Saturday, 1 August 2009

Tales of hats and misdemeanors

Pick up Tiger from PGL holiday.

While we have been cavorting on clifftops, in castles, and at the beach front, Tiger has spent the week on horseback in the mornings and dangling from a zip wire in the afternoon.

PGL comes off well on the entertainment score with a 9/10. She's more shifty on the stables experience. She's not exactly a beginner on a horse, but she's not entering the show jumping competition anytime in the next fifteen years either. She's probably an inbetween kid, and probably needs an intermediate group.

But the stables didn't have an intermediate group. They had beginner and advanced. They taught her how to get on a horse, make it go, stop it, and get off. She was not impressed.

Neither was I. They lost her hat last Monday. So part of this Saturday morning was spent driving back to planet horse and sending the staff off to look for the missing hat because we're not going home without it.

The hat was found on the desk of the woman in reception: the very desk where I'd stood like I wasn't going anywhere unless carried out by security, and where I'd explained to her exactly what the lining looked like and the fact that it had Tiger's name and my phone number blasted all over the inside in black permanent marker. I cannot say deskwoman looked like she was the sort to be organised about things. At no point did she raise one finger in the air and say Oh Yes! I've had this hat here on my desk and been trying to contact you! Not a bit of it. More, flabbergasted expression and You mean a hat? Here? At the riding stables? Whatever can we do?

Anyway, apart from the trauma over the damned hat I also listen to Tiger tell her story about Tinkertop, one of the other kids in her group and a proper little madam.

Apparently, Tinkertop got everyone in trouble. Worse, she made everyone miss the activity because she wouldn't fess up about her misdeeds. Tiger has Tinkertop's name down now in a little black grudge book and will be stalking her over England for something like the next fifty years.

I tried to tell Tiger that the world is made up of loads of different types who do not, like some of your home ed chums, sit quiet and nice in workshops while the leader explains to your eager faces everything you have to do, at which point you go off and do it. Some kids misbehave, and some misbehave real bad. Even when their parents send them to posh schools and pay through the nose to get them on a back of a horse in August. What's more, I tell Tiger, this is one reason why we send you and your sisters to the PGL holidays in the first place, so you can meet and deal with a range of bizarre behaviours beyond the reach of any that your normal assortment of home ed kids can dream up.

And Tiger, now that we have picked you up, driven another hour backwards and forwards to the stables and I have listened to the saga of Tinkertop and her misdemeanors for the fifteenth time, now I need to give you one HELLOFABIGCUDDLE because I have missed your cute face and complaining ways something dreadful.


Angela said...

And the thing is, if you go to a "real school", you have this sort of ugly behaving person sitting next to you in class and make your life miserable every day! And at least five more of them in the back row. I wish I could have home-educated my girls, too! But Germany is actually the only country who puts you to jail if you do!! It is strictly forbidden! And you see what good it does your society, stuffing them kids in school rooms with bored teachers and unruly children. Bleah!

Grit said...

angela, i totally agree! surprising huh?! i still have not recovered from the kids I taught at school who set about multilating each other on a daily basis. Of course alongside that there was huge support and friendship. but really, you wouldn't wish that sort of bizarre environment on a young child.

Rubberbacon said...

Great story! I wish I could be 9 and go down a zip line again!!!