Despite Mac telling us on a daily basis not to get too excited about his work, I found myself standing in front of a picture he’d painted of the three dogs in the park and weeping not so silently. Okay, so his bit of the wall wasn’t as over populated with his art work but I prefer to think that the teachers had gone for quality over quantity. His school diary was decorated with coloured in words and little pictures of houses and cars and was full of things that will embarrass the bum off him when I produce it at his 18th birthday party. “My daddy likes football” was one comment. “My mummy likes gatos” was another – ten for observation, nil for spelling. The sentence “I like dancing about” was the one that had me blubbing again. His teacher, Mrs Farquarhson, gazed down at him fondly when it was our turn to be granted an audience with her. “Mackenzie is a lovely boy, very helpful and not at all shy” she said at which point I clutched my child to me and was told to “gerroff mummy” in a very un-shy like way.
I had abandoned my Refreshments Stall for twenty minutes only to find pandemonium when I returned. Dawn was laughing her head off because the Cabal of Witches (as we now referred to Green Mummy and her pals) were all desperate to sample our weak lemon barley and Rich Tea biscuits but daren’t approach the stall because “we” were running it. As none of their husbands had turned up they had to remain un-refreshed. “You really must fill me in on them all one day.” Dawn insisted as we dispensed bonhomie and custard creams to the gathering hordes.
Mac’s first ever school report (which will, again, be used to terrorise him in later life) informed us of that he “has a logical approach to working with numbers” and “enjoys playing with words and has a vivid imagination which he uses to full effect”. The parting shot from the Headmistress set me off again: “Mackenzie will be sorely missed at nursery, his personality shines like a lighthouse”.
We headed home via Harvesters where we had promised we’d take Mac if his report was good – he beamed with delight when he saw my dad, Matthew and Lydia already there. “I’ve been good Grandad so I can have two salads” he pointed out as they went off to collect their bowls.
I’m not required to attend the End of Term Picnic today – merely provide food for it. Mac carried in my contribution of grapes, strawberries, mini bananas and two bottles of sparkling mineral water while I had a quick moment by the school gate. After today I won’t be taking him to and from nursery, I shall be taking him to and from primary school. After that secondary school and, and……I can’t think about it.
We’re buying his uniform soon – a letter has arrived from his new school detailing where we can buy all the clothing and equipment he’ll need. “Next up it’ll be school trips” Jane Opposite said when she caught me weeping over my lavender in the front garden. “And then girls – you wait until he’s interested in girls, you won’t get a minutes peace y’know” she said wisely, ducking down suddenly before saying “Oh Gawd, thought that was Belinda Hall” and standing upright again. “You think you’ve got problems?” she went on, peering down her cleavage and adjusting her bra. One of my girls wants a tattoo and the other one is in love with a skanky boy called Justin”.
It seems I have nothing to worry about – Mac’s thoughts on the subject of girls can be summed up in one word – “eurgh!”.