Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It was a brilliant day.

I woke up at 5.20 and pretended I couldn't hear Mick crying until Polly got up to get him.

Then I remembered that I am reading Jpod at the moment so I jumped out of bed, scooped Mick out of her arms saying "It's O.K. Polly, I'll get up with him, you get to sleep," and generally behaved as if I was the best dad in the world for about 10 seconds, then took Mick downstairs, put the telly on, lay on the sofa and read Jpod.

Then I went to work at a school I've never worked at before.

I taught that decimal fractions are really difficult to teach. Then I taught that the general concept of fractions can be made into really boring posters. Then I taught that Alcohol is really bad.

This third thing was my favourite thing to teach. On the notes it said "Describe some of the bad effects of alcohol (impairs driving, double vision, reduced inhibition)"

Stay away from that booze kids, you might do something you really want to do and end up a bit happier.

At lunchtime I read Jpod again.

Then I did some more teaching.

I taught that it's really hard to read a book that's too difficult for you to read, then I taught that it is frustrating to devise and rehearse a choral glockenspiel piece with percussion in a room full of other children who are also devising and rehearsing choral glockenspiel pieces, then I taught that the nrich maths website has hundreds of really challenging activities on it but tic tac toe and noughts and crosses are the best.

It was a brilliant day.

Then I came home and put some Jacket Potatoes in the oven, read Jpod again and went to pick up Mick from his nursery.

I made an excellent joke at Nursery. This is how it went.

"Hello," I said.

"Hello" said the Playleader in Mick's room. Let's call her Martine, which is her name.

"Did he have a good day?" I said.

"Yes," said Martine.

"Did Polly tell you about his hospital appointment on Monday?" I said.

"Yes," said Martine.

(Don't worry if you don't find all this hilarious, the joke is about to happen. You will know when it happens because you'll laugh your ass off)

"Mick did that today," said Martine, gesturing at a wall display of people made out of card and paper plates with a guitar made out of a cardboard box and strings.

"All by himself?" I said.

"No, other children helped him," said Martine.

"Oh. Please don't let other children work with him, he is a very gifted child, they probably ruined that work." I said (that is the first brilliant joke)

"Ha Ha Ha," said Martine.

"Did he do that one too?" I said, pointing to an alligator on the wall made out of egg boxes "You have to watch out leaving stuff about like that, he's awfully prodigious," (that is the second brilliant joke)

"Ha Ha Ha," said Martine.

"What about those computers? Did he build those for you? Mick, have you been upgrading the CPU for the Flamingos? Did you reconfigure the motherboards?" (Flamingos is the name of the room he is in. This is the third absolutely brilliant joke)

"I pity this child," said Martine.

Then I went to pick Elly up from her ballet class. That was also really hilarious because when I went to pick her up the people I went to pick her up from thought that they had lost her, but they hadn't, there was just a communication gap. Whilst I knew that they hadn't lost her the person in charge where I went to pick her up from didn't and she turned white and started shaking.

It was very funny, but also very terrible for the person who thought they had got my daughter kidnapped so I didn't laugh out loud. Instead I said "Don't worry, I've only come to get her coat, I know where she is, she's O.K." and generally acted like a mature thirty six year old, for about the second time in my life.

Then Mick and I picked Elly up and put her in the car and drove home.

Then Elly and Mick watched In the Night Garden and I read Jpod until I had finished reading the book.

Then Elly ate her Jacket Potato as if she was eating the most delicious meal in the world, groaning and closing her eyes with pleasure as she ate. I had to keep trying not to cry because a) the night before I'd made her pan fried fillets of mackerel with peas and new potatoes and she hated it, but tonight I threw a potato in the oven and she thought I was Gordon Ramsay b) it was really late thanks to me mis-timing the potatoes and c) I had been up since 5.30 and was beginning to feel tired.

Then I put them to bed.

Then I wrote "Bouncy Castles, Bouncy Castles, Bouncy fucking Castles..." in preparation for a stand up routine about bouncy castles.

Then Polly came home.

If it's any consolation, I hate the faux naive convention of starting a disproportionate number of paragraphs with the word "then" even more than you do.

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