IT was The Small Boys Parent's Evening this week.. his first in Class One where they do proper ("boring" says The Small Boy) learning.
Class R was all playing trains, planting sunflowers and painting any small girl that stood still long enough. Class One is spelling tests and learning to do joined up writing. I can see why he might not be that enamored, and he hasn't been.
For the first few weeks of the new term, every morning was a fight to get him into uniform. Another fight to get him out of the door and a final fight - definitely a title match - to get him into the classroom.
Not that he was in the least bit distressed 33.7 seconds after walking into the classroom. It was, of course, blatant Mummy-Manipulation as cunning as only a five-year-old can contrive which is Not Very.
And I did appreciate his class teacher making a point of reassuring me that he was ABSOLUTELY fine inside the classroom at the Parent's Evening. But it turns out this was not reassurance but the first salvo in the Battle of the Small Boy.
Oh yes he was ABSOLUTELY fine when he, eventually, got into the classroom except for a small couple of things. "Nothing to worry about ...."
By this time I realise we've moved into Parent-Teacher Speak where she, the teacher, is going to say one thing and I, the parent, have to work out what she really means. She says: "Nothing to worry about." She means: "Start worrying now."
The Small Boy, she said, needs to be more "independently minded" which roughly translates as "He should learn to do things for himself." Things like finding his own chair apparently, and pencils. Pencils, it seems, should not be given to him. He must get them himself.
She immediately followed this up with the low blow that it was totally understandable he wasn't quite Mr Do It Myself what with him having three big sisters and being the baby of the family. THAT roughly translates as "Get a grip woman, he's not a baby anymore."
And not only has he to be more independently minded, he also, it appears, needs to be less independently minded at the same time and concentrate more on reading and writing and maths (or "The Boring Bits").
But apart from that he's "a lovely boy" (Translation: "Doesn't eat the furniture"), "friendly" (Translation: "Hasn't yet caused a major injury at playtime") and "enthusiastic" (Translation: "Never shuts up"). So that's all good. Right?
So, I'm a gonna get tough with The Small Boy because it's for his own good. When he wants a new pencil, I SHALL tell him to get it himself, I will. *Nods determinedly*
But then I'm gonna think: "Aw, he's five and he hasn't got a pencil." And then I'm gonna get him a pencil. *hangs head with shame.*