Casta’s nursery class is divided into two groups: Lively Ladybirds and another group. Casta is a Lively Ladybird so that’s the only group name I can remember.
‘I’m a Lively Ladybird Dad!’ she exclaims.
‘Aren’t you just,’ I respond.
The group has a mascot - a soft toy ladybird which is basically a cushion. This weekend is Casta’s turn to look after and entertain Lively Ladybird and document all the fun a four year old girl and a cushion can have together. The introduction to the Ladybird’s diary (‘Lively Ladybird – All About Me’) says, among other things, that:
‘When they make marks in this book it is reinforcing the concept that marks convey meaning.’
The book has sketches and scribbles on the opening pages and then a parent upped the ante with a photograph and some narrative. From then on each entry has a series of photographs and some carefully made marks from the parents.
Ladybird doesn’t half get around: a planting visit to the allotment, being dazzled by the tropical fish at the pet shop (which one child seems to visit every week in lieu of actually being allowed to own their own pet) and, of course, the dizzying glamour of trips to Asda.
I took a picture of Lively Ladybird ‘eating’ a boiled egg with Casta when we got home for lunch on Friday, shortly before my daughter lost interest in Ladybird’s wellbeing.
Maude wouldn’t let me make any marks in the book and wrote a paragraph which detailed Ladybird’s participation in the family yoga session and her intrepid involvement in the family’s Sunday walk through the woods in search of elf houses.
Maude helped Casta sign her name and then quickly scanned the other parents’ entries. Frowning, she closed the book.
‘Capital letters, coherent sentences, punctuation. They’ll not know what’s hit them.’