1. Domestic science
After a slow start, Emma has begun to grasp the basics of domestic hygiene and no longer expresses astonishment and disproportionate grief at the manner in which the house becomes dirty again after cleaning. The ongoing détente with the hoover has yielded good results, particularly on the stairs. Floor washing, clothes piling, and picking up the endless stream of dreary election flyers off the mat remain black spots in an otherwise much improved term.
Her enthusiasm for all forms of lavatory cleaning product is to be encouraged, however recent experimentation with stain removal revealed an immaturity that must be addressed before such advanced techniques are essayed.
2. Home economics
In six months, Emma has cooked herself the sum total of 5 meals that can be dignified by this description. She needs to grasp the following basic concepts in order to progress:
- Just because a crème caramel contains eggs, it is not a healthy protein rich meal.
- In order not to become rolling, incapable drunk after two glasses of wine, an evening meal is essential.
- No, you do not need to buy any more packets of biscuits.
- Or Cadbury's Caramels.
- The mere act of buying broccoli does not count towards your five a day. You have to eat it too.
Emma has signally failed to develop a system of budgetary management more sophisticated than 'I can usually just SENSE when I'm overdrawn'. Ongoing issues that must be addressed as a matter of urgency: hiding the balance display when withdrawing money from cash machines, being 'too shy' to invoice for work, disappearance of letters containing PIN codes, childish desire for "nice things", failure to put foot down when faced with wheedling children, imminent financial apocalypse.
4. Personal and Social Education
Emma has failed to attain a number of key milestones in this class and must work harder to acquire the necessary skills:
- saying No.
- Dealing with conflict without requiring six months intensive rocking curled in a foetal ball.
- Use of the telephone for its intended purpose (locating telephone would be a good first step, here).
- Asking questions and maintaining a conversation without overwhelming awkwardness.
She should be congratulated, however, for both becoming much more comfortable on her own, and spending large parts of the last six months laughing and laughing and laughing with people - whom she maintains actually exist - from the "internet".
Emma has performed outstandingly in concert attendance in the last six months, leading to a deluded belief that she is down with the kids. In fact, a shallow patina of credibility conceals a secret fondness for 'nice tunes that do not make my head hurt'.
She has also developed a disturbing tendency to fixate on songs in the chanson française canon which serve her poorly both in sanity and credibility terms. This should be discouraged.
6. Veterinary science
The dog is still alive.
It may wish it weren't.
(Incidentally, I like this from this evening:
Taken almost exactly a year ago).
The ratchet screwdriver remains as puzzling to Emma as Fermat's Last Theorem, whilst keeping the Allen Key in its plastic finger protecting rectangle, a task suitable for a child of six, continues to elude her. Her hook hammering is, frankly, lamentable and drilling is currently the object of an elaborate bartering arrangement that causes us some concern.
Despite a range of self-sabotaging behaviours some of which are partially described above, Emma considers herself 'happy'.
Overall grade: Could do better. Could do a whole lot worse.