Ah, that joyous time of year, when the school reports come out and your Facebook timeline is filled entirely with Other Parents Gloating.
I am not one of those parents. In part, because if I did, I could no longer mock them mercilessly, and in part because... I have to be honest: I have very little to gloat about.
The school reports came out on Wednesday this week, when the first I knew of it was Mr Jamie running out of after school club with his eyes closed thrusting a white envelope in my direction. 'Just open it, just get it over with, Mum, I'm going to sit in the car, I CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE.'
Beth followed, holding hers. 'Here is mine, Mum. It's very good.'
'How do you know? Have you seen it?'
She shrugged. 'No. But it just is.'
We got into the car, Jamie still pleading with me. 'Just do it Mum, just get it over with.'
'Jamie, how bad do you think this report actually is? I thought you'd been trying hard at school.'
'And other times?'
'Then... maybe not.'
I decided to start with Beth's. It was remarkably detailed, given she's only in Year R. It contained a large amount of information about her progress that year, including, notably, comments on her goal scoring ability and Match Attax football card collection. To be honest, it was a positive liturgy of praise, and could quite easily have provided me with some serious gloating material... had I not suspected, from the gleam in Beth's eye, that she had somehow bribed and corrupted her teacher into writing the whole bloody thing.
Moment of truth, then. I opened Jamie's, which was almost encyclopedia thick and left me wondering quite how much time his teachers had actually had to teach him last year given the amount of man hours which must have been required to put this together. Taking a deep breath, I read the first sentence. Oh good: and so it begins.
Now, I am married to a teacher, and as such I have become fairly adept over the years at interpreting school reports. I can therefore share with you the following 'highlights' from Mr Jamie's report this year... and what the teachers were no doubt really thinking as they wrote them.
'Jamie is a gregarious child' (we all know how those required to teach 'gregarious' children really feel about them!) 'who thoroughly enjoys the social aspects of school life.'
Jamie treats school like a youth club.
'Although articulate and well-informed, he does not often choose to initiate conversation with his teachers.'
He never stops talking... unless asked to by a member of staff, when he suddenly loses all power of speech.
'Jamie is interested in the topics covered in class but he does not yet have the discipline to consistently motivate himself.'
Jamie needs a rocket up his arse.
'He finds it more difficult to remain focused in group or individual tasks, as the urge to chat can sometimes be overwhelming!'
We have frequently considered the use of a gag.
'A capable reader, Jamie has a tendency to try and get by with the minimum amount of effort.'
Jamie really cannot be arsed.
'We have enjoyed the challenge of teaching him this year.'
You owe us a bottle of gin.
I reached the end. 'JAMIE. Can I talk to you?'
'Um, if it's okay Mum, I'd rather you didn't. I think I might just go and tidy my room. For a very, very long time.'
Anyone else got any school report gems to share?