My Spawnlings Drive Me Crazy

There comes a time in every parents’ life when they look at their precious little spawnlings and say to themselves, “Good Gods in Hades. What have I created?”

I used to think our spawnlings take after their father, with a healthy dose of my dry wit to keep them fresh and alert. I now realise how wrong I am, and worse still: It is all my own fault.

This realisation came to me last Thursday when the EG Mobile broke.

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Short story: Zaltu and I started driving home from the doctors’ (just a check-up) and the battery light comes up on the dash. By the time we have covered the 5km back to our home, every light is on and I have lost power steering. I am still surprised I maneuvered that tank up our driveway.

Because I was able to drive it (and other factors), we figured it was the alternator, not the battery. I called a mobile mechanic, who would be there the next day. No problem. I can walk to school to pick up the boys, and we’ll just miss martial arts that day.

Sinister was first to meet us at the school-gate.

We’re not going to martial arts today, buddy.

“Why not?”

The car’s broken.

“What did you do to it this time?!?”

Now, given he has a fairly good reason for this response. In the last 3 years, I have sideswiped 2 poles. Two stationary cement poles. The first was totally my fault for not checking my mirrors when backing out of a carpark space. The second was totally not my fault since another car was heading straight for me and the only space I had was to scrape the damn pole. I know I should have let the guy hit us for insurance purposes, but since he over-corrected and started heading for Nefarious’ door I think the pole was the better option.

Prior to these events, I have never NEVER crashed my car.

But the spawnlings don’t know this. They just think their incubator shouldn’t drive near cement poles.

For the record, spawnling, I did nothing to the car. The alternator died and needs replacing.

“The alternator? Is that like a fancy word for ‘passenger side door that was taken off by a cement pole’?”

trolling-meAnd there you have it, folks. Sinister is my own personal troll. That’s exactly the same sarcastic wit I have been using as my primary language for the last 40-odd years. Clearly he does listen to me… At times.

Nefarious was next to join us, and I told him the same: Not going to martial arts because the car is broken.

“What did you do to it this time, mum?”

Sinister: “Hey, that’s what I said!”

I can’t even be mad at them. Not only have I created the scenario, but I have total admiration for their quick wit. Both of them.

Suffice to say, both spawnlings have lived to tell the tale to their father, who is conveniently away in the US for work and thus a safe distance to laugh long and hard at his poor suffering wife.

 

Edit: BTW–This isn’t the first time EG Dad has been absent during a household Chaos-Event. Last time was the Broken Wrist v Broken Fridge event. Convenient, don’t you think?

 

One Trolling School Principal At A Time

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Mrs Trunchbull, from Roald Dahl’s Matilda

Our school Administrator is trolling me. I’m absolutely certain of it.

This year – I promised EG Dad and Sinister to be on my best behaviour and NOT antagonise the Troll. No stomping over her bridge, so to speak. And then it all started at the beginning of the year with the School Holiday Policy – Basically, you are not allowed to take your spawnlings on holidays outside of school holidays.

In the UK, you can be given a penalty of £60, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. If you don’t pay the fine you may be prosecuted. Seriously. I don’t know much about other jurisdictions, like US or Canada, but I do know of a few minions who have been caught up in the scandal of the fines. In Australia, it varies from State to State. Even then there is no consistency between school.

Our public school announced the policy early this year. You must not take your child out of school during school term without first submitting an Application for Exemption and obtaining a Certificate of Exemption from your school administration. Exemptions are available for Sport Activities, Medical, working in the Entertainment Industry or Special and Unique Circumstances. If the spawnlings were representing their country in the Hammer Throw, this wouldn’t be a problem. But alas – it is just a mere family holiday.

zFNEeDwvDSXo

The announcement was made the day after I had paid for our tickets for an overseas holiday later in the year. Given our previous family holiday was partially in the school term as well (we normally travel for 3wks, with 1wk during term), I considered what the penalty could be. And whether my favourite school administrator would grant us an exemption. To apply, I had to have an ‘interview’ with her.

This 30min interview started with “Oh, since you bought the tickets before my announcement, I will have to grant you Exemption”, followed quickly with a long lecture about how kids can only receive education from a qualified professional in the structured setting of a classroom. To all the homeschoolers out there, this is not my view. Administrator Troll remember?

Now – everything from this point was always delivered with the utmost respect and diplomacy. Remember: I promised my best behaviour. And damn – it was HARD!

  • Our holidays are not spent lazing by the pool, twiddling our thumbs. I even offered a copy of the itinerary showing our plans to teach the kids cave navigation, dam busting, environmental science, and wildlife conservation. Not interested.
  • I offered to pick up any information kits and even look into school kits to correspond with each child’s classroom curriculum – for example, Nefarious is studying Mini-Beasts and is particularly excited about visiting a glow-worm cave. NO: no kits are to be shared with the class as it would interfere with the set-up provided by the teacher.
  • Even if it was just 1 day during the term, all days must be applied for – as per the State policy. When I asked why working in the Entertainment Industry was an automatic exemption, but learning about environmental science and wildlife conservation was not, I was told to consider the logic behind what I had just asked. Clearly the Entertainment Industry had financial responsibilities. Environmental science was obviously for hobbyists.

When I asked point blank what the consequences were for missing school, there was a lot of blustering until she eventually admitted there are no consequences. We don’t have the penalties like UK so it’s all just “we’ll put a black mark on his school file”, which will also mean absolutely nothing unless I was pulled up in Court for child abuse. At which point, I would think that missing a day of school would be the least of my concerns.

Fast forward a few months, and (as promised) I have submitted my Application for Exemption – even with the Administrator’s pre-approval. And then the school calls me.

facepalm

Apparently, we are only away for 8 days of the school term. That’s not very long, is it? We don’t need the Certificate of Exemptionbut we’ll keep it here just so we know where the kids are.

It gets better.

Yesterday, Administrator Troll approaches me at the school. I had just dropped off Sinister and Nefarious. She cornered me – there was no escape. I prepared for a full-frontal assault. I can take her.

Excuse me, Mrs EG. I just want a word about your upcoming holiday.

*shudder* Now what?

Out of the blue, Administrator Troll starts showing an interest in our itinerary. Even points out the educational value of a couple of places. Even points out the fantastic offer these places have for schools – including teacher resource packs you can buy for the classroom. And while she will not allow the kids to bring back information packs to share with their class, she would strongly suggest the benefits of paying for a few teacher resource packs to bring back and donate to the school. To share around with the other teachers. But not any that coincide with what our spawnlings are learning in the classroo
m. Because that would just be a distraction.

facepalm (1)“Uh, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll keep that in mind on our holiday.”

She is trolling me, right? It’s not just me? I promised to be on my best behaviour for the whole year. But December is just too far away.

Have you ever taken the spawnlings on holidays outside of school? Does your school have a policy about this? Or are you of the School of EG Dad – *HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA*