Most of you will know that I have had four children. My second child was stillborn and is with the Lord. The other three – now 13, 10 and 8 – are still in my safekeeping.
Safekeeping – are they really in MY safekeeping and if so how safe is that?
Am I a good or a bad mother? Let’s find out.
Witness 1: The children
I’m so sorry…there seems to be some sort of a problem….
O.K. It seems these witnesses have been discredited as their answers changed from “She’s the best Mum in the world” to “She hates me and wants to kill me and ruin my life” and back again in the course of a few hours.
Witness 2: The State
Attendance at school: Pretty good – but there was that unauthorised absence and they did keep them home when they were ill so they failed to get their 100% attendance certificate.
5 a day: Not bad
No more than two ‘100 calorie snacks’ per day: Fail
Exercise: Just about acceptable
Overall assessment: Could do better, but then she doesn’t require any intervention from us so that’s good!
Witness 3: The Professionals
Excellent. Developmental checks and medical appointments are attended. Children are adequately cared for and know they are loved.
We do have concerns about radicalisation and indoctrination with fundamentalist Christian beliefs, but that does not come into our current remit.
Witness 4: Middle Class Society
Breastfed until a year: Almost. Score: 9 out of 10
Baby-led weaning: Exempt – before her time
Washable nappies: Tried, but failed. 1 / 10
Routine: Gina Ford: 8 / 10. No – sorry scratch that from the records – apparently that’s bad. 0 / 10 should have just gone with the flow. All that controlled crying has scarred them for life.
Current nutrition: O.K. Makes spelt bread for her wheat intolerant son. Allows lots of snacks. There are quite a few things they won’t eat – including anything green and leafy, sweet potato and tofu. Only manage 50/50 bread and sometimes balk at crusts. Have chips and frozen stuff (fish fingers, nuggets, pizza) once a week. Generally prepares non-processed food from scratch. 6 / 10.
Participation in extra-curricula classes: Not bad at first with the first one and then downhill from there. Currently: No sports clubs or martial arts, only 1 instrument (not one each, just one!), minimal participation in uniformed organisations, dance and drama. Never had swimming lessons and only 2 can ride a bike – just. Never been skiing. 3 / 10
Culture: Encourages reading, but very few museums and galleries. Cinema chosen over theatre. 5 / 10
Education: Listened to Mozart while pregnant with number 1. Used Baby Einstein DVDs and did baby signing with first two. Supported early reading. No tutoring or extra languages. Drives to a non-catchment school. Didn’t go down the grammar school or scholarship route – but hard given location. Doesn’t read through all their homework or drill them for tests. Tries hard – 6 / 10.
Overall score: 6 / 10
Court adjourned. There will be a brief recess before further witnesses are called.
Definitely time for a coffee!