Linda's blog: Highs and Lows: What a Drama!
Much as I love to go to the theatre, the homework I like to oversee least is drama. First there's the painful line by line repetition, then the addition of exaggerated expression and finally putting it together with actions. It's slow, tedious and unpredictable: the occasional flashes of success are marred by the number of blank faced pauses and sections muttered in a quiet, rapid, monotone.
The older child is well versed in the process and I was delighted when she declined my offer to listen to her before the recent competition. I had my hands full listening to and coaxing the younger one whose teacher had entered her for the first time, despite her demonstrating very little interest in it!
When competition day came, the oldest returned to her seat grinning and it was clear she was happy with her performance. After each child in her category had performed they were called up alphabetically and the results were announced in front of everyone. Initially thrilled with her result, her palpable pride gradually dimmed and was eventually extinguished as each of the remaining children went up, were given higher marks and it became clear she would not be placed. By the end, she couldn't get out of there fast enough, such was her mortification.
We tried to reassure her that she had done well but it fell on deaf ears, not least because her younger sister pulled it out of the bag and was placed 3rd in her category. Despite child two showing unusual sensitivity by not boasting to her big sis, her unusual silence only deepened the older one's shame filled misery. It didn't matter how many different ways we tried to reassure and reason with her, she refused to engage with us and her tear stained face remained twisted in a frown for the rest of the day.
After many attempts at conversation, she eventually admitted that as well as feeling disappointed and embarrassed, she was worried she'd let her drama teacher, the headmistress and the school down. We attempted to persuade her that wasn't the case and talked her through her feelings, the learning opportunity and offered suggestions about what she could do next. Naturally she ignored our advice and instead sulked, making every family member around her as miserable as she was!
I was therefore very surprised and relieved to overhear her when she spoke to her grandparents the next day. In response to their predictable question about the competition, she simply declared her grade and omitted to mention that she had neither been placed, nor won a prize. I'm not sure where she's learnt such political reporting but she spoke with a smile and was happy again so I have refrained from enquiring and am instead enjoying being back on a high!Linda is a lawyer who has two children aged 11 and 7. She and her husband work full time and juggle the school run and everything else between them.