Prole2 and I were doing the reading homework again this morning.
I was sitting on both my hands and had both my lips clenched in my front teeth to stop me interjecting and telling him all the words.

It was a ‘make all your own mistakes and try to sort them out’ day.

I hate ‘make all your own mistakes and try to sort them out’ days.

I kind of prefer barking all the right answers at him while I poke about on Facebook but apparently this causes some kind of psychological problems in later life or something.

We had already had a run in over his choice of breakfast cereal.

After two years of asking I finally bought him Fruit Loops.

Fruit loops have been Prole2’s objective since nursery.
It is not that I have particularly forbidden him but I finally ran out of ways to confuse and obfuscate him in the Supermarket.

He has been fairly easy to distract up until recently and conversations about which cereal to buy have been like increasingly difficult mini games of chess.
Last week he finally got me in check and I could think of no good reason for him not to have Fruit Loops.

I am not a particularly draconian parent over food but I have always known that there would only be two possible outcomes in the introduction of Fruit Loops to our home.
Either Prole2 would never eat anything else, ever again, ever.
Or Prole2 would hate them and we would have to throw them away.

Prole2 hated them and we had to throw them away.

This was a blessing in disguise, I have had time to get used to the idea of throwing them away as the best outcome.
In spite of my dislike of throwing food away this was better than a life of slavery to Toucan Sam and his sugary-shackles-of-three-grain-fruity-circles.
It also gives me leverage to buy Supermarket-own-brand-cardboard-flakes next week.

The battle of the cereal might have been over quickly and I certainly felt I had the upper hand going into the book reading but I had to make sure I did not continue to crush Prole2’s confidence so I let him continue at his own pace and tried not to look at the clock.

The story went on for ages.

I tried really hard to ‘stay engaged’.

After a while I realised I had not seen Prole1 for a bit and it was all very quiet.

As soon as Prole2 had shuddered to a halt and the book was safely in his school bag I went looking for his brother.

Prole1 was working hard at the kitchen table.
He had several pieces of paper in front of him.

Me: What are you doing?

Prole1: I forgot my reading book so I am doing this.

Me: Forgot your book? What have i told you about that? You have to check before you come home.

Prole1: I know, I am sorry.

I look at the top piece of paper. On it are some concentric circles, drawn free hand, and some squiggly lines in between some of them.

Me: What are you drawing?

Prole1: Ah, well, yes, this is my all weather stadium I am doing for Rugby homework. You see it works like this, they all start in the middle here and race out to the outside line and the first one across that line wins. They can go any direction they like. BUT you can put obstacles in the way and that takes longer for them to get to the line so they don’t have to get to the outside line they can get to this one instead.

Me: Why are they in circles? Why don’t you put tracks in a straight line?

Prole1: But they can go any direction.

Me: But isn’t a straight line easier?

Prole1: I don’t know. It’s hard to get a snail to go in a straight line.

I looked hard at the paper and sure enough, Prole1 has designed an all weather snail racing stadium for his Rugby Homework.

I am not sure what sort of mark he is going to get.

I sort of wish I could be there to watch him hand it in but at the same time I am glad I won’t see the Rugby teacher for a while.

Me: Is it a Stadium though?

Prole1: Yes, I checked at school, it just has to be for sporting events in all weathers.

Me: But won’t this blow away in the wind.

He smiled indulgently and put his hand on mine.

Prole1: Dad, it is for the tables at school. There is no wind inside. Completely weather proof sport. See?

Me: Yes, I see.

How silly of me.

I have to take some blame for this.
I was talking a lot about snail racing about this time last year, it was once quite popular in rural areas and Cornwall was no different.
Something must have stuck in the mossy banks of Prole1’s mind.

Prole1 had laid out the rules for the various events.

Snail raceing.

Track 1
The flat Race

1  Put the snail’s in the start sircle.

2 first one to the edge is the wiiner.

Track 1
The obsticle Race

1 put the snail’s in the start sircle

2 putthe propon the track.

3 firstone to the is the first circle is the wiiner.

Slipery pole clime

1 Put the snailes on the start sircle

2 put the pole over them

3 first one to the top is the wiiner.

Me: It looks good.

Prole1: Yes, it will be brilliant when it is finished.

Something about his tone of voice sounded odd. I decided to play dumb.

Me: Oh, why, are you going to colour it in?

Prole1: No, I am going to get an old sheet and the fabric pens we got for Christmas and make the tracks, I need the garden sprayer because snails like it wet and then I need to get the pole in some sort of base.

He laughed and rolled his eyes at me.

Prole1: AND i need you to use the drill, I am really scared of drills.

Me: Why do you need a drill?

Prole1: I am just about to draw that bit…..