Art is a Tart

So Girl had a blast of culture at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art the other week (for ‘culture’, read ‘coffee and millionaire shortbread after a cursory glance at the fat tourist sculptures’). The speed at which the deceptively elderly-looking security guard scurried through at the sound of my camera shutter suggested photography was discouraged but I managed to sneak a snap of the most enormous new-born I’ve clapped eyes on since the day I witnessed a caesarean section performed on a dairy cow (long story). Sadly, I’ve realised it’s probably not acceptable to post unauthorised photographs of someone’s artwork, even with a small child looking disconcerted in front of it, but I’d seriously recommend any locals reading take a trip to the gallery in the near future in the hope of catching this massive creature.  At around thirty feet long and a good five feet high, it’s a corker. And whereas both of my children popped out looking like shiny cherubs, the sheer size of this makes it pretty unpleasant to look at.

Girl herself was definitely a tad nonplussed at the gargantuan gurgler but it seemed to awaken her inner artist, as she displayed in extravagant fashion the following week using the medium of Crayola on sitting room wall.


So much for the idea of introducing her to a bit of culture. I’ll stick on The Smurfs next time.

p.s. A hairdryer, and a damp cloth, in case you were wondering.


Happy New Term

 Copyright (c) <a href=''>123RF Stock Photos</a>So it’s back to school tomorrow following the tumble-weedy no-man’s land of Jan 2nd – 9th that forms the tail end of the Scottish schools Christmas holidays.  During this grey period when other mums have been grinding their teeth in frustration as their children get in the way of a good binge at the sales, I’ve in fact enjoyed having the Boy at home and will rather miss him lolling upside-down on the couch, dirty feet scraping the walls, chewing filthy fingernails as he moans for more Wii time.

  I may get to keep him for another day, mind you.  He’s cultivated a nasty cold that left him sounding like a retired miner come bed-time, so a rare ‘sickie’ might be in the offing.  And I mean rare, mind.  I’m not your ‘soft mum’ who keeps the little darling tucked up in bed at the merest sniffle.  That’s not how we were brought up.  As a child, even if one of us had managed to sever an arm at the shoulder we’d have been packed off to school, provided a couple of tendons remained intact to keep the thing dangling inside the sleeve of our shirt in the manner of a stringed mitten hanging down its duffle coat arm.

  No, the reason I’d keep the Boy at home would be to avoid the displeasure of his teacher.  Pushing forty, I still worry about upsetting the authorities, and the Boy has mentioned Miss __ complaining of sniffling (or was it snivelling?) children bringing their infections into the classroom.  I don’t want to upset her.  Mind you, my card’s probably already marked because the Boy didn’t give her a Christmas present.  There seems to be a growing trend to give teachers lots of stuff at various points in the school year and I intended to participate but kept swithering about the right gift.  One of the mums-in-the-know said she likes Vodka Mules but that didn’t seem appropriate.  Sending my six year old to class with alco­-pops clinking in his school bag might have given the wrong impression of his home life, and the teacher may have been a little disturbed to think that the parents are wise to her drinking habits.  I was also told she smokes and for a brief moment was tempted to wrap up a packet of Lambert and Butler but she’s actually quite nice and that didn’t seem fair.  And again, there’s the ‘questionable home life’ issue.

  So in the end, rather predictably, I ran out of time and Miss __ got nothing from us, save the card the Boy was organised enough to write himself.  Despite scrambling around in cupboards on the last morning of term I couldn’t even find an intact packet of mince pies to be wrapped up hastily.  And of course then she gave each of the children in her class a present.  Sigh.

I’ll just have to pull out all the stops come the Summer holidays.

Vodka Mule, Miss?

My name is __ and I’m a Pushy Mum.

Hello.  My name is Ehmum* and I’m a Pushy Mum.

Actually, I don’t think I am but having spoken at length to, ooh, at least two other mums of Boy’s school friends, it seems I am.  When it comes to homework at any rate.  No, I don’t smack his fingers with a ruler as he runs them below his Stage 6 Oxford reading book (Stage 6, did you hear that? Top group, you know!) which is currently ‘In the garden’ [sic], starring the oddly-named Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy (guess which one’s the dog?  No?  I struggled with that one too.  It’s Floppy.  And Biff is a girl.  Go figure.).  Neither do I withhold food and/or other ‘treats’ for poorly-formed phonetics.  I do, however, get a bit arsey with him for scenarios such as this one:

Boy – “They.  Went.  Into.  The.  Garden.”
Pushy Mum – Really?  Now, tell me what you did half an hour ago with your football.
Boy – “I went into the garden.”
Pushy Mum – Did you?  You didn’t, “Go.  Into.  The.  Garden.”?
Boy – *laughs* No, Mummy, “I went into the garden”.
Pushy Mum – Well, say it that way when you read then.  Go on, try again.
Boy – “They went into the garden.”
Pushy Mum – Good stuff, mate!  You’ve got it!  High Five!!  (I know, I know.  I avoided it for so long, but that bloody High Five is just so damn useful as a physical ‘Gold-Star-and-a-VG’).

So.  He now understands what I mean when I ask him to read it as he’d speak it.  I know he can do it.  He knows he can do it.  He doesn’t do it and I ask him to try harder.  He tries harder, reads it more naturally and voilà!  Bob’s his and my uncle (which throws up any number of uncomfortable familial relationships more commonly found in my Highland homeland, but essentially means he’s got the hang of it).

So tell me, is that being pushy?

I don’t think I’m a pushy mum.  But that doesn’t mean I’m never going to push.



*Clearly it isn’t.