Question: When it comes to tests do you?
- Dislike them intensely.
- Hate them with every fibre of your being.
- Feel like you would rather cut off your own arm with a blunt knife than sit one?
My answer? None of the above accurately depicts my absolute and utter horror at having to sit exams (and now, see, I haven’t answered the question properly and so I’ve failed. Just one of the reasons I hate them so much).
Thankfully, being 39 and qualified in my chosen profession, I thought I was well beyond the need to take tests – and then the 24 Month Questionnaire from the health visitor plopped on to the doormat.
I was pretty calm, at first.
“It’s not a test,” I told myself. “It’s just to check that Freya is roughly where they think she ought to be, developmentally, for her age. And, even if it was a test, it’s not me under the microscope, it’s her. Right?”
I believed that right up until question six.
“Can your child string small items such as beads, macaroni, or pasta “wagon wheels” on to a string or shoelace?”
I had to read it three times before the penny finally dropped; this one isn’t about her skills at all, it’s testing me.
I ran through the list.
Do we have:
Beads? Surely a choking hazard?
Pasta “wagon wheel”? I honestly don’t even know what that is.
String? Erm, no.
Shoelace? Come on, we MUST have a shoelace. YES! Finally a win. I even overlooked the fact that it was coated in mud so thick that it was almost double the size.
Ok, great. Now what can I (she) thread?
I know, penne pasta.
I’d taken the time to unlace the shoe and given it a quick wet wipe but it soon became clear that it was too big to go through the pasta.
Right, think again.
I riffled through the drawers and after considering using a USB cable I finally came across some ribbon. Success!
Well, not quite.
Freya was sat at the dining table looking at me expectantly. My plan was to show her what to do once and then hand it over.
Seriously, it took me five minutes to get one threaded. If I can’t do it how is she expected to?
Although, actually, that no longer mattered because I’d taken so long she’d got bored, taken a handful of pasta and wandered off (is the next question about her concentration? Argh).
Ok, test masquerading as a questionnaire, you’ve proven your point. Freya’s growth is being hampered by my lacklustre pantry.
What about points for ‘thinking outside the box”? For having some pasta even if it’s not the right sort? I have a good mind to put some of my own questions on the form (surely that’s what the notes section is made for?).
Before I do that I think I’ll just go and stock up on rotelle, macaroni and some new shoelaces – you never know when you might need them.