Wednesday, 13 June 2007


The children are at a home ed kite making session. We are late, of course, so by the time we get there, a dozen kids in the hut are busy cutting and sticking.

Within seconds I sense that I am getting up the nose of the Organiser who's leading the group. For a start, we're late, and that matters sometimes. We have a script for being late though, and it is to enter noisily, shout 'Hi! It's us! We're late! What are we doing?' and then someone will tell us, or point to some instructions. Then the Organiser of the group will tut because now she has to go right back to the beginning again, find the materials she had, the model she used, and relay the instructions she made such a fuss about before. But it will be too late, because within seconds of getting in, I'll have grabbed the materials, grilled some kid about what we do now, and already be engaged in an argument with Shark about a chair, so won't listen to what Organiser has to say anyway.

This is where is get up her nose a bit further. Everyone's sticking down their kite sticks with tape. I grab the dispensers because dispensers are easy for children. They have narrow tape in. Cutting wide sticky tape with scissors with the tape hanging off the back of a chair is hard. 'Not that tape!' instructs the organiser. 'Why not?' I say. I'm a woman in a hurry, and as far as I'm concerned, a woman in a hurry can't waste time figuring out appropriate politeness formula. 'That should be hidden!' snaps the Organiser. 'Use that tape!' I can't see why myself, since narrow tape seems to work just as well as wide, but I take the dispenser from Shark and give it back. OK, so I did slam it down a bit, but that's because I'm a woman in a hurry, and not because it's an invitation to the Organiser for a duel at dawn with tape dispensers.

Then we get told to all shut up because what she says now is very important indeed, and last time she says no one was listening. Well, I look round the table. They must have been listening, I think, because everyone's got a kite made. What she has to say is cut it like this, not like that, like this. Well, I think, perhaps we are all very stupid, but somehow I think we could have sussed it from the model, and cutting out a shape wasn't so very, very important we all had to stand to attention. Squirrel doesn't even want shapes cut out of her kite. She says her kite is a bat and bats do not have cut out bits in their bodies with transparent paper stuck in. She has a point, although I think it's wise not to tell it to the Organiser.

The next bit is where I irritate the Organiser bigtime. Because we all have to shut up and look at her and listen again to how we must fly the kites. Apparently, last time people were flying their kites in different directions. The Organiser wants everyone to run up and down the same way at the same time. I start to snort. Loud enough for the Organiser to hear my snorting. I cannot help it. It is involuntary snorting. The throught of suggesting to Shark, Squirrel and Tiger that they must engage in regimented kite flying is too much for me. The Organiser hears. She seems to get a bit higher, probably on tippee toes now. Last time, she says, someone did not run up and down in the way they were told. She pauses for some dramatic impact, and with a darting glance at the snorting mother with the hair, adds, 'and they got a rope burn!' At this point I feel it is my duty to snort even louder, so I do.

By the end of the session I feel I've very little to lose, and in a moment of great Grit huffy puffiness I suggest in a loud voice to Shark, Squirrel and Tiger that everyone take their kites home and fly them at Beacon Hill. I'd like to add 'because kite flying here is Organised and No Fun.' Shark and Tiger ignore me anyway. They do try and fly their kites. Tiger runs round in circles, Shark runs up and down. No-one imposes any regimentation about the kite flying bit, and there's virtually no organisation at all, beyond the sense we're all capable of showing. And there's no rope burns, no broken bones, no mangled bloodied corpses severed by kite strings. I can't help wondering if the Organiser's just a tad disappointed about that.


Michelle said...

Almost makes me wish I'd been there!

Qalballah said...

I know people like that. Sometimes it's me.... lol

grit said...

spot on - some days it resembles a boot camp round here, usually in the two hours before visitors are due to arrive. We call this form of military organisation 'tidy up time'.

Michelle said...

nearly dropped in on you today. that would've messed your day up - except it's weds so you'd have been swimming.

grit said...

indeed we were... but do not let it stop you! just come in and make some coffee for when we get back.