The new school year is drawing near,
The teachers start to cry,
While parents empty bank accounts,
For school books they must buy,
And uniforms and bags galore,
Shoes and runners are a must,
And pencils, pens and rulers too,
Parents feel that they’ll go bust!
There’s books to cover,
A lovely task,
And then they’ll need a label,
As do the crayons, and lots of pens,
Which adorn the kitchen table.
The hope in labelling every one,
Is that they won’t get lost.
That the kids will take good care of them.
After all the mounting cost.
But hopes are not enough I fear,
When it comes to lunchbox lids,
Which disappear in the first few days,
Lost by those pesky kids.
And pencil cases filled to the brim,
At the beginning of September,
By two weeks in, will be quite bare,
Because the kids, they won’t remember,
Where they’ve left their pens and pencils
Or parers or rulers either,
You’ll feel your hard work was all in vain.
You’ll need to take a breather.
It’s the same old drill each and every year,
With a lesson that makes you pensive,
With all the costs when you add it up,
Free education is expensive!
Harry Enfield’s Kevin and Perry had nothing on the sort of reaction I was greeted with. The mere suggestion of making their own beds and tidying their room after some of them had ALREADY placed their own used breakfast bowl in the sink was met with declarations of “that’s not fair” and insistence that the requested child would only tidy their side of the room. Cue stomping upstairs and a literal battleline drawn. Two minutes later the dulcet tones of two lads killing each other echoed down the stairs and I was forced, in a gentle manner, reminiscent of a fishwife, to lovingly call “don’t make me come up there!!!”
Downstairs, meanwhile, the next two up to the “not literal” plate were all ready to resist the task in hand. Emptying the dishwasher and hoovering apparently is tantamount to child abuse, plus the hoover is a very complicated piece of equipment to operate, it seems. Grumbling every step of the way the two carried out the job asked of them, badly. Their claims that none of their friends would ever have to do anything like this, fell on deaf, but fed up, ears.
As I slowly lost my mind following battles which ended withhalf hearted, half completed jobs I realised I have a long way to go. I am however, determined to persist and teach my children a bit about responsibility. All I need now is to summon up the strength to be consistent. As Gloria Gaynor so eloquently put it “At first I was afraid, I was petrified” but “I will survive”!