Chloe’s school board badge (Image: Chris Barron)
It’s been a couple of weeks since she turned six and our granddaughter, Chloe, had exciting news to tell as she ran across the yard after school, waving something in her hand.
“Dad, dad, guess what – I’m on the school board! I’m on the school council! ” she announced breathlessly, taking a closer look at the shiny dark green metal badge she had been given to wear as proof of her success.
She went on to explain that she and her friend, Emily, had been elected by their classmates as year 1 representatives in the very important body that helps make decisions about school life.
Just then, our neighbors’ nephew, George, approached at a trot to offer his sincere congratulations and to let her know that he had been elected to represent Year 6.
“Well done for creating the School Board, Chloe, we’ll do it together!” he told her, kindly.
Imagine if democracy was always run with such respect and decorum, wouldn’t that be a refreshing change?
However, the most pressing issue to discuss at the next school board’s inaugural meeting is deciding how to support children in need this year.
Chloe has made a point of reflecting a lot on this agenda item from here to the meeting but, in the meantime, she has been too busy spreading the word about her date, with video calls to all her uncles and aunts to show her badge.
And, worryingly, there are signs that power may already be starting to go to its head. For example, the morning after the election, she crawled into her parents’ bed, still looking proudly at her badge and eager to talk about her new role.
“Did you remember that I am on the school board?” she asked, before adding, “Can I have a cuddle, dad?”
“Yeah, Chloe, but I just need to pop into the bathroom for a quick pee,” he replied sleepily.
“Sorry, Dad, but you have to get permission from the School Board for that,” he grinned. “You’ll have to fill out a form … but I’m afraid it may not be ready before February.”
“FEBRUARY? I CAN’T WAIT THREE MONTHS FOR A WEE!” Dad exclaimed, breaking free and heading for the toilet, in a sudden display of civil disobedience.
And it didn’t stop there. The next day, she asked Chloe if she could have a popsicle before explaining to her with a cheeky smile: “I need to check it for poison, it’s my job because I’m now on the school board.”
Dad was even ordered to “scratch the back of the councilor at the school”, such is the abuse of power that it came to light too quickly.
And now it has spread to our home. When I said I was going to the fish and chip shop on Saturday, I was told bluntly, “No, Grandpa, it’s not allowed without consulting the school board.” He only relaxed the rules when I agreed to buy her a bag of chips.
Then, the next day, while doing his regular duty of testing Yorkshire puddings before Sunday lunch, he shook his head and said to his Ganma, “Mmm. They are dry and quite hard “.
Ganma knows he has to try harder, but I think they’ve created a monster.
THE THINGS THEY SAY
Thanks to Kathleen Parkin, of Monday Friendship Group, in Crook, for passing this little gem before memorial Sunday …
Back when Kathleen was a foster caregiver, a little girl would come home from school and ask, “Can I bring some money to school tomorrow so I can get a poppy?”
Kathleen duly gave her a pound the next day, and the little girl came home with a poppy pinned to her dress. However, she was very disappointed: she was thinking of getting a puppy.