Thursday, 19 April 2007

Home educated triplets arguing

This is a bit like YouTube. I may even video the next pointless fifteen minute argument and post it up.

It all starts when I've got a few minutes to wander about, so I attempt a bit of home ed. I'm at the kitchen table with Squirrel and Tiger.

'Do you want me to show you how to make a book that stays together without any binding like glue, staples or stitches?' I say. Everyone looks away. 'It's magic!' I add, to help dispel any doubt.

'Yes!' shout Squirrel and Tiger. Shark's not sure, because she has her nose pressed up against Slither River on the computer and she likes splashing the characters with water, so she's holding out for that.

'Right' I say, in my best teachery boundary-marking voice which means 'From this moment I have speaking control.' I do, too, for about two seconds. 'Tiger, can you get some paper please from the paper box?' Tiger duly arrives back with a clutch of A4 paper, some craft paper and plain copier paper.

'Why does Tiger get to do everything all the time' grumbles Squirrel.
'She does not get to do everything all the time. You could get the scissors.'
'I don't want to get the scissors' grumbles Squirrel again, turning horizontal on her chair and sticking her bottom in the air.
'Don't be silly' I say, then take out the coloured paper from Tiger's pile.

Shark turns up at this moment, so I ask her to fetch some scissors. Then Squirrel wails, 'I wanted to fetch the scissors and now Shark's got them and I never can!'
'You said you didn't want to fetch scissors' I add.
'I didn't. I said I didn't want to fetch them then, but then's not now. Is then now?' shouts Squirrel, who's destined to be a lawyer for the prosecution if she carries on like this.
'Well I can't wait for now to be just the moment you decide to fetch the scissors', I retort. 'Now, do you want to know how to make the magic book or not?' I can't say my voice is quite as calm as when I came in, but I'm trying to hold everything together here.
'I do!' shouts Sharks, brightly. Clearly the last character on Slither River just met his match.

I start to tap the paper level on the desk so that I can fold it neatly and make an A5 sized book.
'Whose book is that?' asks Tiger.
'It's nobody's book.'
'I want it!' shouts Tiger.
'It's not fair!' screams Squirrel. 'Why is Tiger always allowed everything and I'm allowed nothing?!'
'I'm not entering into this silly conversation', I say. 'I'm making a book'.
'Whose book is it?' asks Shark.
'It's my book' I snap.
'Can I have it please?' asks Shark.
'Yes, since you ask so nicely' I say. This is an immediate error.
'It's not fair!' cries Tiger. 'Shark gets everything!'

'Now I've had enough'. I say, slamming the paper down on the table. 'Do you want to know how to make the magic book or not?'
'No!' shouts Tiger and picks up A4 paper of her own.
'I can show you what to do with it' I offer.
'I don't care' comes the reply.

Well folks, I could go on here. About the colour craft paper I picked up. That's not fair, because Shark got the purple and she always gets the purple, apparently. About the way to fold the paper. That's not fair because Tiger says she's not making an A5 book, she's making an A4 sized book so I'm only showing Shark and Squirrel what to do.

And so it goes on. We all did go on in fact for about fifteen minutes until I lost my temper and threw the paper on the table. Tiger immediately goes off to compose her own book, Shark scampers back to the computer and Squirrel sits in the rocking chair sulking.

This is the trouble with triplets. Each one is looking for the slightest suggestment of preferment or advantage gleaned by one of the others; each one is watching for the slightest sign that would indicate an inequality, a denied opportunity or a prejudice, and each one is out to assert their rights of status.

So much for our emphasis on co-operation through negotiation. Just another foiled moment in the home ed diary of triplets. It's a wonder we achieve anything round here at all.


Elibee said...

Yes, but, how do you make the magic book?!?!?

grit said...

well elibee i will have to show you. right now i cannot explain because i have been drinking a lot of wine and am just about to catch up with Coronation Street.