Thursday, December 04, 2008

Look at me!

Well, I've had my meeting with the Head of Year and she had interviewed the Head of every subject I'd mentioned and each had prepared a written report on Danny Boy. The History teacher had also waited after school to meet me. I had a written apology from the English teacher but the rest of the remarks have dampened my crusading spirit. Danny Boy has been identified as one of the brightest students in the year but he is an attention-seeking class clown who finds it very difficult to concentrate, disrupts other pupils and is desperately immature. The reason for his shoddy work is that he is slap-dash and doesn't spend anything like the right amount of time on his homework, doing the bare minimum to get by. It made for an interesting meeting. Danny Boy was squirming as Head Of Year revealed some of his half-truths and excuses. The upshot of it all is that it's up to him, plenty of other children are prepared to work. Tonight DB and I have learnt the verbs etre and avoir by rote, tomorrow it's Spanish... there is a six year sentence stretching before me and Lurch (who's now testing him).

Why is he such an attention seeker? I can only imagine he takes after his father who has sported many an eye-catching look in his time from Country Squire manque, complete with plus-fours (aged 16) to Eurocrat with a leather handbag and hand-tooled Italian loafers, a fine dandy indeed. I have never been comfortable in the spotlight.

My worst work experience ever was in Jamaica. I was representing the company, sponsoring an evening of Caribbean culture, which was being broadcast simultaneously on radio and TV. The MC was a restless, slightly aggressive man who seemed to carry a large colonial chip on his shoulder. He referred to me as 'The Queen's Representative' at all times, accompanied by a direct, challenging gaze and a savage smile. I couldn't understand what I'd done but half an hour into the show his delighted tones rang out across the island 'Would the Queen's representative please come forward for an exhibition limbo dance with our country's champion?' What! me?! I was forced into it, wearing a tightish linen business suit. I had to perform a limbo with a 6 foot 6 liquid limbed, breathtakingly handsome Rasta in front of 1,000 people in the stadium but also on TV. My mouth was dry, my legs and arms were wooden. The Rasta tried his best and so did I, contorting, shaking and shimmying but I was worse than John Sergeant, it was the most humiliating episode of my life. I was stone cold sober and, unbeknown to anyone else, four months pregnant! I still shudder at the memory.


Suburbia said...

Poor you! The homework slog is a pain in the proverbial isn't it?! He's not dyslexic is he? Often thay are very bright children but play the class clown to hide their difficulties.

Just Me said...

I have one like this!! He is now 19 and at university. Just could not get on with it. Turns out he has ADD. Still finds it hard but good to know the reason.
So so so hard to deal with.
I send my good vibes to you and your Danny Boy.X

Anonymous said...

Public limbo? I'd be a quivering wreck for years!

Milla said...

very interesting - and worrying - about your son. Great blog as usual, BTM.

Sally's Chateau said...

Urgh, it all sounds depressingly familiar, exhausting or what ? just caught up with your posts and sitting here smirking to myself !!

French Fancy said...

The never-ending patience of a parent :)

Lori ann said...

I have a couple kids like this also. I would say they didn't come from me because we are so different, but they did! It's always something, this I know for sure Mama, when it comes to children.
your limbo experiance sounds like pure hell,dear lord.
xx lori

Grit said...

grrr i'm getting all feathers fluffed up the wrong way now. bright kids full of energy, inquiry and confidence labelled 'attention seekers'. i don't know how you all put with school culture. you are made of stronger stuff than me.

Working mum said...

Ah, I know the type; bright, probably charming, likes to entertain, will do bare minimum to avoid being in trouble. I've taught many in my time. Don't ask me the solution though! I put them in detention and stand over them to get decent work out of them, but how to get them to motivate themselves I don't know. If you find out you could make a fortune!

blogthatmama said...

He's not dyslexic Suburbia but I don't think he knows what he's supposed to be doing, at least I do now so we can help him more.

Just Me I'm going to investigate ADD because he's always fiddling and fooling around, at home as well. Thanks for the vibes, we need them!

MITC - it was an utterly cringeworthy performance!

Thanks Milla, I'm worried sick!

SC and FF I am exhausted and my patience nearly is too..

Lori I long for an incident-free week, some parents must have them, surely?

Grit and Working Mum - can I offer either of you a job? Lovely cottage in North Yorks, sweet 12 year old boy who needs a firm rod???

Expat mum said...

Are there any particular subjects he has more problems with? I ask this because one of mine isn't dyslexic, but has dyscalcula (the maths problem) Dysgraphia (can't copy very well from a board) and takes ages to write a paper. It's very difficult for these kids in class and they often tend not to bother.
As for the peacock, good for him. Who wants a boring child? Once the maturity kicks in (which it will) he'll probably go on to do soemthing wonderful. I have two peacocks, (both male) and I just point them in the direction of musical instruments, dance etc. My 13 year old won $25 at a party on Saturday night break-dancing!!

PS. The worst thing teachers can do is hang their heads at him. What kind of message is that sending?

cheshire wife said...

If you were four months pregnant with Danny Boy at the time of the limbo dancing incident that may explain everything.

Mean Mom said...

I think that your peacock photo is very apt. Society has changed a lot, but our bodies are still living in primitive times. Lots of men are competitive and attention seeking! I think that this sort of behaviour can often be something to do with hormones and proving themselves to be 'the best male' etc. We may have advanced in many ways, but we are so often still at the mercy of our hormones. 13 is a very confusing time, as I remember it! 55 is very similar!

My middle son was 'put on report' when he was inattentive at school, in lessons that he didn't like. His teachers had to fill in a report for him after every single lesson. The rigmarole of getting it completed (he had to 'chase' some teachers to complete it and one teacher lost it, so he had to start the whole punishment again) put him under a lot of pressure. A fortnight of this did the trick!

It is good that the problem has been recognised and that you and the school are working together. It is such hard work, but worth it. I hope that it is just a phase and that your son will settle down again very soon.

blogthatmama said...

Expat Mum he does hate maths with a vengeance and I think he's scared of it, if only he could dance! His chief love is stand-up comedy so we'll have to see.

Cheshire Wife that really made me laugh! Thank you, I needed that.

Mean Mom, the Head mentioned that if he didn't start to turn around he was going on report in January, I don't think he wants that and he's now incident free (everything crossed) for two weeks.

DJ Kirkby said...

I am very impressed and more than a little jealous over your skill at dealing with the school. You won on WW this week so come on over and collect your award.