I'm tired today - I got home from school at 8.30 last night, which is almost a 13 hour day for me, and then had some prep to do for today. We ended up going to bed around 11, but not straight to sleep lol! He's got to be at work for 7am, so I'll go and get him up in a minute, but I just wanted to do this first.
Last night was parents evening - the long one. We do 2, the second tonight and that's only until 6. It's such an emotionally giving time, because we need to be honest with parents, but lets face it, what the parent wants to hear is that the child is fine, there's no problem with their work and everything in the garden is rosy.
Only sometimes it's not.
Sometimes parents need to listen to the fact that their child needs help, that their child needs to handle their problems differently, that their child hits or kicks or pinches or shouts or cannot play nicely and we want to find out why, or that their child struggles with math, or sounding out, or may be dyslexic, or a myriad other things.
Often what it comes down to is that their child needs their time, not just more stuff.
Children need people, not being stuck in front of the TV. They need conversation, not DS's and PSPs and all that claptrap. They need a parent, sat down with them and their books, not some learning game that does it all for them. They need to come home with Mummy or Daddy after school, talk about their day, have a drink and a game and just be together.
Those electronic babysitters, as they are known at our house, even by the AC, the tv and DS and the like, have their place, and the AC uses them in a time limited fashion, and with one of us. His writing has improved with the pictochat thing on the DS because he can write to me and I can write back. But what he likes to do is read to one of us, he likes to play games, he likes to do his adding up by helping R play World of Warcraft, yes, but he likes to do his adding up by pencil and paper and drawing as well, or by dog dominos, or Frustration, or many other things that aren't just the computer and TV.
He's already looking forward to the drier weather, to going out to the Landy shows, the bike shows, the places he wants to see (of which there is a lengthening list!) and the things he wants to do, secure in the knowledge that we won't do all of it - can't afford to do all of it - but what we will do, we will do together, as a family.
That's what a child needs.
Hopefully, that's what we give him. Not just stuff, but us.