S03, Episode 1: Decisions
Where decisions are made.
'Mama, I've made a 'cision.' Daisy enters the room dressed in the obligatory tutu and Ironman costume combo.
'I want to school.'
'What!? That's NOT fair!' Yells Lily. 'Why does she get to make a decision but I HAVE to go?!'
'You’re not being forced, Lily. It's a nice school and you loved the first week.'
'That was before I found out Mrs MacMillan is a harpy-witch. Now I have to spend millions of hours locked up as she tortures me with maths.'
'Is she a ww-w-witch?' tears brim in Daisy's eyes.
Oh, buggerations. Why can't it ever be simple? Just for once. A nice family chat about returning to mainstream school, or in Daisy's case beginning for the first time. Lily excitedly agreeing and contrary to her protest, loving every second of it. Daisy having a trial and making a careful 'cision (or decision to speakers of non-Daisy) to attend.
But now Lily runs the risk of derailing it with talk of witches as Daisy absorbs this potential supernatural danger. After the goose/ghost scenario we are extra careful with the magical unknown. Fortunately, Ross is on hand to reassure and reset the emotional tidal wave threatening to engulf us.
The local school is a handy 5-minute walk from the flat. A slightly dishevelled granite Victorian fancy with an interior garnished with bright art and a vague sense of child-induced chaos. The staff seem friendly and non-judgemental. Many teachers have 'strong' views about homeschooled children and waste no time in sharing them with you, the offending parent. The most effective way to deal with said opinions is to remind them gently that they don't know all the circumstances as to why you have made this decision. And then go home and aggressively consume a large glass of wine whilst stamping around your kitchen muttering 'judgy bitch'.
Lily has attended for nearly a month. She has pacified her classmates with her wolf persona and I suspect the maligned Mrs MacMillan is going grey teaching her fractions. My homeschooling skills failed in that particular area. But it's good to see her doing well and enjoying the change.
Daisy loves people and her week-long trial has been a triumph in turning the 'we don't hug children here' staff into a bunch of huggers. Each proclaiming to me that Daisy gives the best hugs. Ha!
At the announcement of Daisy wanting to continue to go to school full time, I pour myself a 'success' wine.
Monday morning walking my two darlings through the local park to the school isn't quite the idyl I imagined.
'Lily! Stop howling you'll scare the dogs!' I say through gritted teeth at the same as trying to ‘good morning’ bewildered dog walkers.
'Mama...I pick daisies.'
'No time!' I gently extract Daisy from the daisies. 'Come on we will be late.' That's on me. Adapting to the school schedule will take some practice. We rush into the iron-railed playground just as the final pupils are entering the building. I shove them through the doors just before they close. Phew.
'Oh, fuckity-shit!' I realise I'm still holding Lily's lunchbox.
'Hi, I'm Sally, class rep.' A bright voice behind me. 'You are Daisy and Lily's mum?'
'Oh, hey. Yeah erm, Emma. Nice to meet you.' I try to ignore that I'm swearing in the playground while clutching a bunch of wilting daisies. Sally seems very nice, very organised and very discreet about my outburst. She points me in the direction of the school office to hand in the forgotten lunch box.
I head home. It’s a strange feeling handing your children over to the school system. We have been such a tight-knit team available daily for each other. I feel half-relief, half-empty and…
OW! What the actual?!
It’s that weird pain I keep getting in my right leg. Sharp like a stabbing cramp in the front of my thigh; sort of hot, my leg feels weak and wobbly. I haven’t been paying it proper attention even though the last three years it has been progressively getting worse.
I mention it to Ross who suggests, cautiously, that perhaps I should get it checked out. I am not a fan of doctors and am prone to breaking bones and ignoring them until they heal rather than seek medical interference. Yeah, I know.
‘I’ll be fine. It’s just some old injury haunting me. Wine will cure it.’ I sense him tucking his opinions away for another time. He is a wise man.