The lengths some mums at Master A’s school will go to in order to push their children is disturbing.
The actions of one in particular are deeply worrying, I’m sure she has some serious Jack Torrance mental health issues. She is that extreme that she medicates her eight-year-old daughter with a concoction of over-the-counter drugs and fuels her with a daily takeout from Costa – and we’re not talking Babyccino but full-on Coffea Robusta – to keep her on track for her over-stretched timetable.
The result: A child that is like some AI. In complete contrast to Master A(DHD), she is completely driven with a determination to be the best at all costs.
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The best horse woman, the best gymnast, the best poet, the best clarinettist and harpist, the best academic... She even holds the school record for planking, having beaten boys and girls almost five years older to take the title.
I do wonder if I were to give the child a Voight-Kamff test whether she would pass or dramatically turn out to be a replicant, with her superior strength, agility and focus.
Master A has been struggling with his tables. We’ve tried singing along in the car to a Times Tables Tunes CD, watching YouTube videos, practising 10-minute bursts with Carol Vorderman, and following tips from Dr Mike Maths. It’s simply not sticking.
I thought I’d seek some advice and guidance from his form tutor so I popped in to Master A’s class at drop-off on Monday.
Extreme Mum was already in there, with replicant offspring. I noticed she was wired – watching and listening to everything that was going on with the other mums and their children, seemingly monitoring their every move as they got ready to start the day.
I started to speak with the teacher about Master A’s tables block, keeping it low so that the other parents and children in the class couldn’t hear our conversation. I didn’t want Master A to feel embarrassed or become sensitive about the subject.
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Five minutes later, I left armed with some fun new methods to try out with Master A – I never knew you could work out you nine times table on your hands.
I was getting into my car when Extreme Mum walked passed me. She stopped and, without a hint of sincerity, said: “I’m sorry to hear that Master A is having trouble with his times tables.” She then walked on her way.
Working Mum, wondering if this strange woman and her equally strange child dream of electric sheep...