Thursday, 20 November 2008

Gifts for teachers? Eh?

There was a woman on the bus the other day stressing about what she was going to get her DD’s teacher for Christmas.
Would chocolates be all right or would the teacher be fed up if she received 30 boxes of Maltesers?
Should she suggest that the other parents club together to get one big thing?
Should she get vouchers for somewhere or was that a bit off?
I sat transfixed and listened to this enlightening conversation, which she was having with a slightly bored looking friend.
And it suddenly stuck me.
Are you supposed to get a Christmas present for your child’s teacher then?
Because in all the year’s my 12-year-old DD has been going to school, I’ve never once bought her teacher a gift for Xmas.
Indeed thinking about it, I haven’t so much as given a card in previous years.
Does this make me a terrible person?
To be fair, I’ve never bought anything for the woman at Tesco’s, the postman, the bin man or the chap at the petrol station either.
But you’re not really expected to buy anything for them.
Are you?
Why should teachers particularly expect a gift anyway?
They’re only doing their job.
Nobody buys me a gift just for doing my job.
I wonder has this lack of present-buying affected my DD’s marks at school?
Or maybe the teachers have all got together in the staff room to slag me off behind my back.
My point is, with two kids of my own, plus four sisters and two brothers who have about seven million kids between them, I think I have enough people to buy prezzies for at Christmas.
Besides, DD is at secondary school now which means she has lots and lots of teachers every day.
I couldn’t possibly be expected to buy gifts for all of them.
Could I.....?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Telly talk...

I’m one of those people that get a tune stuck in their head and go round singing it ALL day.
It really annoys work colleagues.
Usually it’s a song that I’ve heard on the radio.
But lately, there seems to have been a general change in style.
Here’s an idea of what I sing a lot these days:

Wash, wipe, scrub and clean
Make the kitchen sparkling and clean...
do do do do do...

Or sometimes it can be:

Come for a walk
Come for a ride
There’s so much to see
So come outside....

And perhaps worst of all:

The summer is over....
And winter’s on its way.....

Of course the keen-eyed among you will have noticed that all these ditties have one thing in common.
They can all be heard 20 or 30 times a day on the CBeebies channel.
Yes, I think you’re right.
My toddler does watch far too much telly.
Big Cook, Little Cook is a big favourite, as is Come Outside or as every child in the country knows it, Pippin.
Regulars Andy, Chris, Mr Tumble and the lovely Poi are as familiar and reassuring to DD2 (who is now 19 months) as me and her dad.
Is it terrible, do you think, that as soon as she gets up in the morning, she starts repeating the word “telly” until we give in?
Am I likely to be turning her into a future axe murderer?
Is she destined for a low grade career serving burgers in McDonalds because of her TV addiction?
The funny thing is, though, watching telly doesn’t seem to be doing her any harm at all.
Her vocabulary has increased tenfold over the last couple of months.
And I’m pretty sure she hasn’t learned the words “cook”, “car” and “wash up” from me.
We’re always reading about how dangerous it is to use the TV as a “babysitter” for our young kids.
But I’m not convinced it’s always such a bad thing.
Which is better:
Letting her watch the talented Justin from Something Special doing his brilliant sign language thing for half an hour while I cook the tea?
Or making her sit in the high chair and “interact” with me as I swear like a trooper because I’ve burned yet another perfectly good chicken nugget?
I’ll let you decide.