We are driving along -us three and I,  spotting an available time slot (squeezed in between the set of traffic lights ahead, ) see an ideal opportunity in which to have a quick maths lesson. This is what us homeschoolers do, isn’t it?  look for every given opportunity to have a quick teach. This is so that when we collapse into bed at night, we can at least say to ourselves..” Ok .. we’ve spent the whole day driving around to different things, we’ve done the cleaning, had the cat spayed, ate lunch. BUT at least we did that maths lesson in the car.”

Smugness.Tick. Thank you very much.

Only, apparently I picked the wrong day, the wrong time and the wrong child. Remember I have a 50/50 chance of getting the last one right.

So. Wrong Day.

“Oh noooo.. its Friday.. we unschool on Friday..” she wails.

Tell me . Now. Who are you homeschool people that publisize the fact that your children love to learn at every given opportunity?  Bring them to me.

Yes, yes. I know the aged supermarket trick ‘you add up these things as we go around and see how close you are to the total at the checkout..’ (It’s a good one Ill give you that ) but. APART from that one ..how do you trick  your children into thinking that your question,” who can tell me what fraction of those cars is red?”Is really a fun packed , ‘can’t think of anything I’d rather do’ question, and not an excuse to curb their withering mother’s paranoia that her children have learned absolutely ziltch over the past 8 years?

Right then. Friday we don’t do maths. Got it. God forbid when she gets older and her boss asks  ” Hey, Tess.. did you do 14 hours this week or 17 ?”

“Errm ..excuse me .. Mr Bossy boots boss.. its Friday. Let’s leave it ’till  Monday shall we …?”

Wrong time.


It’s 3.15pm. But the maths question is already out there, lingering like a bad smell. The eyes roll..sigh .. even  ‘real’ School is finished. I follow the eyes and it’s  true. Real life school children with bags and everything, walking along the road. Chatting. Not doing maths, not even the fun sort.

Wrong child.

Tessa, like me,  panics when under pressure (no pressure Tess, just tell me before the light goes to green) we probably know the answer ( honest ) but instead blurt out something that makes us sound like complete dim wits. Which we are not of course. We are geniuses.

We will refuse to answer. We will sigh ( a requirement when you’re 12 ) We will look out of the window ( I wonder why the library has always got those same people sitting outside ?) We will start singing, not a song, of course, just a la la melody that we’ve just made up ( we are immensely talented that way ) We will ask how the neighbours cat got run over last year ( because we are caring and compassionate ..and desperate now ) It’s Friday. We will not be answering maths questions.

There’s going to be a new rule. Maths questions (even those disguised as fun) like mobile phones, are to be banned from my car. Gone. Bye Bye. Ta ta.

Back to the neighbours’ dead cat.

“he was probably chasing a mouse because it was a lovely evening and the milk truck was going too fast to see him ”

“How fast ?”

” probably 130 Kmph ..”

“But that’s 30 over the limit !! ”

Ha !! Done !! Tricked !! Oh Yes.. big fat tick coming your way lady ..

Ahhh … you genius Liz … Sleep easy tonight you clever Mummy ..

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