It won’t be long now – I know, I’ve done nothing but whine about them being home. Now I’m sort of wondering if I’ll look back on home-learning with a tear in my eye. Like this lunchtime, I thought, ‘this is one of the last lunches you’ll have together in term time, isn’t that sad?’ My kids, however, are nothing if not reliable. Within five minutes they were screaming at each other about something screen-related, I assume. Which I won’t miss AT ALL. It’s been awful and exhausting – I never thought my children would cry daily after babyhood was over. At that same time, I’ve loved slowing down with them, focussing on them above everything else, getting right into what they are into (Star Dew Valley rules btw). I’ll wave them off joyfully but I wouldn’t give this time back, either.
Happy New Year?
It was a couple of weeks before the end of last year when I listened to a podcast which said the whole ‘seeing the back of 2020’ thing was a false premise.
I mean, of course, we all knew that. But did we really know that?
For us here in the UK, January 2021 so far is remarkably similar to March 2020. Schools are closed again, and as much as I love my precious babies, I am not a natural home-schooler.
So it’s self-care again, back to the basics. I realised if I’m not waking a kid up to catch an early bus, I can have my precious 6am-7am hour back. I’m writing this in a silent house full of sleeping people (and cat). Sometimes I need rest. Sometimes I need work. Both are fulfilling, and necessary.
Apparently, it will become a ‘good interview question.’ What did you accomplish in lockdown?
I was surprised to realise I am fit now. I haven’t been fit since before my first child was born. And let me assure you that I have not become thin – no matter how many kilometres you cycle, if you come home and eat crisps and drink beer, then…
I can cycle many kilometres, though. Up hills and everything. It’s a pleasant side-effect of taking the kids outside every day.
However, I didn’t write the great British novel or anything. You must be kidding! I have two kids – and our homeschooling was excellent – but I was required to be there while they went tippity-tappity on their laptops. I didn’t manage to write much beyond this blog. Which helped me feel connected –
for sticking around.
But the value of being these things: entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged and white has not been lost on me.
Ever since I started having to tell the world that no, my child wasn’t a girl or a boy, and no, they couldn’t choose between Miss or Master, and no, they weren’t happy when staff at school used the term ‘girls and boys’ (it’s hurtful because it doesn’t apply to them).
And yes, there would need to be a change or an adaption to the system to make sure they fit. And yes, they (and I!) would require support from many different agencies.
And yes, they were entitled to all of these things.
It’s tricky to make sure everyone feels included sometimes. Here are some non-binary terms for everyday use.
For a mixed group of people
Folks (see also, Folx)
People (see also Peeps)
Foolish Mortals, Rat Bags, Noodles, You Horrible Lot, Hominids [these are all to be said in a nice way, and as a joke, just so you know…]
Children: class, weans, kids, kiddies, wee-ones, possums, lambs, loves, my loves, campers.
Offspring, Siblings, Niblings (your sibling’s children), My oldest/youngest, My nibling, Parents, Family, Grandparent, Nuncle (goes with nibling and probably better than nunty?)
For a person of any gender
Mate, Pet, My lovely, Duckie, Honeybun, Chicken-poodle, Lambie,
Doctor, Professor, Judge, the Right Honourable, Bishop, the Reverend, Very Reverend
Your highness, oh Great One, Mighty Ruler, Wonderful Counsellor, Your Grace, the Everlasting [these will usually be sarcastic?]
Angela Leadsom’s use of the word ‘exposed’ in relation to lessons about LGBT people was not OK.
However, she didn’t say (as has been reported) LGBT students represent a contagion. She was glad her own children had been expected to accept the rainbow families at their primary school.
She still wasn’t right, though. Parents can’t be allowed to withdraw their kids from any of these lessons.
She also missed a golden opportunity to explain what school-based sex ed is actually like. All lessons are age appropriate. They teach children to respect different types of families: they’re not supplying Cosmo-style sex tips.
Lessons that celebrate diversity? Every child needs those.
For older teenagers though, imagine if there were proper queer sex ed lessons. Or even just ones which taught about female pleasure. Chance would be a fine thing!