Motherhood hasn’t come naturally to Daisy Leverington. Four years in and she remains wide-eyed, terrified and in awe of the little person she’s responsible for. This week, big school reflection offers feelings of pride and moments to headbutt a wall.
“No it’s not darling, it’s ‘The’.”
“NO IT’S NOT, IT’S ‘DE’!”
“In that case you have rewritten history and the entire English language and changed ‘The’ to ‘De’. You should let your teacher know so he can change all the books.”
“Daddy says ‘De’. He says ‘De End’ at the end of a story.”
“Daddy is wrong.”
“I’m telling Dad you said that.”
“Good, you should.”
“Great. The end of the conversation.”
“NO, IT’S DE END OF THE CONVOR-SNATION!”
We arrive at school in silence. I march my four-year-old know-it-all through the gate a little quicker than usual.
She ignores the headteacher’s cheery hello as we walk past. Risky. And then she’s gone for another six hours and I’m desperately missing her as I walk back to the car by myself, wondering if she was right and perhaps ‘De’ would be easier.
We’ve been at school for four months now, and by my daughter’s own admission she needn’t keep going as they’ve taught her everything now, and she “knows as much as grown-ups do.”
“My work here is done; her teachers are in charge now and I can go back to a pre-pregnancy 11am white wine spritzer, yes?”
Back in September I wrote about how tricky it was for her to settle in, and predicted that in six months I’d be writing about how much she loves it. I was wrong.
Four months in and she’d rather be at school than anywhere near her dad and me, even if we were to be on a sunny beach eating chocolate ice-cream and playing with a thousand kittens.
She loves it. She gets up earlier than ever to get ready every day, even weekends. At 5am little footsteps can be heard in her bedroom, as she tinkers with books and crayons and changes the time on her clock so we can get there quicker.
I usually notice, but her dad once arrived with her at school at 7am thanks to this little nugget of brilliance.
Among all the newfound confidence sits a little girl who has learned to read, to add up and subtract, to sit with people who are feeling sad, to share with others, to take turns and enjoy working with her mates on a task.
Granted, she only does these things at school and is still an utter sod for me at home, but isn’t it great? My work here is done; her teachers are in charge now and I can go back to a pre-pregnancy 11am white wine spritzer, yes? I’m joking, of course. It was a lager shandy.
School has changed her so much. She has developed a strange sense of style now that she is limited to uniform for five sevenths of the week.
At the weekend she owns drag-queen-Disney-princess-does-homeless chic, thanks to a new found love of layering clashing and ill-fitting items of clothing. She does her own hair too. She looks insane.
I spend the brief time we have together after school pleading with her to eat dinner and get a bath, as we try to read her school books in between knackered tantrums. She’s utterly spent by the time Friday comes around, and we are left with a grumpy and exhausted self-appointed genius for the weekend.
Our mother/daughter arguments rival anything in Game of Thrones. I reckon she’d happily murder me while I was on the toilet if I told her that she was spelling ‘Daddy’ incorrectly.
She will even listen to my answer, declare me to be wrong, and then suspiciously arrive at the very same answer a minute later while deriding me for my stupidity. A career in politics seems to be calling.
A recent discussion about where Matilda lives (the BLOODY FICTIONAL Roald Dahl character) ended with slammed doors and tears, and that was just me. I’d even showed her on a map.
Most of my sentences end with: “Well don’t ask me anything, then.” It’s hard to reason with this kid at the moment, and yet it’s adorable to see her try so hard to understand the world and all of its brandnewness.
I’m hoping she eventually will understand that, just once in a while, Mummy might have the answer to a question.
And anyhow, she’s absolutely useless at the Countdown numbers round and I’m awesome, so at least I’ve still got the edge, for now.
You can find more of Daisy’s Motherhood musings here.1977 Views
Daisy Leverington - Actor, mother, expert at winging it.