Have been making a mental note of all the things that the children have been doing today which they would not have been able to do in school. This list is mounting.
One example is the discussion that just took place between toddler and myself about the likely effects of opiate derivatives, (legally acquired, of course): about how dangerous these drugs are for young and old alike and about what these pills are actually meant to be used for. She wanted to know, in gruesome detail, what these pills could do to a child, how other forms of the drug could be taken, and the possible implications of all that...up to and including a conversation about AIDS. She was able to handle the pills, and she got the clear message that she should only play with these on pain of death.
It was not the sort of conversation or demonstration that one can imagine taking place in play-group, and it makes me realise the impact of Watson's point in her last comment about the need for the boundary between real world and school to be narrowed towards the intellectual confines generated by the school environment.
For only the other day, I attempted to buy 4 packets...ONLY FOUR, please note, of 20 Paracetamol 500mg from our local pharmacy, only to be told that this was not legally possible!!!! WHAT? What sort of idiot could they possibly take me for? Doesn't every suicidal git on the street know that you do not mess with paracetamol, even if you do want to top yourself? Ah, maybe not. That will be because you will have been cossetted away in a classroom, not given the information when you had actually asked the question, because it would not have been deemed "age appropriate", and you would be dulled to the effects of the real world - unable to get a clear vision of what real pain looks like, because you never get to visit a relative in hospital or anything like that.