Emily and Phoebe

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Phoebe seems gradually to be getting used to the idea of going to kindergarten every day. After some initial tearfulness and reluctance to leave the house in the morning, she has realised that school is part of her daily schedule.

Actually, school isn't yet part of her daily schedule. Some days we go to kindergarten and then immediately return home, because the teachers are on strike at the moment and we don't know from one day to the next which classes are operating. So it would be truer to say she has realised that getting up and walking to school is part of her daily schedule.

Which should be no big deal. Last year she and I would take Emily to school every day, and then all the way back again, sometimes making a detour to go to the supermarket as well. Walking half the distance should be nothing to complain about, right?

Wrong. Because to get to school Phoebe has adopted a painfully slow "my legs don't work" crawl, an unwilling-snail creep, an arthritic-tortoise hobble, permanently accompanied by low-level complaining about how she can't walk any further. Clearly the unbridled enthusiasm that should attend the start of each day's educational adventure is missing.

That doesn't worry me too much at the moment. Early days, and all that. But in the meantime, the speed Phoebe moves at makes it impossible to get to school before the bell rings in the morning (when the gates are locked). And the later we set out (because the delaying tactics she indulges in while getting ready in the morning are not to be believed), the slower she goes. At first I thought she was trying to avoid school altogether (the obvious conclusion), but now I think she has a different objective.

Because when I finally give in and gather her up in my arms to carry her, she smiles beatifically, strokes my hair and says "Well done, Daddy! You're the best Daddy in the world!"


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