It seems young Master7 was called up on parade this week. How do I know? Because another parent told me about it when she came into the bank. According to this parent, Master7 was pretty chuffed with himself and grinning all the way up to the podium and back.
“He was?” I said stupidly.
“Well he would be,” she told me knowingly. “He’d just won $1.”
“To spend at tuckshop.”
“Really? That’s great.” I better get on with my Father of the Year acceptance speech. This year it’s in the bag.
“And then,” this lady went on, “as he walked back to his spot, he poked his tongue out at his sister.” In front of the whole school. Chest…hurts…so full…of pride.
I’m starting to think I don’t talk enough to my boy. I thought back to the conversations we’d had the previous week and while I’m fairly certain Pokemon, Skylanders and fart jokes featured heavily, I’m equally certain there was no mention of parades or tuckshop.
As soon as the woman left I picked up the phone, keen to find out why I’m learning this stuff about my kids from customers at work. When Tracey answered I asked her why she hadn’t told me Master7 had been called up on parade this week.
“He has?” When was the last time the winner of Father of the Year was married to the winner of Mother of the Year?
“And he won $1 tuckshop money!” I added, my tone probably more suited to saying he’d been called up for setting fire to the library.
“Oh that’s nice,” said Tracey, sounding as guilty as I felt.
But this isn’t the only recent example of Tracey and I finding out about Master7’s ‘achievements’ long after the event.
Class newsletters are always full of interesting snippets, especially when one of our kids is singled out for something they’ve accomplished. Like last week’s edition for Master7’s year two class.
“Congratulations to M, L, T & K for completing every homework for the year so far! This is particularly fantastic for one child as she has been away and yet still managed too complete her homework. Unfortunately there are 2 other children who did NO HOMEWORK all term! Very disappointing!”
I’ll tell you what was disappointing about this note – Master7 wasn’t mentioned for getting all his homework done. He’s always the first to finish his set work at home, because then he can read his books or play outside.
As for those two kids who haven’t done their homework? Tut Tut. Some parents just don’t see the value in homework.
I mean, I understand how hard it can be to find the time to help them with their spelling, reading and maths because when I was a single dad with my oldest two, homework was a daily nightmare. I’d work all day, pick up the kids from daycare, get home and start dinner, putting a load in the washing machine and then dishes and baths. Homework was a little way down the list.
These days, with Tracey being home four afternoons a week, it isn’t as difficult to find the time, but I’m told the frustration aspect still exists. The real shining light in the homework regime is Master7, who always jumps in and gets it done quickly.
So you might imagine Tracey’s surprise when she ran into the teacher after school this week and found out Master7 was one of those two kids who hadn’t handed in homework ALL TERM!
“But he does it!” she told the teacher, her voice begging to be believed. “I’m forever finding the completed homework sheets on the floor in his roo….ahhhh.”
Naturally, Tracey confronted Master7 about this and, equally as naturally, our seven year old Trump wannabe immediately spotted an opportunity.
“What do I get if I hand my homework in?” he wanted to know.
We let Miss8 and Master7 buy a book for three consecutive weeks of getting all their spelling words correct. Turns out he thought a computer for three successful weeks of handing in homework sounded about right.
Unsurprisingly, Tracey had other ideas.
“I’m thinking more along the lines of no homework handed in means no DS that weekend.” He got the picture.
Still, being rewarded on parade with some tuckshop money makes us feel a little better about his efforts at school. The night after we found out about his win we cornered our little man in his bedroom.
“Why haven’t you told us you won tuckshop money for something?” I asked him. He grinned up at us like we’d found out his dirty little secret. “And why did you win it?”
“For being good,” he told us. “When you’re good in class your name goes into a draw.”
“How exciting!” I said. “You’ll be able to buy a drink at lunchtime.”
“I usually just buy iceblocks,” said Master7.
Which I took to mean – “You’ve won this before?”
He nodded vigorously. “Three times this year and twice last year.”
I think we’ll keep it simple. “My fellow Australians, thank you for bestowing on Tracey and myself the much coveted title of Parents of the Year…”
Yeah, that’ll work – so long as I get our children’s names right.
Seriously though, there better be only one kid on the next newsletter who hasn’t handed in homework all term or I’ll go ballistic.
And, for the love of Pete, please let it be someone else’s kid.