What did you do at school today?

“So, what did you do at school today?” I ask tentatively as I accept the flurry of letters, jumper, water bottle and coat thrust into my arms, and hand over a snack in return.

“Bee keeping.”

“Oh really, I didn’t know there was a beehive in the school. I’ve never noticed one in the playground.”

“It’s in the garden behind the reception classrooms.”

“I see. And do you look at them through a glass window?”

“No, the teacher wore a white suit and a helmet and took the honeycomb out to show us.”

“Wow! I might ask her to let me have a look next time I come to parents day. I’ve always wanted to see inside a real beehive.”

“No, you can’t ask her. She says parents aren’t allowed to know about it.”

There was a moment there, right at the beginning of the conversation when she almost had me going. But it is clear that bee keeping is yet another of the fictional activities my daughter gets up to during her school day.

Away with the fairies. (Nursery Whines)

I think there must be an element of truth in some of the things she tells me. I know they really did go out walking around the playing fields looking for autumn leaves to make a collage from, because I’ve seen the picture. But I don’t believe my daughter and her best friends were taken on a special trip to the woods to collect the leaves all by themselves.  And saw a bear.

I like to believe she really was put on the Rainbow as a reward for good tidying up the first day she told me. But by the second week of it being a daily occurrence I was pretty sure she was just saying what I wanted to hear.

Once things got a bit awkward, when she came home with a plastic ring she said she had won from the teacher as a reward for doing such good work. It was only when I pressed her for more details on this work and was told that she had done “Multiplication of phonics” that I realised something was up. Eventually she confessed she had taken the toy from the lost property box on the teacher’s desk and we had to go and say sorry and give it back.

But her teacher is always handing out prizes for good number work apparently. Lollipops, ice cream – once she took my daughter to Legoland at lunchtime for a treat.

Just popped to Legoland on my lunchbreak. (Nursery Whines)

Occasionally she lets slip actual facts about her school day. Just casually in the bath or over supper. Or most often as a matter of urgency when it is past bedtime and I am trying to extricate myself from the room.

I’ll hear about how so and so got put in Time Out for pushing someone over in the playground. Or how somebody else fell over and grazed their knee and there was real blood.

She’ll recite stories or poems to me that I have never read to her. Or sing songs I don’t know.

Apparently they play a game in P.E. called Broad Bean, Runner Bean, which I was sure she was making up, but I have since learned actually exists.

But most of the time I am fobbed off with tales of fiction about what happens in the classroom all day. Digging for treasure, juggling pheasants, playing the trumpet.

I like to think her lies are a sign of a good imagination.

And actually, if she does ever start telling me what really happened at school that day, I think I’ll secretly be a bit disappointed…

What does your child tell you about their school day?

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