mum’s. I do most of these things through others. I have to be careful when I am in this mindset as it can make me feel very self-pitying. I start telling myself I have to run my life according to my employees and my family, that I have no rights over my life and time and that I will miss seeing my kids grow up. Nonsense all of it because every thing in my life is a consequence of the choices I have made and because I am very lucky to have the freedom and independence I have.

If in doubt, I could look at the other young mothers, some of who have no immigration status in this country, many of whom don’t speak English and others who would love to work or have their own money but don’t have the courage (or sometimes permission) to take a step that is totally alien to them (young mum’s from abroad most often). A few of the mothers had really made an effort and dressed up for the afternoon. This was a big deal for them, a special occasion.

As the kids were marched back in (holding hands two by two) and I once more chased and corralled Gorgeous who had been creating havoc all afternoon, I reflected on what a nice, slow kind of afternoon it had been. I also promised myself that I will use up all of my work leave this year taking part in the children’s events and trips.

Gorgeous with the packet of crisps which ended up all over the playground.


  1. MashaAllah. He is just adorable! It hard to believe how fast kids grow.

  2. You just want to bite Gorgeous' cheeks!