Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of School 2 Comments

Hell of a School Trip

Maybe it’s because I helped out at school last year and now appear on a ‘gullible parents’ list, or possibly it’s because when asked by his teacher, Luca told her I didn’t work during the week and watched football all day. Either way, this week I was roped into helping out on his school trip.

Seventy Year One pupils visiting an art gallery, what could possibly go wrong?

It didn’t start well. Apparently when it comes to other peoples children, there’s no margin of error with the number you return to school? I was only asking for a 20% leeway, which does sound a lot but in practice that’s only one child out of the six I was entrusted with, plus a couple of scarves and possibly a shoe?… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of School 7 Comments

The Circle of Life

The boys have reached the age where they’re learning about the circle of life.

It’s a wonderful period of discovery. At school they have a mini-beast hotel and a butterfly garden. An allotment and a pond. They’ve witnessed tadpoles become frogs, and fed lambs on a farm.

But it’s not so much a circle as an arc. A joyous and magical arc, but it still needs to complete its circumference, and for reasons of my own doing, that part has inadvertently fallen on me. While their teachers are sharing in the wonderment of life, I’m the one whom taketh it away. Like the grim reaper of entomology.

You see, I’m not very good at keeping things alive. Not the kids, obviously.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of School 2 Comments

School Sports Day

I love a good sports day, although I prefer to call it by its proper name, Sky Sports Super Sunday.

School Sports Day on the other hand …

I try to remain enthusiastic. No really, I do. But there comes a point, normally around heat 32 of the sack race, where it starts to wane.

It’s not helped by the egg and spoon race. I wouldn’t trust either of my two to carry an egg from the kitchen to the dining room, carefully and using both hands. Yet I have to sit and applaud heat after heat of three year-olds with the hand-eye coordination of a drunken baboon stumble fifty metres across a field riddled with molehills, all the while trying to balance it on a spoon?… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of School, Rants 27 Comments

Don’t Judge a Kid by their Costume

A lot has been written about World Book Day, and rightly so.

A celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading. Shared in over one hundred countries. A beautifully uncomplicated premise in an otherwise complicated world.

And yet, like any parade, some people can’t wait to piss on it. The main target of their ire? Dressing up.

Across social media they bemoaned the influence of Disney, bewailed the rise of the Superhero and mourned the death of their own literary heroes.

In most cases it was well intentioned, but more than a few smacked of downright snobbery.

I’m no expert on EYFS, nor do I have any experience other than that as a parent, but I can tell you what I witnessed at school on Thursday.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Embarrassment, Tales of School, Growing Old 6 Comments

Hoosier Dad

I’m not one for new year resolutions, what with me being willpower intolerant and all.

Don’t mock me now, it’s a genuine medical condition. The nurse diagnosed me as such at my over-forty health check. I think. She definitely mentioned something about willpower, the rest was a little hazy. To be honest I was still reeling from her suggesting my blood sample was 90% butter.

Then there’s the blackouts. Just this morning I came over all dizzy at the thought of a banana for breakfast. Weirdly I regained consciousness in a cafĂ© with a full English breakfast in front of me?

Despite this chronic condition I’ve still set myself some goals for the year.

I’ve already started my learning to draw journey.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of School 13 Comments

Back to School

I suppose I should write the obligatory back to school post. As a parent blogger I think it’s in my contract. I also have a confession to make, but more on that later.

As of next week they’ll both be in school full-time. Sonny is already there, Luca however is still within the graduals stage.

A week in and we’ve just progressed from ‘finding the school on Google Maps’ to the ‘slow drive past the gates’; or so it feels. OK, so he’s now in until lunch-time but still, just how long can they drag this malarkey out for?

And as the fateful Monday approaches where I have a full five hour window between school runs, so Janet’s list writing becomes ever more frantic.… Read the full post