“What was that you were saying to me last night?” Asked the Teen the next morning. “I was saying that although we don’t love the idea that you stay at your boyfriend’s house over the weekend, we understand that whatever you do at night time you could just as easily do at three o’clock in the afternoon, and we’d rather you didn’t have to lie to us. However, what I was saying last night is that you absolutely cannot stay at his house in the week, because you have to be awake enough to go to school, and he has to be in a fit state to go to work, and I don’t won’t to have to go and collect you in the middle of the night, and I definitely don’t want to find you not here when I come to get you up in the morning”.
There was a long silence. And then she said “So what you’re saying is that we need to work hard and stay firm in the week, and go out and have fun at the weekend?” “Exactly”. And on her face in that second I understood my mistake in assuming that what she has been putting up till now is simple resistance. Astonishing as it may sound, as a kid who life has “happened to”, I am convinced that she had never grasped even so much as the existence of the concept of work-play and responsibilities, let alone understood what we thought we were asking her to buy into.
Danny’s class wrote a collaborative story this week, so this morning there was a workshop involving parents to come and do some artwork to go with their story. The story involved a rat, a bunny a fairy, and some cheese. Everyone else did drawing and colouring, and cutting and sticking around themes of rats, bunnies, fairies and cheese. Danny’s picture had Father Christmas, three little pigs, a wolf, a reindeer, some ice-cream, jelly, sandwiches, a birthday cake, a car, a train on a track running through the middle, and then he had a little fit because I said I wasn’t sure if we should draw a machine gun. Taking a positive view, I was impressed that he knows the Spanish for wolf!