July 25th, 2009


My usual morning question of 'Is it Saturday?' didn't come up today, even though it is actually Saturday. I thought it was Friday. It's days since the museum and I haven't mentioned it on here yet, well not properly, and I need to do it before I forget.

I was really nervous, but quite naturally so. Doing anything new is nerve-wracking. I was panicking about being late, and wondering whether to get the bus or to take the car, and weighing up the pros and cons of both, and ended up ruminating for so long I definitely would have been late if I had decided on the bus. It meant I paid £9 parking, but it was worth it for peace of mind, and by 3pm my foot was killing me anyway.

There's a football exhibition, so we were doing football related crafting. The choice was 'finga footy' puppets, which are those things you put your fingers through which act as the legs, and some paper models put together with split pins so they moved. Esther had made it so they could make little tops to go on the split pin footballers, so we could show the children not interested in football that they could make a model of themselves and just put their own clothes on. It was ingenius, easy and ran itself, she obviously knows what she's doing.

One of the other staff had made a football pitch from astro turf with nets made from string, which wasn't finished, so Esther had made a goal from pipe cleaners. I loved all this obviously, and must have been gob smacked because Esther kept asking me if I was OK as I looked a bit bewildered.

My job was giving parents googly eyes and split pins so they could help the children put them on their puppets. We were also sticking art straws onto the back of the finger puppets to make them stronger, and then supervising them while they tried to score a goal on the fake pitch with a ping pong ball. 

I was surprised at first that the children were all so into it, and so polite. But then Kerry pointed out that parents taking children to a museum will be a certain type of parent, and children agreeing to do something sitting at a desk in the school holidays which they aren't being forced to do will be a certain type of child. Hence the lack of, shall we say, 'scum'.

One little boy in particular made me laugh. His Dad was clearly loving it, trying to make a quiff on the finger puppet, and even giving it arms. I went over with googly eyes and he asked 'Do you know what my name is?' Now I'd heard someone call him Owen, so I said 'Owen', and he looked astonished, and said 'How did you know that?'. I explained that I know everything, so he asked me how old he was. He looked about 3, so I guessed at 3, which happened to be right. He looked at me like it was magic. Then he said 'How old is Jacob, my next door neighbour?' and I had to explain that I didn't know because he wasn't in the room. He just of nodded like that was fine.

Another boy came in with 7 other children, all of whom wanted to make a finger puppet. He just did a massive sigh and said 'Have you got any animal puppets?' I said I was sorry but we hadn't, although a little girl had made her footballer into a dog earlier, so maybe he could do that. He did another sigh and said 'anything with squirrels?'. He seemed so world weary, it was all I could do not to give him a huge cuddle. I didn't see if he managed a squirrel as I had a break then. I sat outside getting fresh air because it was bloody warm in the museum. A little boy walked past me, clearly staring at me, and then turned and said 'Mummy, why would someone have pink hair?' I didn't hear the answer.

All in all it was really succesful, Time flew by, and I enjoyed being around children again. I made a finger puppet of myself, and also a referee, and the children seemed to enjoy themselves, and liked having a chat with someone who acted more childishly than they were.