It’s almost the end of La Gidg’s time in infant school. In two short weeks she will be a ‘big girl’ and will change teachers and ‘Go Upstairs’ to the Primary school classrooms. From September this will bring with it daily Catalan homework and I believe a new school bag and pencils (according to La Gidg these are vital accessories to her new class).
To mark this very special occasion my girl and her entire class (all 12 of them, average age 6) went camping last Friday with her very special teacher, Pilar. Now I can tell you that looking after a couple of 6 year olds is plenty, but managing 12 over excited kids in a field? Wow. Pilar has been the most exemplary teacher for our children, she’s been kind, strict, forgiving, and fun. They’ve been lucky to have her for the past three school years, and we will all be sad to part ways. It’s another one of those ‘Coming of Age’ moments that us parents have to bear as our little darlings grow up. I think we all remember teachers from our school days, hopefully for good reasons, but sometimes for bad ones. I remember Mr Reid who scared me witless, it was rumoured that he had a cane, (yes, showing my age, kids could still get whacked back when I was a child).
In preparation for the camping trip we had to put our hands on one of those kid sized sleeping bags. We went to Decathlon, but there were no pink ones, it’s a testament to how excited La Gidg was at the prospect of going that she acquiesced to buying a blue one (only boys have blue you know). The sleeping bag, a torch, Honey the special rabbit toy, a change of clothes, mosquito repellent and something to put on the BBQ were all packed into a rucksack. We met up La Lonja in Port Andratx, and the parents reminisced about the first time they went off on a day trip in a coach, we were all tearful then as well. Finally Pilar, Christina the headmistress, Penelope (in charge of the class below La Gidg’s, even younger kids going on their night adventure!) got their charges into the traditional crocodile formation and off they went to their campsite: cute as buttons, and full of energy.
It wasn’t quite the same picture the next day, they’d run themselves ragged. La Gidg looked like she’d been an extra in the movie ‘Deliverance’: she was exhausted, covered in blood from a nosebleed, and wearing the same clothes she’d left in. After a restorative special breakfast in a cafe she was ready to tell us the story. They’d been playing ‘worms’ in their sleeping bags, and charging around the field (next door to the house of one of the parents) with their torches until about 10pm. She’d bumped her knee, and it was hurting a bit. She’d eaten loads of burgers, and somebody had been very naughty, but she didn’t want to tell us who.
‘A good night then hun?’, the answer? An emphatic ‘YES!’.
Thanks Pilar. Good luck with your next batch of 3 year old darlings, ours will certainly miss you.
(First published Euro Weekly News 15th June 2011)