#WASO – ‘Grape Expectations’ the return to school

First of all, I should probably apologise for the cheesy title and play on words – I needed to find a way to maintain some degree of my sense of humour with this #WASO post.

I think it is safe to say the entire household (baring Bumble who is still at work) are more than aware that Beeswax has arrived home after his first week back to school and has brought a weeks’ worth of built up stress and anxiety with him to boot.

The moment I had closed the front door after finishing the handover and saying ‘goodbye’ to the member of transport staff , my traumatised teen began imploding rapidly and very LOUDLY (sitting here writing this now, has me wondering if I had started a stopwatch going when he arrived home, what would have the time-lapse have been?) .

“Did you take Buzzbee to his opticians’ appointment this week? Did they say that they were going to give him his glasses so he can stop faking and get his backside back to school?”

“I am F***ing hungry. Why is it that I have to always arrive home at a time when you are going to tell me that I can’t have anything too big because I will spoil my evening meal? I want to eat what I F***ing like, when I want it”

“Where the hell is Buzzbee? God woman! Don’t you even make that child do any school work? What has he been doing all week while I have been at school? No, don’t answer that because I already know that the little maggot will have been on the Xbox most of the time”

“I thought you were going shopping this week. Why is there never anything I like in the house? And don’t you dare say ‘I always buy food that everyone in this family likes’. It is Bull!”

“Where is the Xbox? I bet you have hidden it from me so that only Buzz is ever allowed to play with it in the week!”

“I want to go out on my bike to the rec, why didn’t you charge my phone for me this week? You probably did it so that I couldn’t go out and I will have to give Buzzbee some attention. Where is he anyway? Is he avoiding me?”

All this before I have even had a chance to say a proper ‘Hi’. My jaw was moving a lot but I wasn’t able to get a word in edgeways – actually after 5 minutes I stood in the middle of the lounge with my hand in the air and waited for him to say “Good God woman, what the hell are you doing now?”, which then gave me the opening to tell him that I didn’t want to interrupt, because he obviously had a lot he needed to say, so I thought it would be easier if I ‘put my hand up and wait for my turn to speak’ (he pretended to not be amused by my silliness but there was definitely a brief sighting of a smirk).  What I really wanted to do was respond to each of his tirades with a wonderfully therapeutic PACE style response – and given half the chance I would have.

Stressed

So enquiring minds (in other words mine) start wondering what has gone on this week to upset the apple cart quite so much!

Well, if we forget for the minute that it was his first week , and he was always going to be a little on edge, considering that is what he usually does anyway (and has as long as we have known him), or the fact that there had been a lot of structural changes to the school which he needed time to get used to.

What does that leave?

Speaking to his tutor earlier in the day I was told he has ‘settled wonderfully with no issues all week’. So, maybe he is just tired.

Nope! Not only has a child returned to school who Waxy feels tries to bully and intimidate younger peers (including himself), but there was a confusion/mistake with his timetable (I won’t give you the exact words he used to tell me that they had messed up, but be reassured it was more than a little colourful).   The moment he told me the nature of the confusion and what topics it affected, all the venom and angst made sense (I do not want him talking to me that way, but I could now understand why he felt the need to ‘spit his pips’ at someone with such force) – the 2 topics that had been confused would both (in different ways) be huge trigger points for him and, while I am trying my hardest at the moment to support school, I cannot deny that I am upset for my child at their insensitivity at not only the handling of the situation once the mistake was discovered, but the lack of awareness of how this unnecessary vocational lesson would impact on him in the first place – what are the topics? His timetable states ‘catering’ but he was told he would actually be doing ‘hair and beauty’.

Other than firing off an email to school, which I will then need to follow up swiftly on Monday, all I can do for now is find a way to safely support Waxy though the weekend without the entire household feeling like we are having to ‘tread on eggshells’. I will sort it for him, although I know I am definitely not going to be flavour of the month at school on Monday (what’s new there?) and I know that they will automatically jump to the conclusion that I am being an ‘overprotective’ mum, but I know my son and, although I regularly try to push him just that little bit beyond his comfort zone, I know him well enough to know that for a boy who has significant anxieties around food to have that taken away from him, only to be replaced with a topic that means he would encounter his worst nightmare – physical contact – something he can barely tolerate, even at home, unless he is playing sports (it has only been in the past year that he has begun to allow me to smooth this hair on receptive days). So to be told that he would be washing other people’s hair (or worse still have peers washing his) is definitely a stretch too far for him.

On a positive note, this is probably the first time I can remember him coming home from school and letting me know what is going on for him almost immediately rather than bottling it up and ending up violently melting down later into the weekend and returning to school on Monday feeling like he has failed.

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6 thoughts on “#WASO – ‘Grape Expectations’ the return to school

  1. Oh my, what a tough return to school you’ve had, I feel your pain, me too. I’m very impressed with your calm whilst being ranted at and the comedy action you managed to take. Hope it is better next week.

    Thanks for linking to #WASO

    • Thank you. I don’t know where I would be sometimes without my humour. To be honest I surprised myself on how calm I managed to stay (have been struggling so much lately, this kind over verbal assault would have left me in a pool of tears more often than not). To his schools’ credit, the teacher in charge of academics has already responded to my email and is going to look into it on Monday.

    • Thank you. I don’t alway have faith in many of his teachers when it comes to “getting it” but I know she will do her best to look into the mix up and remedy the situation to the best of her ability.

  2. I’m glad the school is responding quickly and have listened to your concerns. I would have been horrified at having to do hair and beauty for the very same reasons, so I can completely understand his mortification! Schools don’t always get it right, but a swift and helpful response when things go wrong can go a long way.

  3. Thank you. I knew she has always responded to emails swiftly during school hours but I have to admit, I was more than a little surprised when she replied within 24hrs. When he told me about the lesson it was all I could do not to laugh – I have a constant battle to get the stroppy teenage so in so to simply cut his nails or brush his hair. I would love to know who thought it wasa good idea 😆

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