Emily and Phoebe

Friday, January 09, 2009

Starting 2009 with a whimper...

...not to mention a splutter and a cough, as the girls are ill again. Emily has a cold (which is at the moment - touch wood - not too bad), while Phoebe has a sort-of sinus infection that manifests itself in various symptoms (including swelling around the eyes, aversion to light, lethargy and - bizarrely - pain in the cheeks) that refuse to disappear despite her being on antibiotics for three days.

As a result, she has missed the first two days of school, which she is a bit annoyed about as she was looking forward to seeing her friends. (Her first question when Emily came home from school yesterday was whether all her classmates had asked where she was.)

According to the unofficial Book of Rules for Greek Parents, what I'm now supposed to do is phone up the school to find out what lessons she's missed, go down there to pick up worksheets and sit next to her while she does all her homework. This is because the great horror of Greek parents is kena, which means "gaps", i.e. things that they've missed. When kids are off school, the thinking goes, they fall behind (i.e. are overtaken by their peers) and then struggle. Now to be fair, it's not surprising that parents worry about this, since the workload even in first grade is pretty heavy. But let's get some perspective, here. Phoebe is six years old, she's ill, and I don't really think missing a couple of days of school will have any lasting effect on her education.

And besides, according to her she's already learnt how to read, write and do numbers, so she's evidently got everything pretty much covered for this year...


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