Tribal counsel

Sprog 1 is struggling with her maths and her social skills. Neither of which are my speciality. I needed maths coaching to get through high school (it still wasn’t counted in my HSC) and I was an odd-bod. I tried helping Sprog 1 with her multiplication homework last night. I wasn’t very patient. It was beyond me why someone so smart couldn’t understand 2 x 1 = 2. Or 7 x 10 = 70. She had no chance with 9 x 6 = 36. I mean, 54. As we sat together, all tense and glassy-eyed, Sprog 1 mentioned that her best friend wasn’t playing with her so much any more. Though they’re “still friends”. The best friend has tired of playing imaginary zombie birthday party games and has expressed a desire to move on to more “teenaged” pursuits. Sprog 1 was unable to explain what “teenaged” pursuits involved. Since Sprog 1 is still quite fond of playing zombie and imaginary pet games, she’s been at a bit of a loose end at lunchtimes. Meanwhile, her best friend has gravitated to more traditionally minded girls. School’s a bitch like that. I was lucky to make a handful of friends who still keep in touch 25 years later, but I didn’t really find my “tribe” until I became a journalist. (Although I wavered the day a couple of fellow cadet journalists invited me to lunch. I thought it was because they liked me but it was really to ensure I was back in the office for a Santa stripper to handcuff me to a chair. I’m not bitter, nooooo, or dwelling on it or anything.) Journalists understand how each other tick. I’m sure it’s the same when groups of engineers gather. I don’t want Sprog 1 to wait until she’s an adult to get a tribe. That’s a long time to be lonely. I want to find her a fellow imaginary zombie party afficionado now. So I’m on a “playdate” offensive. I’m fishing for names and I’m going to invite them all over, one by one. I will find her a kindred spirit. Multiplication? I give up. That’s Husband’s problem tonight.

7 thoughts on “Tribal counsel

  1. I love how you are looking at the piece of paper he is holding…can her teacher help you with the friend business? Having all those playdates sounds like hard work (for her) if they come and then don’t want to play with her at school…children can be cruel.

    • I think it’s more the other way around. She has them for playdates then doesn’t play with them in the playground. Has fun with them at the time, but not very good at building on friendships.

  2. I think the first part of term 1 is challenging, especially as they move out of infants into primary. The topic and texture of school experience as re-told by my year 3 over the past few weeks has been somewhat more ‘sophisticated’ than before, a little sad at times and once just alarming. I try to distance my own emotional response from hers, reminding myself that we aren’t ‘one’ (despite our similarities) and that she will have to endure her own disillusionment, betrayal etc – no matter how socially adept one is, pain is still inevitable and it probably only gets more acute as they get older. Like Jemma, I look for books and websites that give me perspective and strategies. Your #1 may always be ‘untraditional’, but that will have its own reward. Oh, and I think things will settle down at school by end of term 1. Year 5 is when the shit will really hit the fan.

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