Thursday 22 August 2019

Wee Lad is certifiable - but not in the way you think!

It is, as my sister in England had predicted all along, official. The Wee Lad has been certified. Not in the way that you'd think - as in certified mad, but educationally certified for the first time in his little life.

It came as a shock to many who knew him that last Thursday, at his primary school, the Wee Lad was one of a small number of kids called up on stage by the principal and presented with a certificate 'for outstanding performance and progress'. No-one had told me it was going to happen and I probably would have thought they were joking if they had. His older brother got one too, but that went completely by the wayside as the shock of the Wee Lad's unexpected achievement reverberated around the family.

It's not that the Wee Lad is stupid, he's the opposite of stupid, but more on the side of crafty than clever. At his parent teacher meeting in January, his wonderful, young, energetic, enthusiastic and understanding teacher smiled indulgently (as I'm sure she must do to him) when I told her: 'Right, hit me, don't hold back now, there's nothing you're going to say that I haven't been thinking myself'. I didn't think there was any point in playing coy and feigning shock and disbelief when she inevitably told me about his monumental messing.

And while she did tell me he is a messer, she didn't make it sound like that and didn't make me feel bad. She told me that the Wee Lad 'injects dynamic energy into the class'. A brilliant euphemism for messer and one that she must have thought long and hard about.

She did tell me that he now sits in the seat when he's supposed to, like, 80% of the time, which, she claimed, is progress from zero in September when he started. He is still short tempered, still has the attention span of a goldfish and still, I can imagine, stomps in his size 13 shoes, around the class with his 'rotound' belly straining at the buttons his shirt, defying every law, including gravity.

But she did pick up on his God-given (not genetic) prowess at the Irish language and his kindness towards smaller children and animals. Still, none of this would have prepared me for the news that the Wee Lad had been 'certified'.

I was surprised, which I concealed as delight towards him, and he, in fairness to him, was thrilled to bits. He puffed himself out like a peacock and you could see he was genuinely pleased with himself. Of course, I had to check with the Big Lad what it was all about and he repeated that the Wee Lad had been called up on stage and presented with this, along with a few others, the Big Lad included. (Not that he mattered). I asked what the Wee Lad's certificate was actually for as 'performance and progress' is pretty all-encompassing.

'Read it', said the Wee Lad a number of times when I asked him why he had been 'certified'. He eventually told me he had got it for his Irish. Wow-wee, maith an buachaill. And as an afterthought almost he told me ' . . . and for not running around'. If that's the case, I want a certificate for not choking the Wee Lad then.

My Da saw the certificate and did a mock faint, clutching his chest, such was the shock. But my sister in England, a champion of the Wee Lad, claimed it was vindication of what she said all along - he's very brainy and that's official.

Irish Independent