Wednesday, September 9, 2009
A Week Of New Beginnings
It's hard to believe the summer is over and both boys are back at school. Johnny Drama joined his brother (finally) at big boy school - it was an unexpectedly emotional moment to see him all togged up in his uniform, school bag in hand, happy as Larry to be joining the world of academia (i.e. nursery). The first day went well. Even the second day went well. By the third day the prospect of having to spend the whole day at school was not so appealing. And of course by the end of the week I had a full blown mutiny on my hands to deal with.
Still, in the tradition of his older brother, according to his new teacher Johnny Drama is just as adept at reserving all his really delightful behavioural traits for home - spitting, hitting, shouting, insolence, deafness and general refusal to do anything on request. At school he has been polite, engaged, enthusiastic, friendly and does what he is told, when he is told to do it. So I have not one, but now two regular little schizophrenics on my hands.
Actually, I guess to give them their due, both boys have transitioned back to school really easily. The only indication that we are still in a period of adjustment is that they are both waking at the ungodly hour of 5am or even earlier and refusing to go back to sleep. One morning last week was particularly fun. Heaven knows what inspired them, but whilst I was busy showering and trying to get ready for the day, they had an ingenious idea:- to wee into their snack bowls containing some dried cereal, rather than use the toilet.
Oh, how we laughed when this little 'game' was discovered by mummy some 20 minutes later, as she was tidying up discarded snack bowls without paying due attention and inadvertently tipped the contents of both bowls down the front of her trousers. It took a few seconds for my brain to comprehend that the source of liquid, causing the soggy cheerios to slide slowly down from my knee to pool attractively at my ankles, wasn't apple juice but actually freshly administered urine.
Following an eruption to rival that of Mt Saint Helen's, I was solemnly informed shouting is no longer acceptable in their room. (A rule which only applies to MY shouting of course.) At which point I was asked to leave the room to calm down and find my 'quiet voice'. As I retreated, rather gobsmacked, over the threshold of the door, the boys promptly shut and locked the door in my face. Hmmm. They soon discovered that this was not the best tactic to employ with an objective of reducing mummy's volume levels.
One of the advantages of Johnny Drama starting at the same school as Captain Underpants is that I am finally getting some feedback on the nursery curriculum and an insight into what they are learning on a daily basis. It has occurred to me, on more than one occasion, that Captain Underpants is quite possibly in training to be a spy or, at the very least, a member of the secret service. There cannot be a child who is as adept at withholding information. Over the past two years, and despite using various probing techniques, it has been impossible to drag any feedback out of him about his day at school. I tell you, it really would be easier to get blood out of a stone. He has had two years of French lessons, yet I have never heard him speak one single, arbitary word of the language. He learns new songs and plays a whole variety of musical instruments, yet refuses to divulge a single piece of information about these new experiences. He really seems to believe that it is none of my business how he spends his day and I should just stop being so bloody nosy.
So yesterday at dinner time was quite a revelation.
"I can speak French now mummy!' exclaims Johnny Drama, with much excitement and pride.
"I can say goodbye. Oh - Wee - Yee - Ha! Goodbye! In French!"
"It's Au Revoir" corrects Captain Underpants, with pitch perfect intonation.
"Yes, that's right. That's just what I said...Oh - Wee - Yee - Ha!! And I can also say hello in French mummy. Bond - Jew! Hello!"
"It's Bonjour....BONJOUR!' interjects a rather riled Captain Underpants.
I am trying so hard not to let the giggles, that are creasing my internal organs into an agonising mush, to make their way up and out of my mouth, that I cannot rely on myself to speak. I grit my teeth and try to compose my face into an expression that resembles an encouraging smile.
"Stand up mummy! Stand up! I have something else to say in French." instructs Johnny Drama.
I stand up.
"SILLY-VOOS!" he yells triumphantly. "Silly-voos mummy! Silly-voos!"
"Assez Vous" corrects Captain Underpants - his voice pained to hear the language abused by such poor pronunciation.
"Yep. Silly-Voos. I know that. I know sit down in French. And hello. And goodbye. I can speak French!' Johnny Drama announces with a flourish.
Then he gets on with eating the remainder of his corn on the cob whilst singing 'One Little Speckled Frog' quietly under his breath, in between mouthfuls. Whilst Captain Underpants and I smile gently and conspiratorially at each other.
Not a bad start, to a new beginning.