All in the Genes

I moved to a new school when I was 7. Everyone else had started the year before and knew what the hell was going on.

My first ballet class: stretched into a pink leotard, pink ballet skirt and pink satin pumps from Freeds, THE ballet suppliers of London – standing in the Assembly Room surrounded by huge mirrors and wooden bars nailed to the walls. The teacher, hair up in an elegant bun, her cardigan buttoned just so, and sensibly heeled blue polished court shoes faced us and intoned in a sing song voice :-

“Good Morning Girls, today I would like you to be a tree. When the piano begins to play, just imagine yourself rooted in the ground and swaying in the breeze. Try and think of the trees in the park – no Samantha, not the ones with dog poo underneath – some of you may even have trees in your gardens which I expect your naughty brothers like to climb – yes Annaglypta, I know SOME brothers prefers to wear tutus and practice their positions.”

When the music started, probably Schubert, Ravel or Tchaikovsky bashed out by Miss Crotchett on the sturdy upright in the corner, I had moping before me, long-haired Weeping Willows, leaping thick-thighed Oaks testing the sprung wooden flooring to its limits, and a rather splendid Cypress whose arms, locked at the elbow, pointed heavenward as though lift off to Mars was on final countdown.

All the girls seemed to know what to do.

I didn’t. My arms and legs were more wooden than any tree and appeared more like a telegraph pole than anything nature had raised from the ground.

Considering the above, my first school report AGED 7.10 though was surprisingly promising:

All in the genes

All in the genes
every potential of being a very good dancer



All in the genes

All in the genes
She tries a little too hard


All in the genes

All in the genes
Using her arms all the time


Here is my husbands first ever report: In the days when Radio 4 was still the Home Service, Radio 2 was The Light Programme, and they wrote DRILL instead of PE.

AGED 4.8

All in the genes

All in the genes

So a genetic evaluation might say that our combined genes could have created another Usain Bolt, Darcey Bussell or Andy Murray. Possible. But unlikely. If its all in the genes, our son didn’t stand a chance. Here are our little one’s reports from his earliest sporting days:-

AGED 5.5

Close to friends

All in the genes

AGED 5.10

Head on the floor

All in the genes

AGED 6.5

Major Muscles

All in the genes

Anyone there at the back remember what Mr Kierkegaard said?

“Life must be lived forward but can only be understood backwards “

Was Mr Kierkegaard right?

What do I know? That our son, even before he was born, cleverly selected parents who don’t like to leap out of bed on a wet Saturday morning and stand around yelling at other parents next to a games pitch.

Lazy? Me?

Yeah. Well. Whatever.


Hooray! Thanks #AnythingGoes for voting this post a winner!

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    1. Thanks Sharon – makes me wonder about Moses, Jesus, Alexander the Great – just HOW did their parents manage without school reports?

  1. Brilliant. Love it.

    I think N will be interesting. He’s pretty good at picking up anything that needs manoeuvring – bikes, scooters, go karts etc so hopefully he’ll be good at sports. Going on our genes, he’d be good at dancing (me), musical (me), and into racquet sports (me – although he’s a right hander, so we’ll have to see about that one!). The OH likes to think he was good at football, but I’ve not seen much evidence of that…more likely that N will be good at putting together things that need fixing like tractors.

    I’d love to see what my first reports said but we didn’t find any when clearing out my mum’s house. Shame really. Nowadays it can all be done online so much easier to keep.

    1. Your OH sounds like me – I am EXCELLENT at football!! So prove me wrong!Sounds like your little guys is going to be a top person. EVERYBODY needs a fixer 🙂

    1. Thanks lovely Anya. Hadnt thought about it but might try it out – after all school reports and genes are something we all have in common right!? Like death and taxation but nicer on the whole Xx

  2. haha such a great read! My kids can draw and I mean really draw, and paint recognisable pictures that look amazing, I am still on stick figures! Two of my 3 children have strawberry blonde hair, my hubby and I are dark brown. And we have 2 blue eyed children, I have brown, hubby green! And yes they are all his I promise lol #KCACOLS

    1. A true story: a blonde man with 3 white blond children and his blonde wife had a fourth who had dark hair. When he insisted on a DNA test, it turned out that fourth child WAS his but the first three weren’t. BTW nothing wrong with stick figures – look at Hurrah for Gin’s great drawings 🙂 jo x #KCACOLS

  3. I wasn’t entirely prepared to snort laugh the snot out of my nose just now while reading the “not putting his head on the floor during the forward roll.” What in almighty hell could that POSSIBLY mean? HA! Love your humor! I’ll be certain to be ready with a Kleenex next time. #KCACOLS

    1. Hi Carolina i’m sending some Kleenex over soon. You know these posts write themselves really with the school reports. The teachers must spend their whole time in the common room in convulsions. I would. Thanks so much for your comment I love making people projectile snot #KCACOLS

  4. Just brilliant Jo! And chronic laziness on the part of your dance teacher, I think. No wonder you were going like a fly around a megawatt light bulb by the end. I was always attentive and “sympathetic to my peers”. AKA a bit of a doormat. But hey, look at us now Jo. Look at us now. Thanks for linking to #Chucklemums!

    1. Yes those euphemisms. Don’t you just hate love them?! It was fun linking up with you. Some of the best posts around #chucklemums

  5. My ballet teacher made comments like Jade looks like a ballerina, as I was blonde and very petite, but dances like an elephant and has the tendency to dissolve into hysterics. Needless to say I am not now a prima ballerina and my own 5 year old son has inherited my limited coordination. He can make his tongue touch his nose though so I feel all is well with life. Wonderful drawings 🙂 #chucklemums

    1. Touching your nose with your tongue gets you places that ballet does not. I think. Anyway I bet he makes everyone smile. Glad you like the drawings 🙂 #chucklemums

  6. Haha brilliant. This reminds me how I found my mum’s school report from the 1950s, but it was sadly after she’d passed away. She’s always made a huge point about how we had to behave at school. Her school report said ‘behaviour is shocking’. Haha! No wonder she never showed us it when we were little #bigpinklink

    1. That must have really left you wondering! My Grandfather had something similar but I’ll never find out what he did. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 #BigPinkLink

    1. Thanks Jenny. Why do people laugh out loud at what i say on the internet but never in the same room as me? Maybe I’m only funny if edited x

  7. Haha this is very good.. love the drawing of your boy with his head on the floor. Ha x what does that mean anyway? I had no idea ones forward roll was an important part of the curriculum … hope his future in forward rolls improves. Ha bless him x

    1. Hi Laura, yesterday he won Rugby player of the season. I’m exceedingly proud, even though he’s in one of the right at the bottom lower groups. It might make a difference to ability to forward roll and get employment. It would stand out anyway on a job application. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. jo #thelist

  8. Reeky funny post thank you! I am very close to my mother academically but also have a good mixture of that and my Dads creative genes thrown in there. I thin that children do possess and learn their own attributes though obviously; it is not ALL down to genetics, bring in to question the great nature/nurture debate doesn’t it! <3 #thelist

    1. Yes it really does bring that debate into question every time. I sometime wonder if a distant ancestor of mine used to draw on cave walls #thelist #genetics

    1. You’re right. I’ve just sat in front of a teacher at the school and heard more in 2 mins that I’d read in a full length report at the end of the year. Glad you like my post Cal #TheList

  9. Very ha ha love it! I had a report at Secondary school where my sports teacher had said I was ‘erratic’ on the Hockey Pitch, probably fair comment, but on the bus home my best friend changed it too ‘erotic’ without me knowing which didn’t go down so well with the old parents!! xx

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