Since my son started school I have been so curious to find out what he's up to every day. Of course I ask him, “What did you do today?” but there are no prizes for guessing his answer. I have tried the trick of arriving early and casually hanging around outside while I innocently glance inside the classroom. Murphy's Law: I could say every child in the class except mine. Asking the teachers doesn't provide much insight either. Yes they answer me but it is vague. I want details, I want the meat, and this is quite something for me, as a vegetarian, to admit.

So I have come up with this game, “You tell me something you did today and I'll tell you something I did”. This has worked well in the sense that both players are keen to share information. Now he freely tells me what he learnt in Afrikaans class or he sings the songs learnt in music and I also know who he shared lunch with, who has been ill and that the teacher and I have something in common, we both have a bit of dragon in us (coming from my son this is a compliment).

Being a mom, I know there is more. There is top secret info that needs to be found. Picking up my crafty spade I began to dig. This is what it sounded like: “I have a secret,” I said, “Do you want to know what it is?” Big wide eyes and a nodding head gave the answer. “Today I did not make my bed” (I know, pretty boring but it's the safest thing I could think to say). I was then asked why that is a secret. “Because nobody knows about it!” Effective pause leading into loaded question. “Is there something you did recently that no one knows about?” Without missing a beat I got a reply, “I take my shoes off as soon as I get to school.” I ask, “Why is that a secret?” Proudly he says, “I put my shoes in my locker as soon as I arrive and no one notices”. I smile. I got what I wanted, a glimpse into my son's world away from me.

I'm sure you were expecting, hoping for, something more meaty. Well, the boy's only eight, give it time, details become juicier with age. I might even have to get involved in censorship. Watch this space!

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Tags: are, at, doing, kids, school, what, your

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