KITCHEN SINK DRAMA
fair, I could be speaking Cantonese and he would still bark approval).
Anyway, The Boy is to sit an oral Irish exam which will account for 40% of his Junior Cert marks. At the meeting in the school, the Irish teachers explain, with admirable enthusiasm, that this could mean that the students will already have 40% in the bag even before June beckons. In the case of The Boy, it is more likely to mean that come June, he will somehow have to make up 140% on the written exam. In the meantime, he has a practice oral
Eventually we come to a sort of by Jove, I think he’s got it moment,
and the first meltdown resolves
itself into a dew
Irish exam tomorrow, which is the more immediate cause of the current breakdown. Having complained bitterly all weekend about the amount he has to learn, he has, somewhat predictably, left most of it until Sunday night. Cue wailing, gnashing, shouting, arguing – and, eventually, an intensive tutorial in spoken Irish, during which I briefly morph into that other mother on YouTube, the one who goes mad at her son, Robert, as Gaeilge, over his oral Irish. Eventually, though, we come to a sort of by Jove, I think he’s got it moment, and the first meltdown resolves itself into a dew.
The second one is trickier. I realised a long time ago that there is no point in passing creative genes onto small people and then expecting them to become big accountants. Apart from the curious case of John Major, life doesn’t work that way. The Teenager isn’t just a musician in waiting, she is already a fully firing, gigging musician who struggles to see why she needs to understand algebra and irregular French verbs in order to share her songs with the world. Looking ahead, she is also unconvinced about the point of spending the next four years in college either studying something she doesn’t care about or – if she pursues music as a course – being taught how to do stuff she’s been doing for years. This is a regular conversation in our house these days, and one, in fairness, in which she has a degree of our sympathy. Still, even if the system sucks, it’s still the system, we tell her, as she waves the steaming iron about wildly. There will be no solution to this one tonight.
I used to love Sunday nights. I liked putting the kids to bed at a sensible hour, then curling up in front of some unwieldy TV drama with a glass of wine in my hand. There was a certain stillness to the last night of the weekend, a full stop that made sense. Now, it is a night of homework and meltdown. And in the midst of it all – as my two older children face into the most challenging year of their young lives – all I can think is that I’ll have to give up drinking wine on Sunday nights. There’ll be tears before bedtime, mark my words.