Sunday 20 August 2017

Demented mum: The unthinkable has happened -- could it really be straight As?

THE Wolverine hands you her school report the moment you arrive in from work.

You notice that the envelope, on which are clearly printed your name and that of your husband's -- and only your name and that of your husband's -- has already been opened.

Under stern interrogation it emerges that, on a day off from her summer job at the crèche, the Wolverine was in a position to meet the postman and, to, y'know, check things out in advance.

Just to be on the safe side, like. Won't happen again, she promises in a tone of deep sincerity.

Shuddering, you unfold your daughter's Transition Year Results.

"It's not too bad," she says reassuringly, nodding her head.

"Lisa's was terrible. She was on the phone to me crying because she's been grounded for three weeks. The science teacher said she was just coasting. Her mother's like a maniac over it."

Your husband, who arrives home just after you, peers warily over your shoulder at the list of teachers' comments.

Good student, says one. Very good result, says another. Worked well, says a third. A fourth also says she works well, a fifth praises her classroom attitude, a sixth mentions positive sharing, another says yes, she worked well, yet another mentions excellent participation.

You're stunned.

What work, you wonder, flummoxed.

You think of the books that sat untouched on the bathroom floor for a week. You think of the times you caught her high-tailing it off to school with nothing in her schoolbag but a can of hairspray and a packet of chewing gum.

"Did they mix up the names?," your husband asks, sotto voce.

He still hasn't taken off his coat.

"I heard that," the Wolverine howls.

She stamps her foot.

"That's, like, a really rotten thing to say, Dad."

Your eyes move apprehensively up and down the list of comments waiting for the kicker. It doesn't come.

You exchange uncertain glances with your husband.

Always quick to detect the advantage, the Wolverine decides to make hay while the sun is -- albeit rather weakly -- shining.

"Told you I was really improving," she declares triumphantly.

She suggests you bring her down to the shop to buy Coke and ice-cream and stuff to celebrate her report, just like you did for Rory when he got all those, like, 'A's.

You're hog-tied and over a barrel.

You don't believe it, but it's all there in black and white, with her name and classroom number, right in front of your eyes.

As she frog-marches you right back into the car to receive her prizes, you wonder morosely when you'll get the letter apologising for the mix-up.

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