Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Let’s talk about your childhood...

So today’s home visit was all about my childhood.  I say “home visit”, it was actually in my lab at school, so a marathon 2 ½ hour session with no tea and NO BISCUITS!!! Unbelievable!  The second I got home I was ready to collapse in a heap with a cup of tea when my Mum phoned and tried to talk to me about the merits of different fireguards.  I was a little snappy and now feel guilty, especially as I had just spent the last 2 ½ hours telling our social worker what a lovely childhood I had and how wonderful my parents are and how we get on!

You will be very pleased to know that L and I (despite our obvious differences) both came out as securely attached on our attachment questionnaire.  So it turns out that whether you have loads of friends, or just a few close ones; whether you talk to 100s of people about your worries or just one or two, you can still be considered securely attached and pleasantly normal.  Hurrah for us both!

Our social worker also said that from the reference my Dad wrote, it sounds like they are excited and enthusiastic and going to make great grandparents.  Must phone them back in a bit and say so!  We are looking at my Dad as a positive male role model for our children as he is very lovely.

So I talked about my naughty older brother and my jolly countrified childhood and that was all nice.  Then we talked about education.  My education was quite driven (grammar school then University then more University) but I talked a lot about making it clear that despite my obvious academic achievements I am 100% not a person who looks down on other people.  I find it incredibly irritating when people treat me as if I am looking down on them, and am an academic snob, before they have even met me.  It sounds odd but it’s true!  So I’m going to write a bit for our PAR about how though me and L are educated and professional people, we are by no means academically elitist and actually will put education into the perspective it deserves.  There are plenty of happy people out there in perfectly interesting and fulfilling careers which don’t require a degree education.  And whilst I would never argue that the absence of an education is unimportant (for those who don’t have access to it, it certainly isn’t fair or right), I certainly wouldn’t force my child down an academic pathway which wasn’t appropriate for them simply because it is what I did, or because it is what people do, or because it is the middle class way of things.

So we talked about how I got to where I am now.  I talked a bit about how much I love teaching and though it was a rather round-about route into teaching, I think it was one of the best decisions I ever made (that and marrying L, and hopefully deciding to adopt will become one of them!).

So...two and a half hours of talking and I can’t really think what we talked about!  I’m sure it was interesting!! She asked me about religion.  I’m not religious.  Not atheist per see but definitely not Christian.  I fell out of love with Christianity when I was about 14 and my Grandpa died.  He was lovely and kind and fun and it didn’t seem fair to me, so it didn’t make sense any more because he was good and kind and Christian.  Since then my views and opinions on life aren’t so black and white or easily changed.  I have two friends who are the loveliest people you could meet and they are Christian.  They don’t judge me, I don’t judge them and we’re all happy.  I like the fact that if our child wanted to explore religion we could point them in the direction of some wonderful, balanced and open minded Christian folk and not feel worried.  However when I was at University I met a lot of “Christians” who just used their religion as an excuse to blame, to judge and to exclude.  I didn’t like that at all.  But ho hum...I guess that’s the people and not the religion itself.  I won’t get into that too much but hopefully we will bring our child up to be open minded...”some people believe in God...some people don’t...what do you think? Etc. etc.”  I would far rather our child learns to think about these things than is just brainwashed one way or another.

So...I’m pooped and should probably phone those parents I am so grateful to and have been raving about so much and apologised for being a tired old grump.  Two cups of tea and a chocolate biscuit later and I’m decidedly more myself (I’m such a teacher!)

Take care, everyone!

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