So the school wants your thoughts on transition year. Hmm, you think, casting a cold eye on the daughter who has handed you the parental evaluation form before plonking herself in front of 'Glee'.
You think how she rarely brings her schoolbag anymore.
She doesn't need it, she told you dismissively, because, like, they never do anything anyway.
All she has apparently required for school lately is a recycled beach-bag.
When you checked it this evening it contained the following provisions: a bottle of water, an empty Coke can, an uneaten school lunch, some make-up and a battered hard-cover copy.
You debate whether you should also include the fact that your daughter was able to leave a bundle of textbooks and copies in a heap on the floor of her bedroom, covered in squashed banana, for nearly a week without a single complaint from the school about missing books.
The mess was your fault, the Wolverine complained when you stumbled upon them.
You made her bring in the banana for her lunch last week. She'd warned you she wouldn't eat it, but you insisted. So it's, like, not her fault if it squished all over the place.
The books had been there a while, she admits, but, like, she's way too busy to be cleaning schoolbags, so there's now, like, this killer pong and some kind of fungus growing on the inside.
She couldn't bring the books to school -- they're filthy. And like, the bag really needs to go in the washing machine ASAP.
She blinks at you innocently from beneath a thick crust of black mascara.
Your head throbs as you realise that, although several of your daughter's books have been out of commission for days, nobody seems to have noticed.
There wasn't even a note home.
The form requests your opinion on the overall advantages of the transition year programme.
Not wishing to be unjustifiably negative, you consult your husband.
"None," he admits.
What, the form wants to know, did your child personally get out of the transition year programme?
"Be blunt," your husband advises.
"Nothing," you write.
What were the disadvantages of transition year, the form asks.
"Legion," you declare.
You write about the lack of work and study, the implosion of routine, the loss of motivation.
You rant about boredom and regression and feet falling off pedals.
There are other questions which you answer just as honestly.
You show the form to the Wolverine. She is completely aghast.
"Jeez, I can't bring that in to them," she cries.
But it's all true, you say.
"No way," she mumbles, her eyes sliding back to 'Glee'.
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