Thursday, 27 March 2008

Out to the theatre

Mummy Grit and Daddy Dig are big grown ups today. We must carry out a special and important grown up duty.

We have to watch Shark, Squirrel and Tiger perform at their end-of-term 'sharing event'. This is held at the Shed drama group.

I might need to explain a couple of things.
  • Although Shark, Squirrel and Tiger are home educated, which means they can run about the house all day and squeal in the name of learning, they do take a lot of lessons which happen in term time, like French, Gym, Trampoline and Drama. Hence we all get dragged into what schools are doing, even though we don't care what schools do. (Actually I do care, because when the schools are on holiday the Grit and Dig family stays at home and sulks, because now we have to Queue Everywhere.) Anyway, it is end-of-term, apparently, and we are all in joy or grief about that.
  • Second, there's the Shed. This is an outreach of Chickenshed drama. And absolutely totally right on it is too. Unusually, for a Grit, I don't have a word against it. All kids, all ages, all dis/abilities work co-operatively on drama, because all children can act. Even, I'm glad to say, Squirrel, Shark and Tiger, who act up fine afterwards, because the first thing they do each week after the co-operative workshop ends, is to fight each other in the carpark.
Well tonight it is the Shed end-of-term sharing event, and all good mummies and daddies must go along.

This term, the children have worked with the story of Pocahontas. They have made drama up around that. It includes singing and sign language and dancing and being fire. It also involves a bunch of leaves and grasses, and buying beads. It does not include, so Squirrel impatiently tells me, shopping at Tesco, driving a car, or horse racing. I suspect these were all Squirrel's suggestions about the drama development which strangely were not developed by the leaders.

Anyway, the drama begins with the Native American Indians. They look like they are having a nice time shopping at the market for beads and dancing. Then the white settlers come along and look like they are pretending to be crocodiles. Someone gets shot and everyone stops shopping and starts fighting.

Mummy Grit reasons at this point, during the melee, that there must be a struggle for land rights. There are about 20 kids in the drama troupe tonight, so this bit looks realistic because we can't all quite fit in the room, what with the mummies and daddies taking up half the space, so tempers do fray at this point and there are a few howls and a bit of real pushing.

Then along comes Pocahontas to restore order and discipline. Unfortunately this is Tiger. She, along with Shark and Squirrel, are all Pocahontas, because this is about sharing, and because, I suspect, they all have very long hair. The boys did not get to share this role.

To be Pocahontas, Tiger has to stand up amongst the fighting crowd and look brave and commanding. When she does this, Daddy Dig starts to whimper with a funny noise in his throat which Mummy Grit takes to be suppressed tears of paternal pride. Tiger adopts her trembling lip martyrdom posture like she has been told You must now give the last piece of chocolate cake to Aunty Dee. This is crossed with fear and confusion that it really is her bit and people are looking.

Fortunately, the settlers and Indians stop fighting and get into groups so they can exchange children and do more dancing. Then it's Shark's turn to be Pocahontas. Before she went in, Shark told us, Don't look at me. She certainly doesn't look at us smiling and waving, but turns away and half-smiles, before thinking better of it and looking stern that she might have been distracted. Now she does what a proper Pocahontas has to do when they are putting a hat on someone's head and looking like they are doing a spot of floor cleaning.

And by now, two Pocanontases down, Mummy Grit was nearly weeping silent tears of pride and joy. It was probably all I could do to stop myself leaping up, shouting Can you see my wonderful daughter! while realising that every other mummy and daddy is probably feeling just the same thing too.

After some more drama where it looks like everyone lies down to sleep, or is possibly dying in agony, Squirrel has to be a Pocahontas with a line to say. Squirrel delivers this line very loudly and at the right time when her daddy chief was about to be executed by the settlers and her line was STOP. She looks cross too, and I'm sure Daddy Dig is very proud, and hoped that she might do the same brave, self-sacrificing deed for him if settlers invade our house and try to take over his computer.

And then it was over. The settlers were all shot and quite a few of the brave native American Indians too and everyone is a clump of bulrushes and sings a song and Mummy Grit wanted to cry a little bit too because she was so proud and has a big heart bursting with joy and it was all so awful.

When it was done and Shark, Squirrel and Tiger ran to us shouting Mummy! Daddy! Did you see me? I was Pocahontas! then it was nearly tear time again. I probably had to pretend I had dust in my eyes kicked up by the Indians. But it was OK, my dearest Pocahontases times three, watching your flowing hair curling and flying about your happy, proud, excited faces, because after leaving the room you all had a big shove and push again and went back to fighting as normal and had to be told off as usual.

Phew. Otherwise I might have needed a hanky.


OvaGirl said...

Beautiful, Grit. Love the image of the three Pocahontas...

Allie said...


the mother of this lot said...

Aw Grit, how lovely. And I'm so glad they resumed the fighting at the end. Otherwise you might have been up all night with the worry of it.

Casdok said...

How wonderful!! :)

Grit said...

thank you ovagirl! i am deeply honoured! drama starts again after the hols. although some folk round here suggest it never stops.

hi allie! you are very kind, thank you!

i agree motl. dig tells me the average family household has three arguments a day. i say stop there! i must have only one blog entry!

thank you casdok!