My Son Told His Whole Class I Was a Cow


My son told his whole class that I'm a cow. That's 32 children, one class teacher, two teaching assistants and a student on work experience. He didn't get his words mixed up, make a mistake, and he wasn't telling a bad joke. In fact, he was incredibly proud to inform his entire year one class that I was, in fact, a cow, and I was nothing if not completely mortified when I found out.

I wasn't there at the time (thank god!), but when I arrived at the school gates promptly for 3 pm pick up, there was a crescendo of sniggers from the teaching staff that I wasn't quite expecting. It has to be said that the school run is my least favourite part of the day and I hate nothing more than when the teacher makes a beeline for me from across the playground. Instantly I panic that I've forgotten to send something into school - trip money, bake sale donations even school play costumes! If I've not forgotten anything, I start to think my son must be in dire trouble so when Mrs Crompton asked to have a quiet word with me I was ready for the ground to swallow me whole. Although not quite as much as I was about to when I heard what she had to say.

"Mrs Gillum-Webb" she began, and I could see she was trying desperately to keep a straight face. "We thought you might like to know what happened today at the farm." She was, of course, entirely wrong with this statement. I didn't want to know what happened at the farm. I wanted this conversation to end promptly so I could go back to acting invisible on the playground!

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"Henry told the class today" she pauses to clear her throat while I'm certain stifling a giggle. "He told the class that you are a cow." I take in a short intake of breath gasping slightly. I mean sometimes I'm grumpy, and my patience wears thin, but I had no idea he felt this strongly! Wounded by the blow I look up at Mrs Crompton feeling the urgent desire to defend myself when she is practically bent over double in a fit of laughter. At this point, she isn't even trying to hold back the giggles, and I'm not sure whether to feel offended or reassured by her reaction.

When she finally composed herself, Mrs Crompton began to relay the story to me. It transpires that upon the year one visit to the farm, the class arrived at the cattle shed just in time for milking. The friendly farmer explained how the machine collected milk from the cows to which my son announced matter of factly "My Mummy is a cow!" Although he has a point, sometimes I am a bit snappy. It appears that he was, in fact, referring to something else entirely. He has seen me expressing milk for his younger brother using a breast pump and made the rather clever yet slight offensive comparison. A comparison I wish he hadn't shared with his whole class.

It's a moment that has never quite been lived down and still a talking point at parents evening. Even when I ring the office, they refer to me as the 'one whose son called her a cow!' Aren't kids just delightful!

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