What fresh Hell is this?

Image: Flickr/CarmeloAquilina
I am 35. I have a mortgage, a car, a job (sort of) and
various responsibilities. When I leave the house I carry a brown satchel that
contains keys, wallet, phone and usually one or two slightly squashed packets
of raisins for bribery purposes.

Flea, on the other hand, is 4. She has no responsibilities.
Yet when she leaves the house in the morning she needs a book bag, reading
folder, two snacks, full PE kit, an assortment of key-rings, 20p for the
inevitable cake sale/poppy sale/random yellow flower sale. Then of course there
are the permission slips, RSVPs to the ladies’ lunches, absence slips and order
forms for school photos. It’s endless.

Despite this, some bright spark decided it would be a
fabulous idea to introduce the concept of SPECIAL BOX DAY.

Yes, friends, special box day. This ridiculous completely meaningful
and not at all annoying project involves your child coming home every couple of
weeks with a shoe box decorated with foil and sequins, and instructions to put
something ‘special’ inside, which your child will take to school and talk about
with the rest of the class.

This week it was Flea’s turn to bring home her special box.
Being the great planners we are, we remembered this the following morning when
we got into the car to drive to school, and the special box was still sitting
on Flea’s car seat. I suggested she could put in some raisins and just bluff her
way through, but Flea wasn’t having any of it. No, we needed something SPECIAL.

I suggested a key-ring we bought while in France. Not special enough. The new Horrid Henry book was also declined, along with her new toy car, the leaflet from our latest visit to the Wildlife Park, and the smoothie bottle that Flea designed when we visited the Innocent head office last month.

"Charlie brought sushi that he made with his Mummy." 

Great. "Well, what do you suggest, then?" I asked.

Flea suggested her new Power Rangers bicycle. I pointed out
we might struggle to put it in the shoe box.

She then suggested her new boys’ Superhero underpants. I agreed
that these are certainly very special, and then I lied and said they were all in the wash. 

Eventually, we agreed that Flea would take a rock from her
rock bucket – this is a collection that Flea has built from every beach we’ve
ever visited. They sit in a bucket in the utility room and sometimes Flea likes
to take them all out, and put them back in again. It’s a kid thing, I think.

So I turned off the car, sprinted into the house,
grabbed a rock, put it in the special box, picked up the sequins that had
fallen off the wretched box, ran back to the car, started the engine and set
off for shool.

“Mummy,” came a little voice. “It’s not the right rock. This
one isn’t the special one.”

I hate special box day.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. MrsW
    29th June 2010 / 11:05 am

    Only a childless teacher could think these up – surely?
    Secondary school is even worse – we have to drive the kids to school cos they have so much crap to carry they can’t get ON the bus never mind fit into a seat. It’s my fault of course since I encourage hockey, art, and other such frivolities 🙂

  2. Susie
    29th June 2010 / 11:07 am

    Lucky lucky lucky you.

  3. 29th June 2010 / 12:05 pm

    I love that she knows each rock! I have to remind myself that I am going to have to get very very organised for next year when BOTH my boys are at school…I hope the school will bear with me!

  4. 29th June 2010 / 12:34 pm

    Top Ender has a Friday thing where she can take stuff in and talk about it. So far we have managed to bluff our way though with things from the top of the pram. I suggest we never clean out our cars for the same reason.

  5. 29th June 2010 / 12:37 pm

    You were very restrained. I would have suggested putting in a bullet with ‘Charlie’s Mummy’ etched on it.
    Sushi? She made bloody sushi?!

  6. urbanvox
    29th June 2010 / 12:37 pm

    I hope they don’t have special box day at tb’s new school…
    hating it already…

  7. Priness_L_88
    29th June 2010 / 3:28 pm

    Flea is awesome! lol!

  8. Nikki
    29th June 2010 / 5:47 pm

    LOL Sally – you answered my q!! Special box indeed! Grrrrr.

  9. 29th June 2010 / 8:40 pm

    Snort. What IS it with small children and rocks? Alas we live within about 20 minutes of, oooooh, 200 pebbly beaches. My house is now pretty much made of pebbles. Sometimes I attempt to fling a few out only to find a queue of small boys sternly demanding their, ‘SPECIAL’ stone which (natch) is the one I’ve just flung out.
    Worse. Our drive is made of gravel. So, when a beach/stone torment isn’t on offer they fill buckets of gravel from the drive and trail it round the house. Lovely. I really, really love that.
    And then they leave some in their pockets to drive the washing machine insane with.
    Actually, I hate stones come to think of it.
    And ‘special’ boxes. Grrr.

  10. 29th June 2010 / 8:44 pm

    What’s red and eats rocks?
    A red rock eater!
    Hehe! Sorry I couldn’t resist. That’s one of my boys’ favourite all time jokes and it seemed appropriate!

  11. 29th June 2010 / 9:04 pm

    I have no idea how Flea manges with you you know! 😉 Surely you could see it wasn’t a special special! I can’t wait to read Nickie’s post!

  12. What did you do today Mama?
    30th June 2010 / 12:21 am

    Am glad to discover the rocks/stones/pebbles/gravel love is a child-wide phenomena, my 17 month old is showing signs of being a true devotee. But why oh why do they love them??

  13. 30th June 2010 / 10:06 pm

    Special box day sounds like one of these things they only think up to catch out inept mothers like me.