Daughter: Did you know that even you have an invisible bucket Daddy?
At school yesterday my daughter learned that everyone in the whole wide world has an invisible bucket. Nothing to do with fried chicken, Keeping Up Appearances or even The Melvins (a recipe for what might be the worst kind of porn, by the way). No - this bucket is "filled with Love." Which sounded a bit like the nightmare I just alluded to until my daughter started explaining how it worked. Everyone starts off with a full bucket every day. When you're mean to other people you steal Love out of another person's bucket and throw it away. You also lose some of your own. When you are nice to people you use some of the Love in your bucket but you don't lose any.
My first reaction to this was that I thought it was odd that one of the first things the kids were learning about the Big Real World (they are all Big Real Kids now that they are in school all day long) was something the teacher made up. Then I recalled that 90% of the time I spend time with my kids we are either super heroes or in some parallel reality that is much shinier, happier and more demented than the one we are in.So adding a Bucket Of Love to the equation isn't exactly going to tip us into some silly, fluffy world where there are no Bad Things.
Anyhoo - my daughter was explaining this to me in the corridor at school. Her teacher had come down with her to let me know that she was doing extremely well and had even won an award that somehow ranked the class into The Best down to whoever had an empty bucket (my daughter gave me her name - so it's quite likely this was a teachable moment given to all). I couldn't help but glance up at the teacher proudly smiling about it all as my daughter stood in her hat that at the top of the Big Real Kid food chain. At which point the teacher leaned in and pointed out knowingly that the Bucket Of Love know it is being held by someone that the teacher isn't allowed to name, "but that doesn't mean he isn't real." Interesting analysis of the whole God in school issue there.
Today is Yellow day at school. Accordingly my daughter is wearing the below outfit. She's also modelling the Number 1 Gold Star hat she'd earned as well. The teacher has a Color Warning chart that kids progress up if they are naughty, don't listen or are ill-behaved. You start on a Gold Star and travel along it depending on what warning's are dished out. It has echoes of Tom Ridge and Homeland Security to me. My daughter stayed on a Gold Star since last week - and was declared the Number One kid to do that as well. Which is nice and shows an interesting insight into how giving out such an award doesn't foster ill-will in five year old kids.
And here's her brother all dressed for O-School today. He's really rocking the Thomas The Transvestite look (and yes there is an alarmist Daily Mail article if you Google that).
And here is a shameful character stood next to his own bucket. I'm calling it The Skunk Bucket. The contractor we hired had put the garbage bag that in the garbage can in the wheel barrow outside. As you all know wild animals have absolutely no way of cracking the mystery of how to climb into a wheel barrow in order to eat garbage. Needless to say when my dog went outside at 3am and discovered a skunk 2 feet from the back door munching away he went a bit mental. On the plus side my dog is hopeless so ran at and past the skunk. Which tried it's level best to spray him. It got him a little bit but nowhere near as bad as it could have been. The wife washed him in the bathtub in a hydrogen peroxide solution while I picked up the garbage and explained to the curious - but now very awake - neighbor as to what all the curfuffle was about.The bucket had the solution in it but now houses a rag and a wet towel covered with shame. To know how much just look into that dog's sorry face.