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I had a rather difficult time adjusting to school as a 5 year-old.
In fact, I actually quit school, at the tender age of 5. Twice.
The first time was because a mad brute of a boy who stole my bouquet of pussy willows. And injustice. These were the most beautiful, silvery-silky-soft pussy willows I’d ever seen, and my father lovingly soaked his feet as he trod through the freezing-snow-just-melted swamp to cut them down for me. I was bringing them to show and tell because we’d just learned a song about about pussy willows*, when this obviously uncivilized boy tore them from my hands and stomped them into a puddle of mud. Adding insult to injury was the fact that there were no sanctions, no punishment, nothing. Just a stern mutterance*of disapproval from Mrs. A. The nerve! I stomped off and was home before Mrs. A even knew I was gone. (Luckily, we lived just down the street from the school.)
The second time was because I was in protest of my teacher’s obvious academic ineptitude. I was insulted and incredulous as my teacher, Mrs. A, made us write our first names in all capital letters! All capitals! I was horrified that this sage-looking woman in her 50’s seemed to lack the basic knowledge of common English grammar, knowledge I possessed, somehow missing the subtle yet important nuances between the capital and lower-case differentiations. Moments after I walked in through the front door, eyes rolling and head shaking disapprovingly, Mrs. A called my mother, asking if I’d shown up. Hump!
Thus it should come as no surprise to you, gentle reader, that I had little respect for the often ridiculous activities we were to accomplish for Mrs. A. She had us use terribly fat and difficult to hold pencils, making it a chore to write, and because once we were done with our busy-work, we were allowed to play in the miniature log cabin in the corner of the classroom, well, I rushed through her little mundane activities as quickly as possible. Why bother putting any effort into it, really? I mean, she had no idea first names took a capital letter after all.
As you can imagine, Mrs. A did not appreciate my slapdash work-ethic, and often had me re-doing activities two, three and four times, until it was to her liking.
“Stop rushing, it’s too messy,” was her response when I’d hand her my work.
Things were growing more and more tense for Mrs. A and I, and my mamafish knew something had to be done. Mrs. A knew I was bright, precocious, and that I had no regard for her methods, even at 5 years-old. Poor Mamafish had to do what many parents find themselves forced to do : explain that the teacher is the teacher, that even though I was right about many things, Mrs. A was still the teacher, and that if I didn’t try to do things the way Mrs. A wanted them done, well, it was going to be a very, very long school year.
“Haste makes waste,” Mamafish told me as I was colouring at the kitchen table one afternoon.
I had to ask for a translation, and a quick one to boot, because I didn’t understand what “haste” meant, but I still had pictures to colour, and re-runs of Wonder Woman to watch, and a fort to build outside, and all of that before it got dark, so hurry up Mamafish and tell me what it means…
The following day at school, I sat very concentrated before my busywork, so much so that it took Mrs. A by surprise.
“You’re working rather hard on that,” she offered.
“Well, you know, haste makes waste.” I replied matter of factly, secretly hoping she also had to ask her mother what haste meant.
I’m here to tell you that I am still, quite often, in a hurry to get things done. And sometimes, after rushing through something to get to the next thing (geeze, I wish it was to watch Wonder Woman) I hear the voice of Mamafish saying gently, “Haste makes waste.”
There was indeed a huge amount of wasted time put into this apron. I wanted it done faster than possible, and found myself ripping so many seams for really stupid mistakes. I was too busy to follow a pattern, and this one is loosely based on another one I made using the suggestions from Bend The Rules Sewing. And even though, in the end, I vowed to take my time and if it didn’t get done in time for this month’s Tie One On, well then, it didn’t get done, I still fouled up a step and have an unsightly double stitch line along the waistband – though it can’t be seen from the front, because luckily it’s on the inside.
Haste makes waste, kids. Wise words to live by.
*mutterance: shellyism, the muttering of an utterance.
*Here is, for your musical enjoyment, the pussy willow song I learned oh-so-long ago:
I know a little pussy,
He’s very fuzzy and gray,
He lives down in the meadow,
Not very far away.
He’ll always be a pussy,
He’ll never be a cat,
For he’s a pussy willow,
Now what do you think of that?
Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow…
Have you managed to get any lingering W.I.P.s finished up? Whatever your works-in-progress, have a crafty week, and don’t forget to see what the other Wipsters are up to, and to check out our W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Pool, too.
eeek!! i just saw this!! we sing the song all the time!! kaulini (my 3 yo) loves it!!
Don’t you just hate it when your mum is right!! Mum’s are so wise – I hope I can pass on some cool sayings like yours to my kids.
That’s a very pretty apron!
Thanks for sharing your story, it was a sweet read. If Guppy has a bit of that 5-year-old Shellyfish in her (and I think she does!), you’re in for a treat!