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Smile with pride

Fulltime Foster Carer - Harriet author of: A Less Ordinary Family

Smile with pride

Tuesday 22nd March

I have just worked out that between the three girls I have just been to the tenth Easter Bonnet Parade at school.  This is probably my least favourite school activity of the year.  Seriously if I ever have to listen to the ‘Spring Chicken’ song, ‘Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick, Chicken’ or ‘The Seed Song’ one more time, I think I am going to go mad!

Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I am against the whole idea of an Easter Bonnet Parade, it is a fun activity for children to take part in over the Easter period.  And I’ve got used to the fact that it totally misses the point of Easter and panders to the commercialisation of yet another Christian festival.  What really grates is that it brings all the competitive parents in school out of the woodwork!

You can clearly see which bonnets have been lovingly created by the children – they are the most endearing ones, the ones where the chickens, eggs and bunnies are stuck on all over the place, and they leave a trail of shredded paper behind them.  Then there are the ones where the parents have obviously been working on them through the night since the Christmas holidays.  They have been on Pinterest and YouTube to perfect their child’s unique hat.

Then we come to the day of the Easter Bonnet Parade.  They all drive up in their cars – to transport the precious hat into school.  They delicately hand it over to the teacher at the classroom door.
After all the effort the parents put into the monstrosities, it is over before it has began.  Their child then does a twirl in front of the audience and then they take a seat with their class, ready to entertain us with their singing.  What is more entertaining is watching children take turns in picking their noses and picking their hats apart.

Alice is particularly pleased with her hat.  We have recycled the hat again!  She got to glue a load more stuff onto it.  It looks a treat, and she can be truly proud that she decorated it!  Although on this occasion I am not guilty, I know there are other times where I’ve stepped in and done something one of my children should be doing for themselves.  Sometimes, it’s for speed and necessity, like tying a shoelace when we are late for school.  But sometimes we need to step back and truly allow our children to learn by doing, by having fun, by getting it wrong and trying again.  After all, someone let us do that once upon a time…

As I walk home I still have the words and music going round my head “I’m a real Spring Chicken and I’m having a ball”.  It reminds me of Alice and her hat.

This time the song makes me smile with pride.

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