Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘We’re going to be doing what I call, Maths Through Rugby’

Rosston College has an eventful first day with the triplets out of Montessori

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘Because, Sorcha, if being a member of the south Dublin middle class has taught me one thing, it’s that you don’t apologise for anything – ever.’

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘Because, Sorcha, if being a member of the south Dublin middle class has taught me one thing, it’s that you don’t apologise for anything – ever.’

 

“What’s going on?” Honor goes – because it’s a school day and the boys aren’t sitting at the breakfast table in their blazers and their little white boaters like they usually are?

“Your father has decided to home-school your brothers,” Sorcha goes – and there’s a definite hint of mockery in the way she says it.

“Yeah, no,” I go, “I’ve decided to take them out of that Montessori. It turns out that Leo was cracking on to one of his teachers, using inappropriate language and – direct quote – lewd gestures. One minute they’re telling us there should be no barriers for children, the next they’re asking us to have a conversation with them about boundary issues. I mean, which one is it, Mrs Perezynski?”

Sorcha’s there, “I don’t know why you can’t just ring up and apologise for saying that Montessori teachers are just babysitters with good insurance cover.”

That’s one of the rules of Rosston College, I’ve decided. You stort school when you feel like it

And I’m like, “Because, Sorcha, if being a member of the south Dublin middle class has taught me one thing, it’s that you don’t apologise for anything – ever. Plus, I actually think I’m right. There’s a lot less to Montessori teaching than people think. As a matter of fact, that’s our mission statement here at Rosston College.”

“Rosston College?”

“Yeah, no, that’s what I’m calling it.”

Honor laughs.

“Oh my God,” she goes, “can I leave Mount Anville and go to Rosston College?”

I’m there, “I don’t see why not, Honor.”

I see why not,” Sorcha goes. “Intellectually, you passed your father out when you were six-years-old, Honor. He has nothing of any value to teach you.”

Which is horsh – even if it’s true?

“Come on, Honor,” Sorcha goes, “I’ll drop you to school. We don’t want to get in the way of Induction Day at Rosston College!”

She says it in a sneery way. But then she doesn’t get to see the faces on the boys five minutes later when I stand at the bottom of the stairs and stort ringing the handbell that Sorcha bought when she was a member of the Glenageary Ringers – or Glenageary Mingers, as Honor cruelly dubbed them.

Listen to Ross

Learning through fun

Brian is the first to step out onto the landing with a look of definite wonder on his face.

“The fock is going on?” he goes. “I’m trying to focking sleep up here.”

And I go, “Come on, goys,” as Leo and Johnny step out onto the landing too. “Today is the first day of the rest of your lives!”

An hour later, they arrive downstairs. That’s one of the rules of Rosston College, I’ve decided. You stort school when you feel like it.

Anyway, it gives me time to make an absolute mountain of pancakes for them. They sit at the table and stort horsing into them while I explain the new set-up to them.

Brian tells Leo that Jill is ugly – she’s not great, in fairness – and Leo responds by picking up his plate and smashing his brother across the face with it

I’m there, “Rosston College is based around the idea of learning through fun. And the ethos – you’ll be happy to hear – is very much centred around rugby. Later this morning, we’re going to be learning colours by looking at rugby jerseys - the All Blacks, the Cordiff Blues, the Scorlets.”

Johnny smiles at me. I was born to do this.

I’m there, “After that,” showing them the cover of my Rugby Tactics Book, “we’re going to be doing what I call Maths Through Rugby. Five plus two equals seven – and other sums you might need. Then, this afternoon, we’re going to be doing PE – in other words, throwing the rugby ball around in the gorden.”

Leo looks at me and goes, “Where’s Jill?”

And I’m there, “Jill’s not here, Leo. I’m your teacher now.”

I grab the poster paints and some A4 paper from the printer. I’m like, “First, while you eat your breakfast, we’re going to do some ort. I was going to suggest we all paint a picture of Leinster’s victory over Munster at the weekend.”

And that’s when Leo turns on the tears. “Me want Jill!” he goes. “Me want Jill!”

Your hort would nearly break for him.

I’m there, “If you stop crying, Leo, I’ll tell you all about the school trip on Friday.”

I’m planning to take them on the Aviva Stadium tour, then to the Heineken Bottling Plant in Kilmainham, which is something I’ve always wanted to see.

But he won’t stop crying. “Me want Jill!” he keeps going.

Pandemonium

And that’s when I notice that Johnny has left the table and is about to stick the prongs of his pancake fork into one of the plug sockets. I dive across across the kitchen and I tackle him, sending the fork flying across the kitchen floor.

But while I’m doing that, Brian tells Leo that Jill is ugly – she’s not great, in fairness – and Leo responds by picking up his plate and smashing his brother across the face with it.

Brian’s nose basically explodes. I’m trying to staunch the flow of blood while Johnny calls me a stupid focker and then – unbeknownst to me – storts stuffing kitchen roll into the toaster, then he pulls down the lever.

Brian’s face is covered in blood, I’ve got a fork embedded in my left buttock and Johnny is shouting, 'I focking love Rosston College'

Leo is still crying, going, “Me want Jill!”

I’m there, “Jill’s gone! You ruined it for yourself by creeping her out.”

And then I smell burning and I see that the toaster is in flames. I pull the mini fire extinguisher down off the wall and I use it to put the fire out, covering the entire counter in foam.

And that’s when Leo storts throwing up. Either the kid is lovesick or he’s eaten too many pancakes. But I notice, to my total horror, that he’s spewed all over my Rugby Tactics Book. I pick it up off my table and I notice that my notes on the squad of players I think Joe Schmidt should bring to Japan is covered in pancake sick.

“Fock’s sake!” I can’t help but go. And then I scream – not because my tactics book is going to smell of spewage forever – but because Johnny has picked up his pancake fork and stabbed me in the orse with it.

And it’s at that exact moment that Sorcha returns from Mount Anville to find a scene of mayhem in the kitchen. It smells of vomit and burning. There’s foam everywhere. Brian’s face is covered in blood, I’ve got a fork embedded in my left buttock and Johnny is shouting, “I focking love Rosston College.”

Sorcha just smiles at me. She goes, “Ross, just ring up and apologise.”

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