Working Mum: A battle of wills, and a surprising outcome

By Giles Broadbent on May 22, 2014 12:47 PM |



By Tabitha Ronson

On the way to school earlier this week Master A innocently remarked he had to catch up with some work because he was behind.

While he had finished only one page on the topic of the week, others had completed two, even three.

I've been struggling to get him to do his homework, dealing with outrageous tantrums in the process, so this was a red rag to a bull.

We drove to school in silence: Mummy not at all happy.

In the classroom, he started to mooch from desk to desk, chatting idly about everything and nothing with several chums who, like him, were less than focused on the task in hand.

Most of his other classmates were seated, studiously working on various sheet work laid out before them.

I hissed at him to take his seat and start to get on with his work.

He carried on chatting, bravely - some may say stupidly - ignoring my request.

I raised my voice a little louder. His eyes locked with mine and, after several seconds in which my bulging orbs clearly indicated what would happen if he didn't listen, Master A finally took his place at his desk.

Instead of getting on with the project, he started to faff, fiddling with the sheet work, sharpening his pencil - a series of displacement activities engineered to make him further behind.

The classmate next to him pointed out that Master A was doing a different activity to everybody else.

As I whispered a series of threats - a ban from the iPad, no swimming, no movie night - his teacher came over to sort him out. She handed him an extra work sheet.

I looked at her and raised my eyebrows in a "what can you do" kind of a way.

"He's already told me how far behind he is with his work..."

She looked puzzled.

"No, he's not. He's finished his topic and is now starting a new one. He's actually ahead of the rest of the class."

Working mum, delighted to hear that piece of news however worried at his lack of self-esteem. I wonder if there will ever be a moment to celebrate without a caveat.