Sunday, 30 October 2011

We have ways of making you enjoy yourself.

I am living in a twilight of unremitting pain now, thanks to the fun I can have at Hallowe'en.

Honestly, this is one reason why I never wanted to send the kids to school.

At the nursery Shark, Squirrel and Tiger attended for those disastrous months, preparations for any cultural event started weeks in advance.

Worse, we were supposed to be grateful; the staff probably reminded me daily of how they'd relieved me of a job. No they hadn't. They only added to my job, because every day the kids were at nursery, I spent my time undoing the damage.

Take Christmas. The staff started that the day after Bonfire Night. The nursery supervisor? (The enormous one with the big arms and narrowed stare, who I will call Gloria.) She was in charge of the wall display. She simply left the tinsel in place. She had previously used it for the Catherine Wheel, and before that, the summer sun on the beach party. November, she merely supplemented it with a 5cwt tub of glitter.

We parents had to ooh and aah at this amazing demonstration of creative thinking, then say nicely, Thank you Gloria, and not add under my breath, for being such a pointless arse.

I would collect my kids, usually hiding in the toilets or quivering miserably by the door, and there would be Gloria, waiting to lay home the message about the magic that is Christmas (i.e. whipping the 3 year olds into a froth of disappointment every day for six weeks).

Out would come a folded bit of paper stuck over with glitter. Gloria would be permitting no doubt about this matter, but yelling 'Hand it over. It's lovely mummy isn't it? LOOK. MUMMY THINKS IT'S LOVELY.' She lacked only the tenderness of an iron bar.

And the entire ordeal of celebration from November 6th to January 6th was totally for the benefit of Gloria and the nursery staff. They would doll themselves up in yards of tinsel come December, start consuming large blocks of brown-coloured lard, and force the school administrator to wear reindeer antlers. Of course they claimed it was entirely for the benefit of the children.

No it wasn't. Suffering a relentless enforcement to enjoy the Laws of Festivity in Gloria's god-given righteous way, and impose it all on my kids from November to January, was like a violation of my soul.

Now look. I've got well off the track. Probably a defense mechanism.

It is just that I see the same thing happen over Hallowe'en. Only this time I can't escape with my indignation. I cannot seem to opt out the prescribed ways of enjoying myself.

Look here. We haven't even reached the party yet.

For a woman who has gone out her way to avoid particular identifiers of mainstream culture (yes, call me anti-social, who cares, the world needs fruit loops), this is all pretty hard to bear.

I do not expect sympathy.

But I would like some. Tomorrow I have to wear the clip-on horns.


Retiredandcrazy said...

I hate the long run up to Christmas and the even longer holiday. I used to love it when I stopped work on noon on Christmas Eve, spent the rest of the day in a panic getting reading for "The Big Event" and then was back to work again on the day after Boxing Day. The main advantages were that I didn't have time to spend too much money and get too bored.

Big mamma frog said...

Oh God, that sounds so like my recollections of ds1 at nursery. I used to love the 'guess which member of staff did this item of artwork' game as they handed over this glitter-fest picture supposedly created by my son (Er, actually he's more likely to have drawn a Spitfire).

I confess that I love the build-up to Christmas. Twinkly lights, festive songs in Superdrug, shops selling crap. I just wish the actual day wasn't such a sodding disappointment.

And as for halloween, I can't be arsed with the whole pumpkin thing this year. I've just sellotaped up some sad paper decorations that we've kept in the cupboard for 4 years (loo-roll spiders etc) and bought some odd-looking lumps of fudge. And if they don't like fudge I'm going to force feed the beggers.

Nora said...

I'm glad, now that I'm without small children, that I'm not forced into any false sort of jolly merrymaking anymore. Living in the States when my children were growing up, every holiday was forced down my throat in the extremest form.

At least that's not done in the Netherlands where holidays are ignored in the public schools. There are too many different cultures living here. It's not assumed that we're all white Christians.


Angela said...

Don`t let them get you, Grit. No one can force you to do what THEY do. We all have a free will (I am a Protestant by nature), and I celebrate the days which i want, and leave out the ones I don`t care for. Pfffft. I like your outspoken blog!

Gweipo said...

Thank god I've escaped all that crap by always sending the kids to secular schools where religion is treated as a cultural artifact worthy of dissection and discussion not celebration.... It's the other kids I have to watch out for - particularly the pious cross wearing little girls

Grit said...

it's OVER! it's all over! i can go back now to enjoying how the seasons change without the accompanying bloodnguts!