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Me: I’m here to sign my son up for swimming classes.

Receptionist: What’s his name?

Me: Finn Tomes.

Receptionist: And . . . which classes has he completed?

Me: Jellyfish and Frogs.

Receptionist: Right. Let me just check whether he’s due to graduate to Penguins.

(She goes off to mutter at someone and returns.)

Receptionist: We’ll put him back in Frogs this term-


Receptionist: We’ll put him back-

Me: Oh, I HEARD YOU. Look. I don’t mean to be some pushy parent; but my son is QUITE CLEARLY a PENGUIN.

Receptionist: Oh.

Me: Yes.

Me: He’s been swimming all summer*- he’s half-baby half-fish. Like some sort of baby-fish mutant hybrid. With extra webbing.

Receptionist: Um. We can only go on what the instructor says-

Me: Well, on the assessment form from his last class, he scored top marks on everything except monkey-monkey supported and kicking in a supine position – so I don’t know what HER problem is.

Me: I feel you’re holding him back.

Receptionist: I’ll just- maybe- would you like to speak to the manager?

Me: I should think so. *SNIFF!*

(After 15 minutes arguing compellingly and evidently persuasively about Finn’s potential for long-distance swimming or at least flotation):

Manager: We have a free slot in the Tuesday Penguin class-

Me: That’ll do.

Manager: How do you spell Finn? F- I- N- N-

Me: Wait- wait- sorry. Do you- do you really think Finn should re-swim the Frog class?

Manager: Well, he’s still very young-

Me: I’m worried maybe I’m pushing him too far too fast.

Manager: (speechless)

Me: I’m conflicted about the type of parenting methodology I should adopt.

Me: Perhaps he’d better go back in the Frogs.

* I threw him into a wave once or twice

Finn gets to grips with water

Finn gets to grips with water


Comments on: "With extra webbing" (2)

  1. Did I tell you that I am a volunteer Penguin Guide? I thought that I was going to be guiding penguins through their life. You know talking about low fish stocks, mating issues, burrow defences and that sort of good stuff. Unfortunately the only guiding of the penguins I do is to move people away from the odd penguin who tries to take a short cut to his/her home along the path that people walk on. Mostly it’s just telling humans more about penguins, telling people not to use camera flash or other white light, and providing red light so people can see the penguins.

    But one week I was extra good, as this little child told me he could not see the penguins coming in from the water as there was a man in his way. I told him that next time he should push the man into the water. Unfortunately his mother overheard and told me not to tell him that because he would actually push the man into the water. So then I had to tell the child that his mother was right and not to do it. The child seemed more afraid of his mother so, unfortunately nobody ended up in the water.

  2. deadlyjelly said:

    Haha! Sounds like you were more a person guide. I’m sorry you didn’t get to share your experience of burrow defenses – any top tips? x

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