The Plant

An Open Letter To My Children’s School

I would like to start this letter by saying how much I love you. No, really. My love for you is pretty much unbounded. You take my children away from me for a full six hours and forty-five minutes every day, five days a week… FOR FREE. Dudes: I owe you. Big time.

However. We’re on Day 2 of the new school year. And today, Beth has come home from school.

With a plant.

A plant which we have to look after. Ergo: not kill. For a year.


Let me be really upfront with you here. If I manage to get my children dressed, washed, fed and safely through the day, that’s a monumental fucking achievement. If I’ve dressed, washed and fed myself AS WELL then that’s off the bloody scale. (Neil and the cat can, thankfully, sort themselves out.)

Those days are rare. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time we left the house without leaving something behind. Beth’s book bag. Jamie’s water bottle. Once, memorably: Jamie’s shoes. I’m yet to leave a child behind, but that’s only because they’re so bloody loud they’re impossible to miss. Oh, and the day that at least one of my children doesn’t end up eating their breakfast in the car, will be the day I put myself up for Parent Of The Year.

So, given the other day it took me until lunchtime to find time to have a wee (side note: I don’t recommend this), then I need to be honest with you. Chances of this plant making it through the week, let alone the year? Almost non-existent.

(Oh, and in case you think Beth might be demonstrating some kind of nurturing tendencies? Yeah, she keeps coming and asking me how much longer I think I have to live, and when I ask why, tells me ‘Oh, I just really want your stuff’… so I think that’s probably unlikely.)

Therefore, can we reach a sensible agreement? I promise not to be ever one of those dick Smug Parents who comes and interrogates you at the classroom door about precisely what methodology you will be using to get our children through their SATs this year… and you accept the plant’s days are almost certainly numbered. Deal?

With much love and grateful thanks,

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