Well, last week was "Walk to School" week in our local borough, which, on the face of it, didn't make that much difference to us, as we already walk to school every day, but no matter, the bottom line is there were stickers up for grabs for anyone who regularly walks or scooters into school. As you may or may not know, kids go crazy for stickers, whether they're big, small, bland, colourful, round, square, whatever - they love 'em!
Joseph and Annabel felt they were on to a winner as it was, but kept reminding me (like I don't work at the school), that scootering counted as walking.
"No", I explained. "Scootering isn't walking - it just counts as walking because it's basically exercise. The whole point is that you don't come in by car. That isn't exercise!"
They looked at each other as if I were mad, then turned back to me and informed me that people who came in by bus could also claim a Walk to School sticker.
"Yes, but people who take the bus have to walk to the bus stop and then walk from the bus stop to the school. They do walk, but probably not as much as people who walk all the way in. That's why they get a sticker too".
Joseph was still after the upper hand, however.
"Hah, yes, but people who drive in always stop outside the school and they have to walk across the road and through the school gate!"
The distance of 15 - 20 yards clearly constitutes "exercise" in his book so I'm clearly going to have to monitor his calorie intake over the coming months and years!!!
Another teensy misunderstanding came from Annabel a few days earlier, on Friday, my favourite day of walking into school. Of course, everyone loves the trip into work on a Friday just because it's Friday, but for me, Friday means actually walking with Annabel, as she opts for leaving her scooter at home so that we can walk hand in hand and practice her spellings for her Friday morning test.
10 words of varying difficulty, to be learnt each week.
I'm happy that she hasn't realised yet, that we practice and finish the words in about a quarter of the distance we need to travel, although I do pack it out by asking her to give me a sentence containing the word she has learnt. I think this is a good idea because she is also learning the context for that particular word, not just how to spell it or sound it out.
Anyway, the only walk better than the walk to school on a Friday, is the walk from the school on a Friday - the walk home. Annabel told me that an Ambulance crew from the local hospital, with their ambulance, parked in the school car park in the afternoon, and Years 1 and 2 were allowed to climb inside, look around, turn on sirens and ask questions etc. The ambulance team then went into the hall to explain how important road safety is, crossing using the green man, how to use our ears and so on.
"Wow, my love, that sounds really exciting. Was it fun to look around inside a real ambulance? I don't think I ever got to look around in a real ambulance when I was little!"
Annabel explained everything, clearly thrilled at having done something I never had.
"Yeah, so now Dada, when I get knocked down by a car, I won't be scared of going in the ambulance, because I know what they look like".
I looked down at her and squeezed her hand. I love that innocence in a child - well, my children - I tried to explain that the idea was to put her off ever wanting to end up in an ambulance, that getting knocked down by a car was an awful thing to happen, that people who ended up in an ambulance were often very, very badly injured, or worse.
She continued skipping along beside me, Joseph whizzing off in front of us on his scooter, and repeated, "yeah, but now I won't be scared if I go in one".
Sometimes, you've just gotta know when you're licked!
This is the fantastic note that she handed to me tonight. I have no idea what "thats the way it is" is supposed to mean!
But it sure made me laugh!!