We had a Parents’ Consultation at Daniel’s nursery yesterday evening (we don’t have Parents’ Evenings apparently. We have Consultations). All in all it was a glowing report, aside from his short temper which we’ve known about since he was a few months old. He is seemingly a whiz at maths and number skills – didn’t see that coming!
He’s also very independent and strong-minded. As his teacher pointed out, this can be a good thing. He’s standing up for himself with children who are all bigger and stronger than he is (he’s one of the youngest in his class) and it’s good to know he can do that, particularly since I myself am such a wuss!
It’s turned out for his teachers to be a double-edged sword though. He’s very fond of singing and music, and he’s developed a passion for the song Do You Hear the People Sing? from Les Misérables. It’s taken him a few weeks to get to grips with the words – after all, we’re not talking Jack and Jill here. His nursery rhymes haven’t prepared him for lyrics such as “The blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France” (his teacher’s eyes nearly popped out of her head when we told her that line… ). But he’s pretty much got all two and a half minutes off pat now and he loves singing it. Over and over and over. He’s also quite a perfectionist and if he gets a word wrong he starts again. If his audience aren’t duly appreciative, he starts again.
Which brings me neatly to the point of today’s post. His teacher gave us this story from yesterday. They were all sitting down together for music time and Daniel decided that the time was ripe to try out his repertoire on his classmates. He insisted on treating them to a gala performance of Do you hear the people sing? and launched into full diva mode. About half way through what is a fairly long and repetitive song for a class of three and four year olds, he noticed some of the other children had started whispering and letting their minds wander away from the cultural feast that was, frankly, being wasted on them. He immediately stopped singing, complained vociferously and demanded to start again. His poor teachers (who deserve a medal) endured the whole song again, begging the children to be quiet so Daniel could finish his song.
When I picked him up he proudly showed me his sticker and told me he’d got it for singing Do you hear the people sing? for Mrs Badger and Mrs Burton. I can only think they were so relieved to get to the end that a sticker seemed a small price to pay.
My son, the diva, obviously has a long and glorious career in show-business ahead of him. I hope Cameron Mackintosh is prepared.