Have you resisted the siren lure of the after-school club? Or have you gone all enthusiastic, it being September, and all. You know what I mean – that first chill in the air is indelibly linked in our minds and hearts with new beginnings: freshly sharpened pencils, nice new socks with name-tapes sewn in, over-sized blazers. It seems only natural to start a whole batch of new extra-curricular activities at the same time, doesn’t it?
And what a lovely lot there is to choose from. Swimming, trampolining, French, pottery, Kumon, piano, cross-country, Yoga-bugs, short tennis, circus skills – why, a single week just isn’t long enough!
And it’s never too early to start! Check out this brilliant article by Imogen Edwards-Jones in the Spectator. What was she thinking of, not getting eight-month-old Allegra plugged into the self-improvement circuit? Thank goodness her nanny is on hand to sort her out!
Imogen suggests that this phenomenon is restricted to ‘Alpha-mums’, so used to the fast pace of corporate life that they’re unable to let up when it comes to their children, but I think it’s far more wide-spread than that. Even those among us who haven’t had to say Goodbye, Jimmy Choo (sorry – shameless plug) feel the pressure. There’s that awful feeling, when you hear other parents talking about their child’s busy schedule, that you’re letting your children down, denying them the possibility to be just that little bit more accomplished. Before you know it, you’re filling in the forms, writing the cheques, and shuttling between activities until 6.30 four nights a week.
For all of us who have signed up already, I confidently predict that, come February, the combination of dark, chilly nights and the cosy comfort of Blue Peter will have us safely back home by 4.30 at the latest. And very nice too. But for now, while we’re still enthusiastic, what have you signed your kids up for? Go on, tell all ….