Starting School

Today B1 started school. In Victoria we call in Prep and so now, instead of saying that I’m the mother of two pre-schoolers, I’m the mother of a prep and a pre-schooler.

When I was teaching, and bare in mind I was a high school teacher, I found parents somewhat strange – like exotic animals whose behaviour I didn’t really understand. To be fair I was in my early 20s and closer in age to their children then I was to them. I found their expectations (voiced or otherwise) overwhelming. Some of them were protective to the point of bubble wrapping their house, others wouldn’t have known where their children were five nights out of seven. Some of them were dumbfounded by the change in their children following the onset of puberty and were looking for answers – answers I had neither the training nor the life experience to give them.

Now my child has started school. I spent the first six months of his life wishing the time would pass quicker – please sleep, please feed less, please smile, please laugh – and now I don’t know where the time has gone. How did it pass so quickly?

And boy do I have some high standards for my son’s teachers 😉

If your little cherub has started school for the first time this year and you’re feeling a little lost (and maybe a little cheated by Father Time) then know you’re not alone. Like me, you might find it helps to remember what a big, exciting, adventure your child is beginning and that education is a gift and a privilege that not all children in the world are lucky enough to be given.

And it’s okay to cry…in private.

Good luck!

When’s a Dick not a Dick? When it’s a Rick!

I want to start this rant post by saying that I didn’t enjoy the Far Away Tree when I was little and I don’t now. I did like Noddy. Whether or not Big Ears and Noddy were gay (and I don’t think they were) is no one’s business but theirs. And I liked the Wishing Chair. I don’t think any of these stories have aged particularly well but that’s just me.

My kids (aged 3 and 5)  don’t know that a dick is a colloquial word for penis or that fanny is a colloquial term for vagina (here in Australia and also England) or bottom (in America). With this in mind how can it be necessary to change the names of two major characters?

It’s Dick and Fannie,  not Rick and Franny.

There is no Lilly Bobtail in Peter Rabbit which might explain why Benjamin Bunny marries his cousin (Peter’s sister).

Tom Kitten’s mum smacked him, okay?

Sheep are either black or white, they are not rainbow coloured.

How can we sexualise children’s clothing on the one hand and then run riot with political correctness on the other? Are we, as a society, losing our minds?

As adults we do need to be careful of the messages we give our children but surely honest discussion is more valuable than censorship?

Censorship of this sort not only puts adult perceptions on things meant for children, it also removes chances for children to learn how to use their discretion, ask questions and make judgments when faced with new ideas. Ba Ba Rainbow Sheep doesn’t invite discussions about racial injustices in history and without these discussions our children aren’t prepared to deal with it if they face it in the present day.

What do you think? Do I have too much time on my hands or do you agree with me?