Wednesday, 23 March 2011


So there's that ridiculous saying, 'Never work with children or animals' that I've considered lately. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to work with children - they're the most interesting and hilarious people in the world. Honestly, I'd really like to know why people don't want to work with children. Do they find them annoying or scary? Have these people actually spent much time with children?

I spent this morning being called 'Mrs Ostrich', because 5 year-olds can apparently neither hear nor distinguish between a Miss and a Mrs (I suppose all adults are horrifically old anyway), and reading this amusingly titled book. Oh, then counting with money which led to many pennies in mouths, on the floor, and then back in mouths again, and a carpet time which featured the dramas of two lots of tears, a bee sting that turned out to be a freckle, and a nose bleed. Fabulous, I know.

It's every bit as fun as it sounds, and no, I'm not being sarcastic. I do feel a bit as though someone will turn up any minute and say, "No, sorry, this isn't a real job, this is far too fun and rewarding".

It doesn't have to be a hilarious moment, like the time a little girl tried to write 'because' and wrote 'booze' instead, or when they all put on their jumpers backwards as a joke. I spent this afternoon teaching a little boy how to add 10 to numbers up to 50. He told me he was stupid, I said I didn't believe him. In less than 20 minutes he was adding 10 to numbers over 100, and the beaming grin on his little face at the end of the lession is what it's all about. He'll be able to do that for the rest of his life.

Children, especially the young-ish ones, can smell fakery, fear and incompetence a mile off. Luckily for me, they will forgive the last two. 99% of the children I've worked with have been absolutely lovely people. They're much less set in their ways than adults, which seems obvious, but it's incredibly encouraging to know that if Rudolph is being a little bugger today, tomorrow he will probably be charming again. And no, I have no idea where the name Rudolph came from, but I've heard much worse.

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