Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Yesterday, against my better judgement, I went along to the local community centre to watch the primary kids strut their stuff. I was only interested in watching my youngest, naturally, but he instructed me to get there at 6.30pm and as I had no programme I wasn't sure when he'd be on.
As a result, I was obliged to sit through some pretty excruciating performances of whole classes of kids pretending to be music notes, music notes in a flying saucer in search of harmony, cacophony, trees, forest animals, water, good fish, bad fish and some inexplicably caped poets.
I had brought my book but my skin wasn't thick enough to get it out, and I had brought a cushion because sitting on a wall of raw concrete is not my idea of a comfy seat. It doesn't take years of watching these events to work this out, but I seemed to be alone in finding this practical solution to concrete imprints on the backs of my legs.
A couple of years ago I went with a fellow Brit friend and we took an apero of wine and peanuts to ease the pain of watching. Her toddler son had a lovely time tossing the peanuts about and there were a gratifying number of disapproving yummy mummies who were probably green with envy at our foresight and nerve.
Some seem never to have come out of that mushy baby brain stage that you get right at the beginning when the slightest thing your baby does is like a miracle and proof of genius. Normal adult brain service should be resumed at some point, but I get the feeling this doesn't always happen in some mummies. Some seem locked in the stage of marvelling at other people's small children doing mind-blowingly boring things.
The bad fish children, for example. What does that conjure up for you? Sharks? Killer whales? Blood, gore, nature raw in tooth and jaw? Well, what we got were two strings of children running in rings. Good thing they were introduced as bad fish because you'd never have guessed otherwise. You'd just have thought, why are those kids running around in a string holding hands? An image of bad fish they were not.
The president of one of the parent's associations was much in evidence. She's the one who, until recently, used her husband's professional email address to contact members and parents. Her husband is the one who presides over meetings. He is not a member of the association. It was me who said to my long-suffering friend who haplessly joined this assoc to help that I would never take seriously a group who used the professional email of the husband to make contact. She relayed this info and it was changed.
But I ask you, does one have to spell everything out? Are they so thick that having an assoc email is such a bizarre and outlandish idea? This is what we're up against in this country of Airbus on the one hand, and technological stupidity of your average Frog on the other. You should have heard the STINK they made about having a school blog. Anyone would think it would be a gateway to paedophiles and stalkers. They knew so little about blogs that they didn't even realise they could be private. And this is a middle class affluent area where crappy houses are on sale at 500€K.
I'm sure it's all the fault of Minitel. The whole nation embraced it with enthusiasm and pride, being French, but it locked them into a time warp where the internet has had a hard time breaking ground. It's taken a lot longer here than, for example in the UK where the Minitel-less population jumped on it as a fantastic opportunity to communicate.The French were already doing that, to some extent, and couldn't see the point of this new-fangled piece of foreign technology which was all in English.
I left the show as soon as my son had finished. He'd been kicking a football around in a celebration of doing sport. I was mightily relieved he hadn't been forced to sing the wet and wimpy song about the sea, and waft his arms about to simulate waves. Now that would have been more than this maternal sense of duty could have coped with!