Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Competitive? Moi?

'Miss says we have to tell all you parents to keep your hands behind your backs!'

Like that's going to happen.

It's competition time again; the St David's Day Eisteddfod - a Festival of music, poetry, baking and model making, held in schools across Wales. Absolutely guaranteed to bring out a steely competitive edge in many a parent.

Even ones you least suspect.

Is that me? Probably. I'm really not inclined to be competitive about most stuff, but give me a craft challenge and I'm suddenly possessed by a Blue Peter-like zeal to produce something simply glorious. Just can't stop myself.

We all tend to do more than we should, don't we? Frankly I think anyone who insists they haven't helped their child with his or her cardboard creation is a big fibber. And I'm putting my hand up here, because I've taken 'helping' to the nth degree.

Now, you know how much I like making things out of rubbish - and at home I'll quite happily let the kids get on with creating whatever they fancy: no interfering…but when it's school bound, that's a game changer. As much as I'd like to be relaxed about it, I just can't let them take in any old tat.

So this happens.

I know.


It was my son's idea to make a model of the Statue of Liberty…and that's about all he did, bless him. Basically I got completely carried away. Out came the empty yogurt and marg pots and the tin foil, and then I thought, what about some papier mache? Honestly I had the best time.

Our model didn't even get placed.

It so obviously wasn't made by a 7 year old. I was far too embarrassed to say a thing.

Did I learn my lesson? Don't be mad. What I learnt was to tone it down a bit.

Fast forward to this year's competition, and my 9 year old had to make a Dragon. Attached to the letter about the Festival categories was a slip all parents had to sign, declaring no help had been given beyond a little guidance.

Oh dear.

New school, new rules. Suddenly it all seemed terribly official, which presented a bit of a dilemma, seeing as on the whole I'm quite law-abiding. It's different somehow when you actually have to sign something.


So, to get round feeling like a complete fraud and a cheat, who's bound to get caught and hauled before the Headmistress, I made another dragon alongside my son for him to copy - not saying there wasn't the odd helpful snip here and there, but, on the whole it was his own work.


I really needn't have worried, because on the way into school today I saw one mum carrying a beautiful clay dragon. I'm quite sure it had been glazed and fired. And my son told me his best friend's dragon had legs that moved and a CAVE.

Think I'm going to have to up my game again…

(By the way, if anyone's interested in instructions for an egg box dragon, just let me know!)



15 comments:

  1. Do you know that I've never helped my daughter with her (ghastly) cardboard creations? It's true! She wouldn't let me. Dammit! Anyway, I like the egg box dragon. Well done you, I mean your son! xx

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    1. Good on your daughter! I take my 'fibbing' line back Loo! xx

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  2. Ha ha ha! Love it! All I had to provide for the Eistedfordd at the kids' new school was a couple of welsh rugby tops for them to wear - much to the Husband's disgust...

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    1. yes…all kinds of conflict there for you to contend with! Though have to say my eldest supports Ireland and loves a good old barny with his Welsh mates about the rugby…can't wait to tell them what he thinks!

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  3. Oh this brings back memories of my headteachering days! We used to have an Easter competition to design the best ‘setting’ for your hard-boiled egg before it was rolled in the race. My God we had some talented ‘children' at our school!

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    1. I can just imagine! We're kidding no one...

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  4. I'm still laughing at you having to sign a bit of paper saying you hadn't helped. Sounds like the school may be taking themselves a bit too seriously. It's meant to be a fun, shared activity, surely? Particularly for under 10s, giving them some help is part of their learning. I'd have thought, anyway. PS Love BOTH the dragons!

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    1. Signing a slip is a bit extreme! Everyone knows parents tend to get involved…must be aimed at the ones who get too involved *cough*

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  5. Brilliant!!!! Loved you got nicked for the Statue of Liberty, and it is very, very good; and your solution to the problem was very clever, make one for your son to copy - genius! (hilarious you had to sign that note!). X

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    1. Amazingly the Statue of Liberty is still in one piece, two years on…now in my son's room festooned with fairy lights! x

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  6. That is hilarious... I do love the Statue of Liberty, it's glorious, and the dragon is pretty special too! :) xx

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  7. Brilliant, can't believe you have to sign something to say that you didn't help! I'm very new to the school thing so I'm still not quite sure how these things work. With World Book Day costumes this week I don't want to go too over the top and come across as showing off, but on the other hand I do want to look as though I've made an effort. Tricky balance!

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    1. it really is! Not sure I'm quite there…
      Slight panicky moment when I read you comment - so wrapped up in the Eisteddfod I'd completely forgotten about World Book Day dressing up! Not a clue what to do this year. Would be great if he'd go as Mr Twit again, like last year seeing as it's different school, but don't think he'll be keen!

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