Daily Archives: May 20, 2007

The Wrong Trousers

A week. Waiting. Watching the post. Veering from utter confidence in the knowledge that it was God that led us to this boarding school and that his promise to keep Tiddles in the palm of his hand was not in vain, and then to the other extreme of not daring to hope for fear of disappointment… and then the hope that God won’t be disappointed in my lack of faith, yet trying to be open to letting God’s will be done rather than mine…. if I’m feeling like this, what on earth is Tiddles feeling?

Despite my fears that he might be overcome by the situation, Tiddles really did me proud. He did his very best – looked good, talked well, said the right things and cannot have failed to convey how right this school is for him. The only thing that is going to mess things up for him, I’m sure, is my interview. I took the decision, or rather the decision was made for me as I just cannot act any differently, that I would be open and honest in the interview. I knew that if he got in under false pretences it wouldn’t work out anyway – I wanted them to be aware of where his difficulties lay as well as how perfectly the school would meet his needs. I pulled no punches. When they asked about his behaviour at his previous school, I told them. When they asked about why he behaves in certain ways, I filled them in. When they asked if I could afford to send him there, I told them I couldn’t but I would! And when they asked how I had first found out about their school I told them. “At the risk of sounding like a religious nutcase, cos I’m not the kind of Christian who goes around saying ‘God told me in a dream’, I have to answer that question honestly and say ‘God told me in a dream’.”! They wanted to know how important my faith was to me, and also how much it was important to Tiddles…. and they asked him the same questions when he had his interview too, despite it not being a faith school. Could go either way, I guess, depending on their opinions.

I was impressed that when the Head commented on how smart Tiddles looked (his own choice of clothing, I hasten to add), he answered better than if he’d been coached: “Oh, I always like to look smart if I’m doing something important”! He managed it without a flicker of a smile too, considering the circumstances.. I’m not sure if I’d have done as well. The thing was, he chose to wear his suit. He looks gorgeous in it – black trousers and blazer, pink shirt and grey tie. He got dressed just before we set out, so’s not to get breakfast on his clothes… and discovered …. he’d picked up his brother’s trousers and they didn’t, and I mean didn’t, fit! Disaster! Fortunately we’d slipped his blue trousers in the bag, thinking that if there was a problem he would probably get away with wearing those. He put them on and.. we discovered that he is suddenly getting a lot bigger. Oh dear. He might have got away with trousers that looked rather small. He might have got away with trousers that didn’t match. But trousers that were too small and a different colour were a total disaster. But what could we do? Apart from wearing his jogging bottoms, there was no choice.

We set out. The printout we had of the estimated journey time said an hour and a half, so we decided to allow two and a half hours, for an 11.30 appointment and if possible to call in somewhere en route. Moral of the story is never to believe estimated journey times generated by computers which, if they were to get behind the wheel of a car, would be a menace on the roads. The journey itself took two and a half hours (with only a slight detour at one point where the road signs decided to disappear completely just at the point when we were almost at the school) so we did arrive at the school fifteen minutes late (which went unnoticed – we just cut our thirty minute pre-interview tour of the school in half as we’d seen it so recently before !).

We passed a Tesco – no clothes there, and that seemed to be the only place en route. Finally, in the last town before our destination, despite time being slightly tight, we raced into Sainsburys as the poster outside said they did clothes. And so they did. Children’s clothes, up to age 8, and ladies’ clothes. AAAGGGHH! So what did we do? Well, hanging there on the rail were a really rather classy pair of black trousers. And what’s more, they looked about right. A quick exchange of money at the till, a race to the car and a wriggling competition for Tiddles as he changed trousers in the front seat while I drove madly off towards the school. And I have to say, he looked really good.

I so want for him to get in there. Please God… teach me to say “your will be done”.

Birthday treats

Well, it seems a bit odd, settling down now at the computer to write my reports. What do you mean, this isn’t a report? I’m reporting, aren’t I? And what are you implying when you suggest that perhaps, just perhaps, I suddenly thought of blogging the weekend as a source of distraction and a means of putting off the inevitable “Jamie has been in my lessons and has done some maths. He has done quite well but could do better” reworded ad nauseam? It’s not that at all, I just thought that I had a moral duty to let you know that the weekend was survived with all inhabitants of Smudgie Towers intact and smiling and has now been plunged into a limbo of watching the post.

Smudgelet’s birthday was a delight and he had a fantastic weekend with honorary auntie M who spoilt him absolutely rotten. Suffice to say that my gift of a digital camera now has several photographs of the largest “chocolate extravaganza icecream sundae” in the world on it. He was extremely appreciative of all his presents – including a parcel from one of his aunties containing a set of hot curling brushes for his hair 🙂 Guess what duties I was granted this morning!

To make up for going away on the evening of his birthday (and we almost missed the ferry, so tight was it between him coming in from school and us having to leave) that I picked him up from school for lunch and took him into town. I made the fatal mistake of asking him which cafe he wanted to go to. We were quite coincidentally stood outside Thorntons at the time. I should have known – this is not my eldest son who has sensible tastes in eating places, this was Smudgelet. One grumpy meal later….

Tiddles and I returned from our trip abroad in time to go straight to the theatre for Smudgelet’s concert. The Music Centre concerts are always so inspiring. What amazing music from such young musicians and played with such enthusiasm. The Music Centre caters for over 400 children every Saturday morning and there are enough groups, bands and orchestras to force each set of concerts to take three nights. Smudgelet sang his “solo with six others” and did incredibly well – and I was right on the front row to see and hear him. Was I proud or what? It was an ordeal staying right to the end as both Tiddles and I were struggling to stay awake, but the music was so special that we couldn’t bear to leave early.