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.


Could Do Better

So tonight was ‘Meet the Teacher’ night (WITH WINE!) at the primary school (the Boy started this August).  As my son’s nursery teacher is a hapless creature wrenched from her 20+ years as head of the nursery to be dumped into the main school to juggle – in this case – thirty Primary 1 children, I’ve already Meeted her when B attended nursery.  In fact we once had quite an interesting supermarket aisle conversation prior to her receiving the news about her move from nursery to primary 1, during which she told me how much that would p*ss her off (I paraphrase).  I am therefore aware of how reluctant a primary teacher she is and have decided she’s bitter about it.

My principal goal tonight, after snatching desperately at a glass of wine (council-provided alcohol doesn’t count towards Before Thursday Drinking stats), was to find B’s homework during the classroom tour (cue Mission Impossible theme).  It’s the second piece of homework he’s ever been given and he’s lost it.

“I put it by my bag and then it was gone”.

“Were you perhaps supposed to put it into your bag?” (See how I’m wise to the nuances of 4 year old boy chat?)

“Yes, but that was boring and I wanted to be quick.  Then I lost it and I didn’t tell Mrs ____ because I thought she’d be angry.”

“Well, not as angry as she’ll be tomorrow when you go in and tell her you not only haven’t done your homework, but you’ve lost it.”

“Aren’t you going to Meet the Teacher tonight, mummy?”  (Did I tell him that?  I now strongly suspect he heard me swearing about it to Husband No.1 in the kitchen).


“Well good. You can tell her and get my homework.”

And the sad thing is, I did.  And I remained pathetically mute when Mrs___ dropped casually into the conversation the comment, “Yes, B and I regularly have words”, in front of all the other parents…!  I became very aware that none of them had wine glasses in their hands.  But what about?!  What’s he done?!  He never told me you’d had words!  He said he thought you’d get angry but you always look angry!  I thought ___ was the naughty boy!!  Everyone says so!

In truth I said nothing. I slid sheepishly to the back of the circle and wandered off to find his gym bag which was missing from his cubby hole.  Apparently it didn’t have a name tag on it.  Found it, and ha!  It does so have a tag on it.  Didn’t bother pointing that out but crept out of the side door and home with this small triumph nestling warmly in my gut.  Or maybe that was the cheap wine.

Oh god, did I leave my wine glass on B’s table?