Tuesday, 27 September 2011

no-one told me there'd be glitter...

I was 'on-duty' at our local Guides meeting last night.  I couldn't say exactly how many girls are involved but I think they'd all packed their individual megaphones.

It was a lively evening.  After the various rituals of patrol line-ups, something called a horseshoe and then another thing to do with unfurling a flag, the girls were involved in working towards a 'go for it' badge.  This seems to have involved a great deal of discussion and decision making and a great many recyclable bags full of craft materials, sweets, egg boxes and the dreaded glitter.

I have never met a mother who loved glitter, who has welcomed glitter into her home, who has joined the glitter facebook fanpage, who willingly and without persuasion went to a shop and bought glitter of her own accord.  Glitter isn't great unless it's stuck very firmly to a pair of A/W2011 Miu Miu shoes.

Glitter is definitely, in my view, inappropriate for a slightly damp yet humid September Monday evening.  It is definitely a scary prospect when it is unaccompanied by layers of broadsheet newspaper.

I admit, I reacted badly.

I was a Guide for about a fortnight in the very late 70s, early 80s.  I never had the uniform.  All I can remember about it is making a mosaic of a boat from tiny pieces of magazine that I was told off for taking too long to cut out.  I was reading the magazine and not focusing on the very important task of magazine mosaic.

This is not to say I have a problem with Guides.  I think it's a fantastic organisation and one of the few that encourages girls and young women with positive role models and aspirations.  Neither am I immune to the lure of groups and gatherings, hence my new found interest in the WI.  I think it's more to do with the fact that I just didn't know what to do when I pitched up last night for my stint of press-ganged volunteering (I know - oxymoron alert).  Where is the etiquette manual that outlines the correct behaviour for parent helper at Guides?  Please can someone send me the link?

I was asked to supervise.  Mmmmmm.  Tricky one that when you're not in your own home and supervising your own children or those of very, very close friends.  Was I to supervise the task?  The behaviour?  The clearing up afterwards?  Was there some kind of understanding from my temporary charges that I was supposed to be supervising or, as I suspect, was I seen as some kind of random mother who has to be there because she's on the rota.  Tricky.  

I had to have a nice cup of tea and a couple of slices of toast when I got home alongside the Housewives of New York 'best-ofs' and 'never-seens'.   I take my hat off to our Guide leader.  We parents are asked to contribute two hours of our lives every 12 weeks or so.  That's not a great deal to help our girls have a chance to catch up with friends they don't necessarily see at school and maybe learn some new skills on the way.  They'll be off on a couple of trips over the next few weeks too, a chance for them to spread their wings a little and take a few more steps to independence.

Perhaps I should have persevered with the mosaic.

4 comments:

Only Me said...

Ahh, your post has struck a cord - I don't know how Penguin does it! It's my turn next week - HELP!

hausfrau said...

Helping was never my idea of fun either: MUCH too noisy for my elderly ears. And you're right: they don't want you to supervise anything much, just make up the ratio of adults to children - who won't listen even if they're yours!

Sue Gee said...

I was a very committed guide....without a uniform as I think my parents thought it wouldnt be a permanent feature of my youth. I used to make up elaborate stories about where my uniform was - However one founders day I HAD to appear in uniform so I borrowed one - it was covered in every badge a guide could earn. I felt like the major general, wing commander, admiral of the fleet type of girl guide as I paraded around in it - My shining moment as a guide. I dont think that I was so hot on the Girl Guide Pledge around honesty!!! I did however promise to do my best - to do my duty to God and the Queen and I still do!!

I'm Crayon said...

Glitter!! Gah! Definitely near the top of The Most Dreadful Things Ever list. My list also includes Gum and those brightly colored, stain-anything-they-touch FreezePops. Let's just go ahead and add Chaperoning, shall we?