By BERN MORLEY
They’re great aren’t they? Those special, one off art pieces your child brings home from school, seemingly on a daily basis. Or how about those words they lovingly write in their journals, describing their weekend activities. The ones that often paint a completely different picture to their own reality.
I have found over time that my children are here as much to amuse me as fill my life with joy. I present Exhibit A…
Now this is my son’s interpretation of Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’. See what you’ve got to picture right now is Sam, my ten year old son, unfurling this to his captive audience (me) with his beaming little face peaking around the side asking me if I “like it?” Then imagine me nodding enthusiastically at the exact same time as his 6 year old brother wanders into the room and declares loudly that it “looks like a massive doodle”.
This is my all-time favourite Christmas picture. And you can’t tell me that the teachers weren’t having a giggle when they photocopied 50 copies of THIS for the children to colour in…
Not so long ago, I came across my daughter’s ‘weekend journal’ from year one. She is now 13.
Every Monday morning they would write about what they had gotten up to on their weekend or their thoughts in general. At first glance it seemed adorable and frankly, hilarious. Hilarious of course until I realised, after reading her somewhat stilted words properly, that she had the teacher convinced that my husband and I were divorced and more than likely teaching her to speak ghetto.
I vaguely remember some odd, concerned and at times, downright questioning looks when picking her up from school, but it never occurred to me she might be painting me as some kind of tainted woman.
These following (in bold) are her exact words…
“This afternnon I am going To ride my bike to the brothel and my mum and I am going to Sizzler” Because I don’t know about you, but a visit to the local brothel makes me particularly hungry for cheese toast.
“Yesterday I went with the Bitch for a piknic” Translation – she went to the beach for picnic. It’s probable I was I was cracking the whip at her for something on that beach picnic and she’d decided I’d pay for it with her brutal ACA styled exposé on me
“today I am gowhang to Mi Dads hows” The Teacher responded with “I hope you have fun at your dad’s house”. Translation – so, your Mum and Dad are divorced, noted. – Except we weren’t and never were.
“On Sunday I am going to Sidny Habr Brig” – Sydney Harbour Bridge. I can safely say, she’s never seen that bridge nor been to Sydney.
“On Monday, I am going to the Zoo bEcause We are going to move housers” Incorrect. And Incorrect. This came alongside a drawing of a moving truck and six different cars. Perhaps we had won the lotto in her imaginary life.
“On Sadurday I am going to my dads house because I messe him vere much” Even though she saw him every day. In her own house. Where he lived.
On a Fathers day card: “Dear Dady, you are speceal because you read me books and like the beatch, Love Maddie xxxooo” I’m pretty sure she was referring to me, she was fairly bitter about that beach picnic and my refusal to take her to Sizzler.
Seriously though, are my children the only ones that pretend to live such different and fantastical lives? I mean, my son once had his teacher aid convinced that he lived with his long-dead Grandfather in Brisbane and caught a train to school every day. Is it because they heard their friends talking about staying with different parents and people and it sounded exotic? Would writing “This weekend we went to Aldi and mum flipped out when she found a stainless steel door stopper for just $4.99” sound too boring? Oooh, actually, yeah, I think I’m starting to understand….
Bern is a Gen X, child of the 80′s. Kept busy being a working mother of 3 children, one with Aspergers, renovating the original money pit and drinking too many coffees in the space of 24 hours. One day she’ll remember to leave the meat out for tea but until then she writes beautiful and amusing posts on her blog which you can find here.
Has your child ever made up stories at school or brought home the odd looking sunflower painting? I’m not alone right?