I’ve never bagged the prize for excellence, only ever effort. I’d be the one lolloping about at the back (with an abundance of futile enthusiasm) of the egg-and-coit race on Sports Day; I’d be the one who managed to painstakingly type out an entire project on 15th century churches aged 9 – on a computer that resembled a gargantuan breeze block – only to be told ‘it lacked character’. And while effort is a wonderful thing, it always comes second to excellence and often means things fall through the cracks, regardless of how many Post-it notes I dot about the place.
Only recently I managed to completely forget that 3-month-old Eve required a passport to travel to Amsterdam for my best friend’s wedding. (She’s just so small; how can something that small require legal documentation?). A frenzied, sweaty gallop to Her Majesty’s Passport Office and a lot of tears/money later, we snuck it through in the nick of time. Life admin is not my friend and testament to that is the moment I forgot to apply for Mae’s school place.
I can’t even talk about that epic failure for fear of the black tears emerging. (Mascara is not a merry match for the administratively saddened.) But homeschooling it is and here I am trying to instil phonics, the alphabet and ‘The cat sat on a mat’ into Mae’s hungry little mind – alongside ‘cleaning’ (life skills right there) – and answering ALL the ‘why’s’
‘Why is that man fat?’
‘Why does that lady have a funny ear?’
‘Why do you wear such big pants?’
‘Why don’t I have an office?’
The latter ‘why’ I decided to tackle head-on with the help of Homesense, TK Maxx’s brilliant sibling that offers luxe to accessible homewares with savings up to 60%. It’s interior design mecca with quality brands selling for a lot less and this isn’t just no one-would-want-this-in-a-million-years stuff. The brilliant London cabbie who dropped us off summed it up perfectly: “It’s bloody great. I found a posh whisk in there last week for £3.99. Bargain. Didn’t even realise I needed a posh whisk.”
For Mae’s office, we went with a swish coffee table as her desk from (a whopping RRP of £150 reduced to £49.99). It worked as both a parent-friendly and kid-friendly piece – after she’s done with it, we’ll pop it in the lounge or use it to prop us up after years of knackering parenting.
While I’d love to say we went all out on embellishments, I had to leave the finishing touches to Mae seeing as it was ‘her office’. They included: 7 small racing cars, a large red remote control Ferrari, a Clangers sewing kit and a professional artist’s easel.
Too cool for school, indeed.
This blog post was written in association with Homesense