What's wrong with you girl?

Posted Wednesday 18th December 2013   By Ericka Waller

So the husband told me Thing-One’s class was doing an assembly. “Lovely” I said, then carried on trying to get Thing-Three to stop poking the dog’s um… well, it does not matter. I was very busy. So busy I did not ask Thing-One what it was about until the night before.

“Don’t worry, I have it all in hand” the husband told me. “Just like the Christmas cards.” (Sorry to everyone who has not received a card this year.)

Assembly day was also mufti day. “What do you want to wear?” I said, throwing open the wardrobe with gusto. “School uniform please” she told me. It took so long to get her in a green and grey outfit that was not actually her uniform, we were late.

When we arrived the playground was a sea of dressing up outfits and tinsel. “What am I missing?” I hissed to my friend in the queue. “Tinsel” she said, passing me some of hers.

I took it over to Thing-One who was hiding up a tree. “Come down Pops, I’ve got some tinsel.”

“I’m not wearing tinsel, and I’m not getting down. I’m not doing assembly either.”

“HUSBAND!” I yelled across the playground, where he was trying to start a football game with many small children. “Pick your coat up off the floor and help get her down.”

She was NOT happy. “I’ll get you for this my pretty, and your little dog too”, she whispered to us as we shut the classroom door. (She always reverts to Wizard of Oz lines when under pressure.)

We made our way to the main hall, and watched the children file in. Some were dressed as ballerinas, some carried instruments, or trophies. Some were holding drawings, or wearing homemade necklaces. At the back, wearing nothing more than crumpled uniform-like-clothes and a frown, was our daughter. We tried to smile at her. She frowned harder.

Her class proceeded to proudly tell us how they were AMAZING at singing, swimming for 100 hours, being cool, playing violin, dancing, cycling, running, karate, dressing up and telling jokes.

Then it got to Thing-One. The class waited. The rest of the school waited. The parents watching waited. We waited. Silence.

Ah my girl. My girl who is amazing at drawing, singing, drama, being kind, writing, playing-on-her-own (A VITAL skill in my book) said nothing.

In the end her friend spoke on her behalf. Something about a bike. I think. I was sobbing so loudly I could not hear. All the mums came to hug me and tell me it was OK. The husband pinched me and told me to pull myself together.

Thing-One looked at me like “What are you crying about? You are not the one stood up here dressed like a Christmas decoration in front of everyone.”