I sat down with my son this weekend to do his homework. I don’t really agree with a five-year-old having homework and he didn’t want to do it, so I wasn’t expecting it to be much fun. I put the spellings aside to be done later and we concentrated on the main task. He had been given a page with six boxes on it.

The task was to draw six pictures that illustrated things he had to do to get ready for school. There was a space underneath each box for him to write a sentence explaining the drawing. My son did his homework brilliantly. His writing was good, his drawings were great, but I don’t think he really got across the full atmosphere of a school morning at Chez Hathway.

Here’s the sentences he wrote and my amended version with what he should have written.

I Get Out Of Bed

“I get out of bed at 6 am. I don’t need to get up that early but I do, every morning, without fail. It doesn’t matter if my parents put me to bed later than usual, it’s still 6am every morning, even at the weekend. I am fully charged and ready to go at 6 am. There’s no gentle introduction to a new day for me – I’m off like the Duracell bunny.”

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I Have Breakfast

“I eventually have breakfast. After firing a hundred questions about dinosaurs at my bleary-eyed mum and dicking about instead of going to the toilet, they somehow herd me into the kitchen. I take an eternity to decide what I want for breakfast, straying off topic to talk about dinosaurs again or that time three years ago when we saw a stick that looked like a velociraptor’s claw. Torturously, I am led back to the question of breakfast and – after making my mum wait while I think about it for a further five minutes – I decide to have what I have every other day. Unless my mum has anticipated my decision and got it ready without my consent, in which case it is the worst food imaginable.”

I Get Dressed

“I make an almighty drama out of getting dressed. I writhe about at the prospect of shedding my pyjamas like a medieval prisoner having his skin flailed. Once I am naked, however, it is instantly the funniest thing to have ever happened and I delight in running around in the buff. The thought of being constrained by a school uniform is too much to bear and so I protest by laying on the floor and making a sound that I think is a baby crying but my dad thinks sounds like a lamb being fed into a mangle. I am told there will be no TV until I’m dressed so I decide clothes are the best thing ever and get dressed as quickly as is humanly possible. This usually results in me having something on inside out or back to front which needs to be sorted. My dad tells me “less haste, more speed”, which I don’t understand but think means go quicker so I dash about a bit, usually pretending I’m being chased by Indominus Rex.”

I Watch Some TV

“I don’t watch TV. I half watch TV whilst jigging about or playing. This would be fine if it was normal TV but I insist on watching (not watching) whatever series I’m currently obsessed with on Amazon or Netflix. This means my dad has to actually watch the damn thing so he can explain to me all the bits I’ve missed whilst doing something else. When it is pointed out to me that I’m not watching it so it should be turned off I react with a level of hard done by feet stampery that even Donald Trump would struggle to match. So, when I say I’ve watched the five seasons of Dragons: Race to the Edge, I mean I’ve been present for them. My dad has seen them all and actually finds them quite funny.”

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I Walk To School

“I make a fuss about going to school even though it’s clear I really enjoy it. I employ my best stalling tactics (more dinosaur chat or a complicated question about sharks that needs Googling) when it’s time to put my coat on. Getting me out the door is a daily task akin to Sisyphus and his boulder. If I see friends on the way to school I will probably walk happily but otherwise I shuffle along, moaning about how unfair it is like a bored zombie.”

I Go Into The Class

“Having got up too early, eaten the same breakfast I always eat, created a drama about dressing that Tolstoy would have been proud off, not watched TV, and shuffled to school, I find myself waiting in the playground. The inevitability of what happens next should not be lost on a child as bright as me, but every day it seems to surprise me that I have to go into school. No amount of pleading with my mum or insisting on another hug makes any difference. The dinosaur questions go unanswered, even my best puppy dog eyes don’t work. I’m not alone of course, most of my mates are trying the same thing and getting the same answer. It’s time for school. I do my best to make my mum feel guilty about dumping me in this place as I’m shepherded into the classroom but she knows the truth. I like school and as soon as I’m in, I’m happy. Another day of fun and learning whilst my parents try to regroup and be ready for the dramas of getting me home, fed and into bed later.”

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