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Saturday, 17 May 2008


My darling boy's perfect school had an inset day yesterday. We were forced to occupy the poppet at home, while his sweet teacher had a day of training. As working parents, we were faced with the usual childcare dilemmas, who were we to trust with the care of the perfect boy? (sigh)

Albena our house-keeper resists childcare so - in my opinion her opposition to caring for our perfect children is simply unnatural. Magda (our Polish au pair) speaks very little English and I fear that she is clueless when it comes to appropriate stimulation and home work supervision. Brenda (my mother) volunteered to care for the tiny man, but she is not be trusted as she fills my progeny with e-number and sugar soaked confections, rocket fuel for children. In the past I have returned from work to discover a pair of hysterical poppets and stressed out grandma. It took me an age to simply coax my darling cats back out of the garage...

Just last weekend, James and I were discussing our childcare conundrum in the garden when Brenda bounced out from the behind a rosebush and announced:

"There is nothing wrong with my water works."

"How very abstract mother, whate are you talking about now?" I replied.

"I heard you saying that I can't look after Max because I can't control my bladder, and it is not true."

"Oh mother, I said you were incompetant, not incontinent."

What a hoot!

Oh how we all laughed...


Jo Beaufoix said...

Hee hee, how silly, and at least she isn't both, that would be awful.

girl with the mask said...

I agree with the above, at least it is an either/or situation, especially as she appears to be slightly hard of hearing as well!

aims said...

Darling Dulwichmum - perhaps Brenda could teach the au pair some English? The schools do seem to be taking more time off for the teachers you know and you just can't let them interfere with pedicures and facials. Heaven forbid!

Perhaps some Poise for Brenda is in order? (although she'll disagree - she does seem to have a run-on problem - poor thing)

dulwichmum said...

Darling Jo,

Good point! Well she isn't yet anyhow...

Lovely Girl WTM,

We are on the same wavelength. Can I offer you a drink?

Lovely Aims,

Let me pop some ice in that for you. I sense a real meeting of minds.

Fiona said...

Why do we all pretend they are 'inset' days when they always fall on a Friday or Monday? Long weekends for the teachers, no more, no less. Though woe betide you if you decide to take your little treasure for your own long weekend, 'in term time'.

Frog in the Field said...


Expatmum said...

"Inset" days? Can't remember that when I was growing up. Mind you, the only days we got off were Holy Days of Obligation.
Over here (US) they are often called "in service" days - which conjures up images of indentured servants or jail time.

dulwichmum said...

But Fiona darling,

You could not honestly be implying that they are on a long weekend break to Barcelona could you? OHMYGOD!

Perfect Frog,

Do frogs have ears?

Sweet Expatmum,

Holy days of obligation? Oh yes, like Pancake day and St Blaise's day! Such fun!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Nothing wrong with incontinence!

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dulwichmum said...

Darling Retired and Crazy,

Will you tell me when I can get back up off the naughty step?

Super Anonymous,

Thank you for that. Isn't Dulwich simply perfect?

Milla said...

at least your mother merely falls in bushes when supposedly on child care patrol. mine, who indulges on a very low level basis (once a year anyone?) is signing up for an anger management course following a thoroughly unsatisfactory weekend recently. Must say i'm jolly envious of your staffing levels. Rather beats a vague memory of having had a cleaner a decade ago. Hmmm. Not sure I'm appropriate to mingle.

Gary said...

First off, as a teacher I'd like to address Fiona's comment about inset days (or as we call them in NYC - Professional Development days. These are mandated days and are NOT the choice of us teachers. Believe me, I would much rather spend a day teaching the amazing children I am entrusted with than a long, often tedious day of paperwork and meetings. Perhaps I am being sensitive but that remark really offended me.

Anyway, I loved that your mom was okay with being incompetent but had issue with being incontinent. How funny. I have often felt great compassion for parents who have to make adjustments due to the school schedule. Many times here the parents are not even given ample notification. How difficult that must be, and quite unacceptable.

Working mum said...

Would also like to address Fiona's comment. Many parents seem to think 'INSET' means 'day off' for teachers. In fact a friend asked me to look after her daughter on my last INSET day and was surprised that I was going to be at work!

My school puts INSET on Fridays precisely so that parents can go on long weekends and also stipulates that we can't leave school before 4pm in case any parents see us!

I'd rather have a normal day with the kids!

Milla said...

oops! that's you lot told. Sounds as if these inset days are a pain in the neck all round. Apart from for creepy work-shy me who loves having the nippers here.

Frog in the Field said...

I said, Pardon??

Fiona said...

Ok Frog in the field, you want me buried by a mountain of chalk and then a desk thrown on top for good measure? Ok, it's actually Marrakech that they are all off to not Barcelona. It is of course known for its 'seven saints' and that's definitely what teachers are these days.

Frog in the Field said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dulwichmum said...

Darling chums,

Can I top up a drink for anyone?

I hate conflict (sigh). I could never be a teacher, they work so damn hard! They should be entitled to a year off for every year they work.

Frog in the Field said...

I thought, you'd never ask!
I did begin to wonder if you had asked and I'd missed it..

Working mum said...

Dulwich mum - what a great idea! A year off for each one I work.

I think I'm nearly there as I get 17 weeks off a year already! If anyone complains I just say, "well become a teacher yourself then" and watch them visibly wince! Ispo facto!

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